Do cockroaches bite human beings? Yes. How often that occurs is in fact very rarely but indeed cockroaches can bite you. Before you let you imagination run wild a cockroach will not attack you in order to get a pound of flesh from you. But these insects have been known to bite fingernails, eyelashes, as well as dead skin that has formed on your hands or your feet.
Not all cockroach species bite humans. In fact, out of the 55 species of cockroaches in the world the ones that are well known for biting are two: Periplaneta Americana and Periplaneta Australasiea. Both are species of the American cockroach and German cockroaches have also been known to bite.
When do cockroaches bite?
Cockroaches bite when you have a major infestation that there is not enough food for the roaches to all feed. In sea faring vessels this is a common occurrence as the vessel is at sea for long periods of time and food supply can run out or is well protected to make sure it lasts the entire trip. Sailors have reported numerous instances where they have been bitten by cockroaches as they look for food forcing them to wear gloves so they don’t get bitten.
Typically, cockroaches are omnivorous so they can eat plants and meat. So if the normal food supply grows limited they have to make due with the next best thing to survive. In dire circumstances they will bit the face, mouth and hands as long as they are exposed. They are attracted t these sections of the body because of the food residue that can be found in these areas.
A cockroach bite
The cockroach bite is characterized by lesions, swelling and irritation at the bite site. Because cockroaches are extremely filthy insects you may experience an infection on the bite. Fortunately, cockroaches will not transmit diseases through their bite but it is important to clean the area with water and soap thoroughly. Cleaning up the area gets rid of the germs and excrement of the cockroach and eliminates the risk of infection.
For some home remedies you can use in case of a cockroach bite include applying a tea bag to the site to reduce the swelling and mitigate the itching. Also, consider using lemon juice to clean the place and prevent inflammation or some natural aloe vera to aid in the healing process.
The good news is that cockroaches are not reliant on human beings for survival so they don’t have to feed on you to live. But to prevent a bite in the first place you need to formulate a way to get rid of roaches in your house. Cockroaches are prolific survivors and the best way to get rid of them is to enlist the help of a professional pest control expert.
Being bitten by bugs is one of the most uncomfortable situations one can find themselves. Some bugs release their saliva or enzymes that cause you to get a nasty case of unbearable itching. However, it can be tricky to identify the type of bug that has bitten you. Unfortunately, most bug bites tend to look similar and this can be confusing to most of us. So here is break down of the most common bug bites you will encounter in all parts of the world.
Bed bug bite
Bed bugs bites are found all over the body and they typically occur where one’s skin was exposed during the night. Since bed bugs are nocturnal in nature they will bite you at night so you will most probably notice their bites in the morning. They don’t form a welt immediately like other insect bites because bed bugs are known to excrete a small amount of anesthesia on the bite site which causes you not to feel the bite when the bug bites. Their bite makes you itch and the site will become red and swollen. The bite will have a raised center and a swollen surrounding area.
Mosquitoes have a sharp proboscis so their bite is more needlelike and you feel it immediately as the mosquito breaks skin. The bite looks round, raised and puffy with a sever itch that can cause you to break skin in the process. When the mosquito bites you it releases its saliva into the bite site to prevent the blood from clotting allowing it to have unrestricted flow of the blood. Also the saliva contains an allergen that most people react to and which triggers the immune system to create the bump and redness as well as triggering the itch.
Red bug bites
Red bugs are also known as chiggers and they are tiny larvae in the arachnid family. These larvae may be small but they have an extremely painful bite. They can jump onto your skin unnoticed which is why they can bite you without you ever knowing what bite you. Chiggers love to live in the grass and weeds and are also found mostly in berry patches and also in the woods.
The little terrors are very active in the spring and summer afternoons because they love the warmth of these seasons. Chiggers will choose the moist areas of the skin and attach themselves to you using their claws. They then take a bite of you and release their saliva during the process. There is an enzyme in the saliva that breaks down your skin into liquid. When your skin reacts by hardening the cells around the bite site the area forms a natural funnel which the chigger uses to suck on you bodily fluids. They can stay on the site for days feeding.
Fleas will typically bite you around the elbows, ankle, waist, knees and the arm pits. Strange as it sounds this is a great indicator of what type of bug has bitten you. You will notice clusters of bumps and sometimes they can cause you to break out in hives. If you have a rash it will tun white when pressed.
