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The Lurking Medical Dangers of Cockroaches

March 13, 2018

Cockroaches are unsightly pests; that's one thing we all can agree on. Whether you see them crawling over dirty dishes in the sink or under a pile of wood in your yard, cockroaches are a bug that no homeowner wants to see, much less deal with.

While a cockroach infestation may be something no homeowner wants to face, it is important to make sure you keep these creatures from taking up residence in your home. Did you know cockroaches can pose serious health risks to you and your family?

In large numbers, the dangers presented to humans by cockroaches can be drastically increased. They could be hiding in your home and harming you and your family without you realizing it. Here's what you need to know:

Signs Cockroaches Are in Your Home:

An actual sighting

The presence of roach fecal matter. These droppings can vary in appearance from resembling specks of black pepper to coffee grounds.

The presence of cockroach egg cases

Odors. Roaches can produce a pungent, distinct smell that will grow worse the longer the infestation is allowed to go on untreated.

Common Health Risks

Here's a look at the common health risks associated with cockroaches. As we always remind you, if you ever fear your health is being adversely affected by bugs, please seek medical attention and contact a pest control expert immediately.

Asthma & Allergies: Research has shown that cockroach shells, saliva, and droppings can trigger asthma attacks and allergy problems in people who are sensitive to the antigen found in cockroach debris.

Other Respiratory Issues: Roaches molt and shed their skin several times. In large numbers, these skin casts can cause respiratory issues, particularly in the young and elderly.

Transfer of Disease: Cockroaches can transmit many diseases such as Salmonella, which can lead to typhoid fever, diarrhea, and even gastroenteritis. E. Coli, the main cause of food poisoning, can also be transferred by cockroaches.

Worms: In addition to being known to spread 33 strands of bacteria, parasitic worms can also be transferred by cockroaches; six different species to be exact!

Less Common Health Risks

Biting: If provoked, cockroaches may occasionally bite humans. This is usually seen in cases where bad hygiene or poverty have led to a large infestation and a lack of ability to address the problem.

Body Entry: Though extremely uncommon, there are reports of cockroaches climbing inside of the ears, mouth, and nostrils of sleeping, unsuspecting humans.

How it Happens

After receiving all this information, you may still be wondering: how does all of this happen? How do cockroaches cause so many possible health concerns? There are three ways cockroaches can pass disease on to you:

Touch: Touching a cockroach or any cockroach material without washing your hands, you can transmit disease and bacteria to your mouth and other areas of your body, making you slowly come down with a sickness.

Digestion: If cockroaches have, unknowingly to you, climbed over food items in your home, consuming these can lead to infection.

Inhalation: If you have a cockroach infestation which is leading to odors and droppings, the proteins found in cockroach droppings and saliva can lead to sickness when breathed in.

What to Do

If you believe that your home is infested with cockroaches and is causing you or your family health concerns, you need to make two calls: one to the doctor, the other to a pest management company to help prevent the problem from occurring again. Breda Pest Management stands ready to help you and your family with whatever your pest control needs might be. Discover all the info you need to know about cockroaches by downloading our free guide to protecting your home from this pesky pest.