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I ate a Cockroach; What to Do?

Sometimes we come across scenarios that we remember for the rest of overlives. The same thing happened to my younger brother when we were camping a few feet from the forest. Around midnight my brother suddenly started to scream. I woke up in distress and asked him what had happened. He was screaming loud, “I think I swallowed a cockroach.” I tried to calm him that it was just a nightmare, but soon we realized he was right.

If you ate a cockroach, follow these guidelines,

  1. Do not panic, stay calm and reasure yourself.
  2. Try to identify the type of cockroach.
  3. Recall, have you any known allergies to cockroach or their body parts.
  4. Have you history of asthma?
  5. If you have any known allergies, immediatly try vommit using a number of techniques.
  6. Contact local health authorties as soon as possible.

About ten cockroaches were lingering around his pillow. When we looked around, we were camping near a cockroach nest. Things went well for my brother as he was with his brother, a doctor(me). However, this might not be your case. Therefore, I have written this article to educate you on what to do if you ate a cockroach accidentally.

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Is swallowing a cockroach harmful?

The pH of acid inside the stomach can reach as low as 1.5. This is strong enough to disrupt bacteria and kill viruses. Any protein touching the stomach’s acid will immediately coagulate.

Furthermore, the pancreatic enzymes are also strong enough to break proteins into amino acids.

A cockroach is primarily made up of protein and a chitin exoskeleton. Chitin is also a biopolymer similar to protein, except humans do not digest it. The good news is that no cockroach on planet earth is poisonous.

Keeping the above facts in mind, the answer to, is swallowing a cockroach harmful? A straight No! The acid will dissolve and kill bacteria & Viruses inside the cockroach.

It is important to know that some people have allergies to cockroaches or their products. Anaphylaxis, a severe allergy, or even death can also occur to some people exposed to roaches(Source).

What to do if you ate a cockroach?

It is scarce for someone to eat or ingest a cockroach accidentally. However, it can still occur. If you have accidentally eaten a cockroach, follow these guidelines,

Step 1: Reassure YourSelf

Almost all cockroaches are nonpoisonous. Some societies even consider roaches as delicacies. Therefore, do not panic. All you need to do is reassure yourself that you will be absolutely fine. There are slight chances that you will be affected at all.

Step 2: Identify The Cockroach

The next important step is to identify the type of cockroach. Small Roaches are more likely to carry diseases such as Typhoid and Paratyphoid fever because they visit sewage more often. On the other hand, Discoid or Red Runner roaches are very safe, even for consumption.

Step 3: Recall if you have Allergies to Roaches

Some people have known allergies to cockroach and their body parts. For example, coffee ground contains roaches and their body parts, inducing an allergic reaction in some consumers. Therefore, it is important to recall an allergy or history of asthma to cockroaches.

The allergy can range from coughing to generalized body rash and even anaphylaxis, as described earlier.

Step 4: Try to Induce Vomminiting

If you are sure that you have a known allergy to roaches, try to induce vomiting. You can induce vomiting by drinking a lot of water and then eliciting the reflex by irritating your throat with a finger.

If you can not induce vomiting or are drunk, do not attempt to induce vomiting. This might be more harmful than the cockroach itself.

Step 5: Contact Your Local Health Authority

If you have known allergies, the most crucial step is to contact your registered physician. If you do not have an allergy, do not worry; contact the health authority if needed. But most likely, you will not need anything except reassurance.

Do you know that some people have an extreme fear of roaches called katsaridophobia? Read this interesting article to learn more.

How to keep roaches away while Camping?

In certain areas such as tropics, roaches are pretty endemic and not only disturb your daily chores but can also transmit disease and flare episodes of allergies,

Therefore to keep roaches away while camping,

  1. If the area is heavily infested with roaches, do not camp in open.
  2. Keep the area around camping site dry.
  3. Pick up clutter, spilled food and garbage around the camping site.
  4. Use Natural Palmetto Bug Repellents to keep roaches at bay.
  5. Cover crevices and gaps in camping tents with masking tape.
  6. In hot season, use mesh tents to prevent roaches from flying inside through tent windows.
  7. Use IGR spray to keep baby roaches from maturing into adult bugs, if you are planing to live for long.
  8. Inspect fire wood before bringing near to camping site.

To know more about camping, visit, an excellent blog with very useful information and tricks.

Can a cockroach survive in a human stomach?

When I was a child, I loved to eat raw rice and pulses. My parents told me not to eat raw rice or else it will grow inside my tummy.

Similarly, some might ask, can a cockroach survive in a human stomach?

A cockroach can not survive in a human stomach because,

  1. The acid inside the stomach will immediatly kill the cockroach because they can reach to a pH as low as 1.5. This enough to dissolve metals.
  2. The Perstalic movement of stomach will crush roaches into pieces.
  3. Inside the stomach the cockroach can’t breath, so will suffocate to death. Although many will die sooner, the cockroach can live without oxygen for 4 hours at most.

Interestingly, Some people think that cockroaches can survive a nuke. Read this article to know if it really can?

Cockroach taste like a crunchy yet smooth Shrimp.

Do you know that many people love to eat roaches? They consider eating roaches delicacy and associate them with good luck and spiritual powers.

Yet we wonder how cockroach taste like? I asked one of my friends that migrated from Vietnam a few years ago. He told me that a fried cockroach tastes like a crunchy yet soft and smooth Fried Shrimp. He also told me that a well-cooked and dressed cockroach would taste like a fried finger fish.

He also told me that cockroach soup tastes similar to lobsters or shrimp.

Additional Read!