Yes, in the literal sense, bed bugs and roaches can live in the same house, but it is unlikely that they will be in the same area. This is because roaches will eat anything to survive, and that includes bed bugs and bed bug eggs. But if the roaches are in the kitchen, and the bed bugs are in the bedrooms, these two species can both exist in one household.
Can bed bugs and roaches live together?
Yes, you can have both pests in your household at the same time. They tend to live in different parts of the house because of where their food sources are situated. Bed bugs prefer sleeping quarters and fabric furniture, while cockroaches like to stay in the kitchen.
They both thrive in homes with poor hygiene. Bed bugs have more things to infest in cluttered homes, while cockroaches like to feed on garbage.
They do not have an overlap in things that they eat since bed bugs survive on blood, while cockroaches eat garbage and leftover food.
But cockroaches have been observed to eat bed bugs and bed bug eggs when in a pinch. This is why cockroaches have survived for millenia, because they will eat literally anything.
Cockroach vs Bed Bug differences
Adult cockroaches are much bigger than adult bed bugs. They are around three inches long while adult bed bugs are only about the size of an apple seed. Cockroaches are simply wider and longer than bed bugs.
Cockroaches may be bigger but do not discount the damage smaller bugs can inflict, because they are much harder to get rid of.
Bed bugs need to bite the humans in the household because that is their only source of sustenance. Bed bugs feed every seven days, so they only ever bite then, so if you have multiple new bites everyday, that means you have a pretty sizable bed bug infestation to take care of.
When a bed bug bites you, you are not going to feel it as it is happening because their saliva has an anesthetic component. This allows the bed bug to feed without alarming the host. The bites will become red,swollen, and itchy welts. The redness and itchiness is due to the histamine response the body has when there is an unknown intruder.
Cockroaches very seldom bite people, if at all. If they do bite a person it is usually because they just want to check if the person is food or not. The instances of roaches biting is when there is no food to be found.
When a cockroach bites, there is no numbing quality, so you are going to notice it immediately. Their bite will also swell up just like a bed bug’s.
Both of the cockroach and bed bug bites may get infected especially if they are scratched too vigorously. Cockroach bites are more likely to get infected, though, because of all the bacteria they have around their mouth.
What they do when humans are around?
Both of these insects keep as far away from people as they can. When they know that the people in the house are awake and walking around, they will hide out under your things.
Bed bugs are too small to try and attack you when you try to kill them. They do not have mouths with teeth to bite you with. They only have a straw-like mouth that cannot do much to defend themselves.
Cockroaches do have mouths to bite you, but they will most probably run away from you instead of fighting back. They are aware that their chances of surviving are much better if they flee rather than fight back.
Cockroaches can fly. Their hard shells open up to reveal wings that can help them fly quite well. They do not use their wings that often, which is why post people are not even aware that they can actually do it. They still prefer to crawl on the ground or on walls, but if they need to make a quick getaway, they will not hesitate unfurling their wings.
Bed bugs cannot fly and can only get around from place to place by crawling. Their ancient ancestors may have had wings, but the modern bed bug does not. Bed bugs spread from house to house by hitchhiking on people’s clothes and belongings.
Even if bed bugs feed on our blood, thus having access to a person’s bloodstream, like mosquitoes, there are no known diseases carried by these insects. One factor may be the fact that bed bugs take the time to completely digest and use up their latest blood meal before partaking in the next one. There is no blood left to transfer to the next person, hence no diseases either.
Bed bugs also tend to not feed on multiple people. If they have a favorite host, they will prefer feeding on that same person each time. This has something to do with the person’s blood type. You see, if a bed bug’s first blood meal is from a person with type O blood, they will only feed on type O blood if they can.
Cockroaches are notoriously dirty, thanks in large part to the fact that they have no problem eating trash or even feces just to survive. Their dirty mouths and bodies will crawl on plates, cutlery, and even food. These will get contaminated and bring about all kinds of diseases, including salmonella and dysentery.
Yes, bed bugs and roaches can exist in the same house because they usually stay in different parts of a house. Bed bugs like beds and anything that is within six feet of a bed to make sure they are close to their food source. Roaches like to stay in the kitchen where they can eat all of the garbage and leftover food they want.
If their homesteads do overlap, bed bugs are a great disadvantage because roaches can eat bed bugs and bed bug eggs if they have no other food available.
Image: istockphoto.com / gan chaonan