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Thomas

Cockroach "bites"

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I've read a few pest control sites' roach pages in the past, and some mentioned roaches biting people. I thought to myself "What a stupid idea. Every roach site says that that roaches do not bite". Just a minute ago, though, I think I experienced what one would call a roach "bite" from an adult male Blaberus discoidalis. When I handle them, they're usually very jittery and flutter off of my hand, which is really entertaining -the distances they can cover are sometimes beyond what I expect, and I have to go on a little roach hunt to get them back. Anyway, I was handling him and he seemed pretty calm and suddenly, to my surprise, he gave my hand a firm nibble with his mandibles. It scared me a lot more than I thought it would, and I almost flung him off. I think he was trying to eat me as my Pycnoscelus surinamensis often do, but when they do it, it's much more gentle, and they continue to chew for a while before giving up. This discoid, though, gave me a pretty big jump. Interesting behavior; I wonder if they ever use this for self defense?

Has anyone else experienced something like this?

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I got bit once by a discoid, I had food on my finger and it bit down and was a hard pinch it hurt slightly but no blood. Other than that accident I never have been bit.

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I've experienced the same thing with millipedes... Just a nibble. I think they're just trying it out.

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I got bit by a Parcoblatta which stucked in my clothes; obviously it was a defense behavior. Felt like being bit by a carpenter ant.

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When I first received my hissers (G. portentosa), one of the specimen bit me hard while I was taking pics of him on my hand. It didn't draw any blood but it did hurt more than I expected.

He probably thought that my finger was a food. lol

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I've never been bitten by my hissers, but I was once nibbled by a huge peppered roach (A. tesselata) at a ferret show. Some zoo experience team had turned up to do some handling/discussion presentation with some meerkats, a skunk, an armadillo, a fruit bat and a whole range of roaches, so I had a play with all of them, most were fine, but the peppers were super nibbly.

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Great. Thank you all for scaring the crap outta me. :P The whole point of roaches was so I wouldn't be bit by feeder food like the crickets have done in the past!

(That said, never been bit by a roach. Been stabbed by leg spines on many many occasions. Those things hurt like crazy when they dig in, and then always end up infected for a few days so it's the stab that keeps on giving.)

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Great. Thank you all for scaring the crap outta me. :P The whole point of roaches was so I wouldn't be bit by feeder food like the crickets have done in the past!

(That said, never been bit by a roach. Been stabbed by leg spines on many many occasions. Those things hurt like crazy when they dig in, and then always end up infected for a few days so it's the stab that keeps on giving.)

Trying to contain a Gyna lurida between your hands is like holding a hedgehog between your fingers, let me tell you.

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I don't keep many species, but none have seem inclined to bite me so far. Even shaking the orange heads in a bucket (nymph sorting) doesn't incite any biting. It may be because I do not try to restrain them? Like previously mentioned, doing so would only make most of the roaches kick harder. I keep and handle Parcoblatta spp., I've never seen them be anything but docile and sometimes skittish (degree depends on species and sex).

This is is one of the reasons I won't go back to crickets. All orthoptera seem too inclined to bite and they try to bite hard when they do it.

As for skin irritation from leg spines, most roaches will poop and kick when frightened so maybe that can lead to someone getting minor infection from the scratches? I'm sure everyone washes their hands after handling their roaches, but for those with more sensitive skin maybe scrubbing with an antibacterial soap right afterwards would help?

I don't have that problem, I just get itchy from the scratches.

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I can't say I've ever been jabbed with the leg spines, even when I've had to restrain them for whatever reason, I feel lucky now.

To be honest, in my experience any bites from roaches certainly doesn't seem to be a defensive thing, more of an experimental nibble to see whether you're edible :P

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From my experience working in pet stores, my answer to "does it bite" is "anything with a mouth can bite..."

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I've read a few pest control sites' roach pages in the past, and some mentioned roaches biting people. I thought to myself "What a stupid idea. Every roach site says that that roaches do not bite". Just a minute ago, though, I think I experienced what one would call a roach "bite" from an adult male Blaberus discoidalis. When I handle them, they're usually very jittery and flutter off of my hand, which is really entertaining -the distances they can cover are sometimes beyond what I expect, and I have to go on a little roach hunt to get them back. Anyway, I was handling him and he seemed pretty calm and suddenly, to my surprise, he gave my hand a firm nibble with his mandibles. It scared me a lot more than I thought it would, and I almost flung him off. I think he was trying to eat me as my Pycnoscelus surinamensis often do, but when they do it, it's much more gentle, and they continue to chew for a while before giving up. This discoid, though, gave me a pretty big jump. Interesting behavior; I wonder if they ever use this for self defense?

Has anyone else experienced something like this?

Funny I had Blabberous Discoid for three years. Handled them many times and never got bit. Plus on a side note I lived with German for 11 years and got bit no more than twice of all the times they crawled on me. Same with the German I keep and rescue now when I clean their cage, no bites yet; same with 3 Hissers.

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I don't keep many species, but none have seem inclined to bite me so far. Even shaking the orange heads in a bucket (nymph sorting) doesn't incite any biting. It may be because I do not try to restrain them? Like previously mentioned, doing so would only make most of the roaches kick harder. I keep and handle Parcoblatta spp., I've never seen them be anything but docile and sometimes skittish (degree depends on species and sex).

