In addition to the fact that the presence of cockroaches in the apartment is simply unpleasant, they can also bite, and quite noticeably - very few people know about this.
Agree, in the modern age it is difficult to imagine the situation in which cockroaches can bite people. Nevertheless, there is undeniable evidence that they can not only superficially eat up the skin in certain places, but also seriously damage the epidermis until the occurrence of wounds, blisters and skin erosions.
It is often possible to find a denial of the fact that homemade cockroaches bite. This is really quite a rare phenomenon, because in any home for these parasites there will always be food sources in more or less free access.
Nevertheless, back in the 60s of the last century, American scientists Roth and Willis confirmed about 20 cases when cockroaches biting and gnawing small fragments of delicate skin on the neck, elbows, eyelids, fingers of sleeping people, especially in children. In tightly sleeping young children, they could eat up skin particles even in the nose and lips area, infecting the wound, and also gnawing cilia on the eyelids.
Above the place of the bite of a cockroach, a crust usually develops, under which the skin becomes inflamed and does not heal for a long time.
I must say that these parasites have a well-organized oral apparatus for eating and gnawing everything that suits them in their food. It includes not only powerful upper and lower jaws, but also hard chitinous "lips", and also a similarity of the tongue, which also consists of chitin, so it is not surprising that not only exotic species, but also domestic cockroaches are able to bite a man deeply enough.
Of course, cases of bites of cockroaches are not as common as bites of mosquitoes, flies, ticks and bedbugs, and to a large extent are caused by a shortage of water, without which, as is known, cockroaches can live only a few days. In search of water, cockroaches can bite people when they sleep and are practically immobilized, without any danger.
Cockroaches try to find water in the leftovers of food around the mouth, in saliva and in tear marks around the eyes. Also, these insects bite (more accurately, eat up skin) sleeping people in cases when their populations become so large that they are not enough to live in freely available food. Such cases were repeatedly recorded on ships, when sailors had to sleep in gloves because ordinary cockroaches gnawed the skin at the fingertips around their nails.
Sadly, bites of cockroaches occur today, in the 21st century, and this happens not only in neglected dwellings, as one would immediately think, and sometimes even in quite decent places like hospitals, dormitories, kindergartens.
In our hostel there are a lot of cockroaches. In our block, we tried to destroy them by various means (from boric acid to aerosols against cockroaches). But on our floor there are students who do not fight at all with these insects, bring food to the block, they do not take out garbage for a long time.
It may seem ridiculous and even fantastic, but recently cockroaches have also bitten. In the mornings I see on my body in the area of fingers and on my face the most real wounds that do not heal for a long time. Before going to bed, I was constantly smeared with a remedy against mosquitoes, and when I went to bed, I carefully examined it every time for the presence of crumbs.
When I tell this to my acquaintances, in response I hear banterings such as that the cockroaches are now completely gone, and the assurance that bites are inflicted on me by bed bugs or ticks. Nevertheless, one day I saw with my own eyes how they creep over the sleeping friend at night. In the morning on her body in the places where cockroaches were crawling, we found small wounds and redness of the skin. What else to take action, just do not know!
Danger of biting the cockroach
Cockroaches in saliva and other secretions contain a special protein tropomyosin, triggering the occurrence of allergic attacks, respectively, after cockroaches have bitten a person, he may have multiple allergic reactions, ranging from hives and ending with an asthmatic attack. However, these are not the only possible consequences of biting of cockroaches:
- After weak or small bites, insect-prone places can become inflamed or covered with a long-lasting crust or scar, allergic skin reactions such as redness, irritation and various dermatitis can occur.
- There arises the possibility of entering into the open wound (even a small one) of bacteria located on the crotch paws, among which may be pathogens of dysentery or tuberculosis.
- It all concerned red cockroaches . But after numerous bites of American and Egyptian cockroaches, accompanied by severe epidermal eating (more typical of tropical people), skin erosions, various blisters and papules accompanied by severe pain, purulent crusts and other pyococcal diseases can occur. In this case, pyoderma (the so-called skin diseases accompanied by abscesses) can, of course, have a rapid course and terminate in a couple of days, but in people with weakened immunity they are able to go on to chronic, poorly healing ulcers.
Myths about bites of cockroaches
In addition to the very real negative effects from biting cockroaches, the people are very popular with some myths associated with these common in everyday life insects:
Myth number 1. Due to the fact that these parasites are not afraid of radiation, but accumulate it in themselves, the bite of a cockroach can cause a mutation.
These insects can really withstand radiation exposure, 15 times higher than the level dangerous to humans, but about any accumulation of radiation, and even more so, about a mutation transmitted through a bite, it can not go
Myth number 2. The bite of a cockroach can cause anaphylactic shock. Allergy in the form of skin itching, lacrimation and even dyspnea is a fairly common reaction to the special substances contained in the saliva of the blood-sucking insect (eg mosquito) or in the venom of insects such as a wasp or a bee. In some cases, even the development of anaphylactic shock is possible.
Since cockroaches as a biological species do not belong to bloodsuckers, the likelihood of anaphylactic shock is just a bite.
However, a variety of cockroaches (chitinous cover, discarded during molting, saliva, excreta) alone can cause a severe allergic attack.
Myth number 3. Human hair, nails and earwax are pet food of cockroaches. Cockroaches are known to be omnivorous, and this myth appeared, apparently because of the cases with the sailors who during the long voyage suffered from numerous bites in the zone around the auricles, eyes, fingertips.
On the other hand, with a large accumulation of cockroaches in the room, one of them may well go in search of food directly into the human auricle. Unable to climb back, he can create a dangerous situation for the health, causing the person pain and creating a risk of damage to the tympanic membrane.
How to treat the bite of a cockroach?
If in the morning on the body traces of bites are found, then first we need to determine which insect left them, and then contact the dermatologist for the appropriate treatment.
Most often, traces on the skin in the form of a path appear from bedbugs, in addition, the places of bites of blood-sucking insects (bugs, mites) are strongly itchy due to special substances in their saliva. If there are doubts that bugs are homemade cockroaches, you should pay attention to whether the bite looks like a small open wound in places where the skin is more tender compared to other parts of the body. You can even compare this rank with photos of cockroach bites on the Internet for more confidence.
In any case, you need to treat the wound with an antiseptic such as hydrogen peroxide to prevent infection, and then use an ointment that removes skin irritation.
From folk recipes: in order to calm the inflamed skin after insect bites, use a slurry of plantain or raw potatoes, lotions of black or green tea.
For allergy sufferers, especially with the already existing allergy to insect bites, it is advisable to take a suitable antihistamine.
Measures for the prevention and control of cockroaches
The most effective means of combating domestic cockroaches is the destruction of their modern industrial preparations.
If it is a question of own apartment or the private house to prevent penetration of parasites into a bedroom and other inhabited zones it is necessary to take as a rule not to eat food and any drinks outside the kitchen, to not suppose stagnation of water in flower pots.
If the cockroaches are wound up in the hostel, it will be necessary to combine the efforts of several blocks, and sometimes even the whole floor, to destroy uninvited guests. You can take advantage of several forms of industrial products, including various traps and insecticidal gels.