At the end of the summer, we've been finding these insects in our apartment complex in Baltimore, MD. What are they and do they bite? The length is about the size of a US nickel (We've had mysterious bites along our legs the last few days and haven't found any fleas or bedbugs after turning over the bedroom! enter image description here enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Please update with approximate size, location, and species-identification tag. Thank you $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 3:35

1 Answer 1


This is a cockroach

  • Note the flattened body, long antennae, "hidden" short head, and spiny strong legs

Without more details, location or better photos, ID to species is not certain. The most likely species to be found as pests in buildings in the US include: Oriental, German, and brown banded roaches. Common outdoor species that also often come into the home or invade commercial buildings include two larger species: the American and less commonly smoky brown cockroaches. Both of these species are found in the highest abundance in the Southeastern US.

Your image does not immediately convince me you have one of these species. Oriental roaches are black and smoky browns are also darkly colored -- unlike your brown specimen. German (vertical) and brown-banded (horizontal) have stripes on their pronotum, which your specimen also does not clearly have. American cockroaches are unmistakably large with brighter pronotums having darker spots -- again, unlike your specimen.

there is a chance that this is a female brown banded cockroach with its colors washed out from the poor quality photo. (I kind of see some banding along its abdomen).

enter image description here

Female brown-banded roach. Credit: James L. Castner ; source UFL

Cockroaches really never bite. You'd have to have a really bad infestation for this to happen. Orkin supports this claim

  • $\begingroup$ Texas roaches are at least 3X larger as adults. Borax dust will control them if you can expose them to it . Borax is otherwise fairly innocuous. I blew borax into the cabinet containing the dishwasher and that has significantly reduced the number. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ Borax can be dangerous for pets and kids. Use caution using this product. Follow safety guidelines recommended by product $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 16:16

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