This is is one of the reasons I won't go back to crickets. All orthoptera seem too inclined to bite and they try to bite hard when they do it.

As for skin irritation from leg spines, most roaches will poop and kick when frightened so maybe that can lead to someone getting minor infection from the scratches? I'm sure everyone washes their hands after handling their roaches, but for those with more sensitive skin maybe scrubbing with an antibacterial soap right afterwards would help?

I don't have that problem, I just get itchy from the scratches.

You mean crickets bite? I've never had that happen either.

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I'm not talking irritation - I'm talking full on bleeding from getting them sunk into skin. Plus, they're puncture wounds so any bacteria that was on the spines is then lodged in there. I got nailed so badly by an immature aleuropoda three weeks ago that I had to take oral antibiotics for a few days to get the swelling down in my thumb!

My adult male hybrid hissers are the worst. They know they can kick can and cause damage, so that's their first reaction when they're touched. The only way I can handle them safely is to get a finger under their head and then flip them on their backs so I can then scoop them up.

http://wodesorel.hermitcrabgarden.com/images/Roaches/hybrid%20spikes.jpg

And the aleuropoda:

http://wodesorel.hermitcrabgarden.com/images/Roaches/aleuropoda%20spikes.jpg

And yes, crickets bite. I got wammied by an adult male once and it hurt like heck and bled like crazy. I will not handle adults bare handed anymore, although I will still pick up the younger ones up to about a 1/2 inch as they don't seem to be able to do it. I found photos on a forum once where someone had a feeder cricket die with it's mandibles fully stretched out. It was an adult male, and those things were wicked big. (Never have been able to find that photo since!)

Edit: links work now!

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I'm not talking irritation - I'm talking full on bleeding from getting them sunk into skin. Plus, they're puncture wounds so any bacteria that was on the spines is then lodged in there.

I wonder if your skin is a bit softer than mine? And, I did understand that you meant scratches and small puncture wounds, that's why I suggest an antibacterial soap. Its a bit odd that your reaction is enough to cause that amount of swelling, though. I wonder if there's not an allergic dermatitis type reaction happening, too? It could be from bacteria or from the roach frass (proteins in it) itself.

I've had house crickets bite, though those bites weren't more than roughing up my skin a little. I've not handled the adult Jamaican field crickets or banded crickets that are used now.

I've had numerous grasshoppers sit on me and suddenly decide to bite/attempt to chew on me - large birdwings hurt and can draw blood. I've also had a tiny little bush cricket, sitting on the back of my hand, suddenly bite me. It felt like a needle poke. My thoughts are that orthopterans may have harder mandibles than roaches due to diet.

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I wonder if your skin is a bit softer than mine? And, I did understand that you meant scratches and small puncture wounds, that's why I suggest an antibacterial soap. Its a bit odd that your reaction is enough to cause that amount of swelling, though. I wonder if there's not an allergic dermatitis type reaction happening, too? It could be from bacteria or from the roach frass (proteins in it) itself.

I've heard a bit about a normal fungal growth on the body of roaches causing allergic reactions in some people, could that have something to do with it?

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I'm not talking irritation - I'm talking full on bleeding from getting them sunk into skin. Plus, they're puncture wounds so any bacteria that was on the spines is then lodged in there. I got nailed so badly by an immature aleuropoda three weeks ago that I had to take oral antibiotics for a few days to get the swelling down in my thumb!

My adult male hybrid hissers are the worst. They know they can kick can and cause damage, so that's their first reaction when they're touched. The only way I can handle them safely is to get a finger under their head and then flip them on their backs so I can then scoop them up.

http://wodesorel.her...brid spikes.jpg

And the aleuropoda:

http://wodesorel.her...poda spikes.jpg

And yes, crickets bite. I got wammied by an adult male once and it hurt like heck and bled like crazy. I will not handle adults bare handed anymore, although I will still pick up the younger ones up to about a 1/2 inch as they don't seem to be able to do it. I found photos on a forum once where someone had a feeder cricket die with it's mandibles fully stretched out. It was an adult male, and those things were wicked big. (Never have been able to find that photo since!)

Edit: links work now!

OH WOW!!! I guess I'm fortunate that I only raise German. Though they may not be as big and colorful as some of the exotic, their normally really gentle. Even when they do bite once out of a million times, it only hurts for a few seconds and doesn't leave damage, probably due their smaller size. Plus they're pretty enough.

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You mean crickets bite? I've never had that happen either.

Long story short, I had to put a cricket in between my lips while I got a reptile ready for force feeding, holy eff do they bite!

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i once caught a american roach in florida that bit me. it did not hurt, but it shocked me! i also have been nibbled on by a darkling beetle, wich is also not supposed to bite you!

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Just got nibbled hard by not one but two Aeluropoda insignis. In their defense they were in the middle of a territorial fight, and I had just fed my snake so my hands smelled like dead rat. Not sure which of the two was the trigger, but I jumped when it happened! :lol: i don't want to call it a flat-out bite, but it was slightly uncomfortable.

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I got bitten by a male Blatta lateralis once, as I let it climb on my finger. It wasn't defensive for sure. It either wanted to take a taste of me or it was hungry. Didn't hurt of course, but it was nasty and disgusting! I punished the roach later, as it was fed to one of my geckos! :P

Crickets and superworms bite much worse...

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