Carpenter bees also known as wood bees are widely considered the darlings of the bee species. The bad news however, is that the females can sting but there is a little good news in there are well. Carpenter bees don’t live in colonies because they are solitary bees living on their own and minding their business. So if you come under attack it is typically by one bee that has been provoked and feels the need to protect itself (or teach you a lesson).
Male carpenter bees are not equipped to sting so they will only buzz around you aggressively and loudly, bumping into you once in a while to make their anger known. In most cases, because people can’t differentiate between the bee species they are scared away thinking it is a honey bee on the war path. This is effective enough to deter human provocation for carpenter bees.
Importance of carpenter bees
These are very important to the environment because they help in the process of pollination which ensures plants can reproduce and bring forth food. They are large in size and this works to their advantage as they get more pollen on their frames and can pollinate even more plants in a shorter period of time.
Because they burrow into wood to lay their eggs and breed the next generation of bees they are not honey producing bees. This has caused some people to believe they are not as important as they honey producing cousins but without them food production will be very negatively affected.
What to do when stung by a carpenter bee
Treatment varies depending on how one reacts. With severe reactions that cause respiratory distress it is recommended that one goes to hospital immediately. In most cases people with an anaphylactic reaction to bee stings may have a history so in that case they should have an epinephrine autoinjector handy to administer emergency medication before the symptoms become fatal.
With a moderate reaction one can wash the area with warm water and soap after scraping off the stinger and then apply a cold compress to help with the swelling and pain. Take an over the counter pain reliever to stop the residual pain and elevate the area to keep the swelling down.
How do you know you are allergic to bee stings?
There are very obvious signs that one has a severe reaction to a bee sting that can lead to a fatality. These include:
- Rapid swelling of areas unrelated to the bee sting like the eye lids, lips and for some people even the tongue.
- Wheezing as the tongue obstructs the air passageways and general difficulty in breathing
- Dizziness and fainting spells
- Stomach cramps and disorienting headaches
- A red rash that appears widely on the body
Food and water are your home’s biggest attractions to pests, and when your house is unclean, anything from cockroaches to rodents find it easier to settle in. The more pests there are the more food it is for other pests that prey on smaller insects and arachnids so get rid of as many of these food sources as you can to keep your house as pest free as possible.
Food crumbs that drop from your plate or hand while you eat are a great source of food for a lot of pests like ants and mice, so make sure you clean up after eating and throw away any uneaten pet food that your pet no longer has any interest in. Dishes left on the sink means food for cockroaches, so don’t leave dishes overnight. Make sure to regularly clean the area around your fridge, stove and dishwasher to remove possible food debris and make it a habit to wipe down kitchen surfaces.
Many pests are attracted to humidity and damp spaces, so you may want to use a dehumidifier or two around the house especially in your basement. Some dehumidifiers can be set to turn on and off on a schedule so you don’t have to worry about setting it up day after day. Keep your house well ventilated, and fix any leaks as soon as you discover them. You may also want to invest in pipe insulation so your pipes don’t “sweat” and serve as a watering hole for pests.
Many pests like staying in dark, damp places while they wait for their turn to walk freely in your home while you sleep. Make sure you regularly clean out spaces that you don’t use to disrupt their peaceful environment as often as necessary. Bed bugs can live just fine in seemingly clean sheets and mattresses, so make sure to wash your sheets once every two weeks and thoroughly clean your mattress twice a year.
Cut back bushes and branches around your house – these often serve as bridges for pests to enter your house. Piles of leaves, rocks, and wood serve as great nesting areas for pests, so you may want to get rid of them or reconsider where you put your wood pile.
Pests can enter your house in a myriad of ways. Cracks and crevices on your walls, windows, and doors are how they typically get in. Make sure you block up cracks and crevices along your walls, seal gaps on your doors and windows, and install netting on any outside vent. Inspect cracks on walls where piping comes through such as the sink area as pests will use that to access a water source.
Keep your pets pest-free
Many people have pets that they take out during daytime and let in during nighttime, and that means your pets may waltz in with fleas that then spread across your home. Make sure to regularly treat your pets to a flea treatment and intestinal wormers, and regularly clean their sleeping areas and wash their bedding.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a pest control service for help in getting rid of unwanted pests!