I know the cockroaches are creepy for humans. But I want to know why humans are afraid of cockroaches and what will be the effect of there bite on my body. Can I touch them or if they walk over my foot is safe for me!

  • Are they toxic like snake or scorpion?

  • How they bite us?

  • What will be the effect if more than one cockroaches bite me?

  • Do I still get any disease if they don't bite me but present in my house?

There is already a question related to cockroaches bite on this form but it's about cockroaches lay eggs or not while biting and it doesn't explain the possible effects of the bite.

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    $\begingroup$ hmm... I don't think cockroaches "bite" people. I have heard of having eyelashes nibbled on as you sleep, but not sure if that's real or an urban legend. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


I have reared cockroaches by the thousands, for years. Three species, but mainly the infamous Periplaneta americana which I am sure everyone has at least heard about (see picture at the end).

First of all: Cockroaches do bite, and they have powerful mandibles. This is in the paper below:


Many people think they won't bite because they have never handled cockroaches. In fact, cockroaches are amongst the most common insects scavenging dead bodies, and they'll pester sleeping individuals when they're starving (e.g. in crowded infested buildings or ships).

In the case of large P. americana, males are way more prone to biting than females, especially when they're flying around. I have been bit three times by these cockroaches, and it hurts. Once I was wearing latex gloves and seized a large male, and it bit me through the glove. Because of the pinch, I pulled it off with my other hand, and the glove teared open. Last time, I was bit about 1.5 year ago on the shoulder in my sleep by an adult female P. australasiae. The pinch was enough to wake me up (so I could kill the bloody roach) and left a red mark that lasted for 2 days.

There are numerous reports of cockroach bites going infected, specially around lips. Linked paper is referenced as: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-86702006000100006

Finally, they're not poisonous neither venomous insects, as they produce no relevant toxins. However they may carry many pathogenic microbes, so laster effects from contact with cockroaches may develop.

The common sewer cockroach: most hated insect in the planet

Hope this was clear enough!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Your answer would be much improved if you focused on the Prado paper rather than your personal experience: we don't typically allow appeals to authority here, rather we prefer experts to use that expertise to supply proper citations. Also please add references in text form and preferably with a DOI, the link to a journal page may very likely die sometime in the future. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 15:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause There is a DOI paper there. I will try to make it more conspicuous $\endgroup$
    – Scientist
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 15:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Scientist your answer give much info about cockroach bite but there are some technical terms in your answer like pathogenic microbes and lasting effects as I am from the CS field so I had to google them. If you explain these terms then it will be more helpful :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 17:29

Millions of people live with cockroaches and there are nearly zero cases of hospitalization, thousands of times more people are admitted for wasp/spider stings, putting marbles in their nose, knife injuries etc. They may cause damage to food, like rodents, without any serious illnesses unlike rodents.

Here is the only roach attack hospitalization that I can find, versus thousands of bee and wasp incidents, a normal and sober person would sneeze and wake up. Apparently she did not suffer a bite: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/868535/doctors-remove-live-cockroach-from-indian-womans-skull


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