Are Hissing Cockroaches Dangerous? Do They Bite?

As a pet owner, you frequently handle your little friend, the hissing cockroach. While doing so, or letting other people do so, your concern may be whether they pose any danger to you or your loved ones.

So, are hissing cockroaches dangerous? Hissing cockroaches are not dangerous, and it is unheard of for them to bite their handlers, given how timid they are. Their mouthparts are not modified enough to bite into the human skin. However, you may find them nibbling at your skin, especially when you have moisture or food particles on your hands, but this will not be painful since there is no wound or irritation. Moreover, if they feel threatened, their first instinct is flight, not fight. So, you don’t have to worry about them biting you or your loved ones.

In the coming sections, we will delve deeper into the dangers, if any, caused by the hissing cockroaches. We will examine their lifestyle, behavior when they feel threatened and whether they can carry or transfer diseases. Read on as we take a closer look at these incredible creatures.

Do Hissing Cockroaches Bite Humans?

The hissing cockroach is best known for its docility and friendliness to humans. Therefore, they do not bite or cause any serious threats to humans. If you look at their jaws or mouthparts, you realize that they cannot cut into human flesh. However, just like any other roaches, they are drawn to food particles and water; if you have lingering food or moisture on your hands while handling them, they are likely to try nibbling at your skin.

The good thing is that a hissing cockroaches jaws are so weak that they cannot tear into the skin. You will not feel a pinch, and they won’t leave any wounds behind.

The cockroach’s diet consists of plants and sometimes meat; thus, some species are known to bite and feed on human flesh. When food is scarce, they are likely to resort to dead skin. For living humans, some bite fingernails, hands, and feet. These bites are dangerous and are likely to cause wounds or irritation to the victims.

Similarly, they are likely to cause diseases and infections unless you treat them. When you want to keep a cockroach pet, it is logical to worry about the dangers it poses, not just to you but also to your family, especially children. You would want to be cautious if, indeed, there are cases of biting. So can the hissing cockroach bite?

If you were worried that it would bite you, rest assured that it is not possible. The insect is generally meek; hence, many find the animals to be brilliant pets. Moreover, since they don’t bite, they cannot transfer serious infections to you. Besides, if they feel threatened, their resort is flight, so you need not worry that they will attack anyone who handles them. Moreover, hissing cockroaches will only hiss when aggravated, which is not a severe attack on us humans.

Do Hissing Cockroaches Carry Diseases?

Hissing cockroaches rarely carry diseases. When you keep them as pets, you can easily monitor their movements, so you are sure they won’t contact harmful substances. You can regulate what they eat and the hygienic conditions of their environment. Moreover, when you have placed substrates such as wood chips, you ensure that you reduce bacteria growth chances.

There are thousands of cockroach species in the ecosystem, each with a specific adaption; some survive in the wild, while others dwell in buildings. Of the many varieties, only a few can transfer severe diseases to us, especially when they live in buildings where humans reside.

Such species include the American and German cockroaches. They easily carry harmful pathogens, given their bodies and habitats. Similarly, since they are omnivorous, they are likely to eat most things they come across, including fecal matter. If they do so and also contact fresh human food, they pose serious health concerns to us.

Also, when you frequently clean their enclosures and their bodies, you significantly lower bacteria build up. It would also help to keep looking out for food leftovers and dead roaches that may cause bacteria. Unlike their counterparts that scavenge on any food, your pets do not harbor such pathogens.

Generally, the hissing cockroach does not carry or transmit severe infections to humans. However, given their exoskeleton structure, they are breeding grounds for molds and fungi, lethal if you are allergic or asthmatic. Therefore, when you handle them, you need to be careful by practicing proper hygiene.

Make a habit of washing your hands with soap and water immediately after holding them, especially before eating. Similarly, avoid touching sensitive parts of your face after contacting them, like the eyes and nose. Therefore, it will help if you bring your entire friends and family on board so that they handle them with care and not transmit any allergens around.

Are Hissing Cockroaches Clean or Are They Dirty

The hissing cockroach does not have a high affinity to dirty environments such as sewers or dirty structures. Even in the wild, you will notice that they stick to relatively cleaner locations. They prefer sanitized environments, unlike some of their cousins. Moreover, when living in the wild, their role is to digest matter and convert it back to the environment through excretion.

So far, we have noted that the hissing cockroach is very different from the regular house roaches, and based on their status as pets, it makes them even more appealing and lovable.

Another advantage over the house roach is that the hissing cockroach is generally less susceptible to germs. Thus, they can observe and maintain higher sanitation standards than most cockroach species. On the plus side, when you keep them as pets, you can help them retain their usual hygienic standards.

First, you need to ensure that their home is always clean to reduce the germ and bacteria build up in their surroundings. Always clean out any food particles or dead roaches that are bacteria breeding grounds. By eliminating dirt in their home, you also significantly reduce mite infestation.

As much as the help to clear out food remnants from the insects’ exoskeleton, they can be an unwanted addition to your cockroach’s home. They are also irritating when they land on you as you pet your insects. To get rid of them, you can bathe your pets in flour then rinse them by spraying.

Secondly, you need to regularly provide them with fresh food and water to avoid feeding on the decayed matter. The hissing cockroach loves a clean environment, so if you maintain hygiene standards, they will breed and thrive better.


Perhaps one reason why the hissing cockroach makes a great pet is that it is very gentle and hygienic. If you previously had reservations about the hissing cockroach, there is no need to worry anymore. They will not pose any serious dangers to you, your friends, or your family.

Given that they are unlike the house roach, they are more hygienic, so you are confident that they won’t harbor harmful pathogens and transfer them to others. They also do not bite humans, so your children can safely pet them without you worrying about wounds or irritation.

However, the roach is prone to molds and mites due to its exoskeleton’s nature; therefore, as much as they are generally hygienic, it would help if you were cautious when handling them. Practice thorough hygiene whenever you hold them, especially if you are asthmatic or allergic to mold and fungi.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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