Healing Tips: Dealing With Roach Bites
For most people, waking up now and then with a bug bite after a night’s sleep is not out of the ordinary. Usually, they blame it on a house spider, bedbugs, or maybe a mosquito that snuck in through the window earlier that day.
But if you’ve ever noticed a cockroach inside your home, you’ve probably wondered if you can blame them for your bites too. Today, let’s take an in-depth look at these pesky insects and learn more about what you can do when dealing with roach bites.
Do Cockroaches Bite?
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To put it simply, cockroaches do bite. However, unlike other insects such as flies, fleas, and mosquitoes, they don’t need humans to complete their life cycle. In other words, they don’t have to feed on people to survive.
As a result, roaches are very rare to actually bite humans. In fact, that happens when the roach population outgrows the usual food sources, which forces them to seek other ways to sustain themselves, such as eating dead skin.
Yet, there have been some isolated cases where these insects have consumed human flesh. That also includes fingernails, eyelashes, and hair. But, almost always, when it comes to feasting on humans, roaches only eat the deceased.
What Do Cockroach Bites Look Like?
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Generally speaking, roach bites are very similar to bedbug bites, which is why people often mistake the two. One way to differentiate between them is to catch the culprit crawling in the act.
Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, as cockroaches usually bite during the night time when you sleep. However, there are a few methods you can use to identify the insect responsible for the itchy red marks on your skin.
First, roach bites are bright red and about 1/25 to 1/8 inches in diameter, making them slightly bigger than other insect bites. Additionally, cockroach bites leave only one mark, as opposed to bedbugs’ bites that appear in groups in a straight line.
Another important aspect that separates them is that roach bites can make the skin swell up and become itchy. Sometimes, if the bite gets infected, the area will fill up with pus and become inflamed. As a matter of fact, roach bites can get as large as your entire hand.
What Happens If a Roach Bites You?
Luckily, roach bites are not venomous, meaning they can’t kill you. However, as previously mentioned, their bites can get infected, mostly because roaches carry all sorts of bacteria. If you’ve been bitten by a cockroach and feel itchy for more than one day, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
How to Heal a Cockroach Bite
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Bitten by a cockroach and don’t know what to do? Here are a couple of ways to reduce the itchiness and get rid of the red patch altogether.
1. Wash With Water and Soap
Cockroaches feed on almost everything, meaning that your bite can get infected. To reduce the risk, cleanse the affected area by rinsing it with clean water and soap as soon as you notice the bite.
2. Apply Ice
Insect bites are often itchy, and those caused by roaches are no different. However, scratching can cause the bite wound to reopen and infect the skin’s surface. You can reduce the itchiness by applying a cold compress.
If you don’t have one, you can put several ice cubes into a plastic bag, which you then cover with a small towel. Place it on the bite and let the coldness of the ice do its magic.
3. Use Lemon Juice
Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are a great way to treat cockroach bites. Not only will they reduce the itchiness, but they can also make sure your wound doesn’t swell or become infected. All you have to do is slice the fruit in half and squeeze its juices into a container. Then, dampen a small cloth or a cotton swab in the mixture and apply it to the bite.
4. Buy Antiseptic
While water and soap effectively clean the wound, nothing is better than an antiseptic. However, if ethyl alcohol is too painful for your skin, you can try hydrogen peroxide as an alternative.
People usually use this chemical to get rid of dust and debris that got caught in open wounds. When it comes to roach bites, hydrogen peroxide can kill most of the bacteria in the affected area.
5. Use Some Over-the-Counter Medicine
Sometimes, home remedies might not be enough to treat a roach bite. If the swelling isn’t going down even after you’ve cleaned it, you should buy some over-the-counter medicine from your local drug store.
You can also ask your pharmacist for other ways to deal with cockroach bites, like using topical creams, as they should be able to recommend more effective medicine that can reduce the inflammation faster.
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