Are Cockroaches Dangerous? FAQs about the Dangers of Roaches

Posted: August 12, 2022


Cockroaches are a much-hated, disease-bearing pest that can cause a great deal of distress. No one likes to see them in their home, because they’re a filth pest that can indicate unsanitary conditions. Cockroaches are known for being extremely hardy, able to withstand a variety of less-than-ideal living conditions. Because cockroaches gravitate toward damp, dark environments, roaches encounter all kinds of filth and can pose many health risks. If not handled quickly by a professional pest control company, a cockroach infestation can become dangerous.

What kinds of cockroaches are dangerous?

The four most common species of cockroaches are German cockroaches, American cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, and oriental cockroaches. All pose similar health risks, carrying pathogens and cockroach allergens.

Learn More about Types of Cockroaches

Do cockroaches bite?

In some situations, cockroaches may bite humans, but it’s very uncommon. Cockroaches prefer other food sources and will only target humans if there is a severe cockroach outbreak, particularly in urban areas. If a cockroach population has grown to a point where available food sources cannot sustain the colony, the likelihood of cockroaches biting humans will increase. If you notice unexplained bites, fleas or bed bugs are a more likely culprit.

Do cockroaches carry diseases?

Cockroaches carry various diseases, viruses, and bacteria that can be deadly. Cockroaches are known to spread:

  • Dysentery
  • Typhoid fever
  • Salmonella
  • E. Coli
  • And gastroenteritis


According to the World Health Organization, The pathogens that contribute to these diseases can spread through cockroach droppings and shed exoskeletons. Plus, cockroaches aren’t picky about what they’ll eat. As they search for a meal, they will probably rummage through food storage and come in contact with prepping surfaces. This form of food contamination is one of the primary ways cockroaches spread diseases.

Can cockroaches cause allergies?

According to the CDC, cockroaches may be one of the most underappreciated causes of indoor allergens, and may even contribute to asthma rates. Cockroaches have long been known to trigger allergic reactions. Their saliva, shed exoskeletons, droppings, and other waste all contain allergens that, if allowed to spread through a home, could cause a variety of reactions from health-sensitive or immunocompromised people. Cockroaches are also known to cause skin reactions like rashes if they come in contact with bare skin.

How can I prevent cockroaches?

Since cockroaches are able to live in a variety of conditions, preventing them is difficult. However, one of the best things you can do to avoid a cockroach infestation is keeping your home clean. Cockroaches will gravitate toward decaying food and other types of organic matter, so overflowing garbage cans, exposed sources of food including pet food, and even dirty dishes left alone for too long may be appealing. In addition, cockroaches may hide outside the home in degrading wildlife, like rotting wood piles and even gutters.

Do cockroaches cause food poisoning?

Unfortunately, cockroaches are known to contaminate food sources. If left unattended, cockroaches may crawl through dry goods in search of a meal. As they rummage, they may defecate or urinate which can certainly cause gastrointestinal issues if consumed. Cockroaches may also come in contact with countertops, cutting boards, and other preparation areas that can contribute to food poisoning.

What do I do if I have a cockroach problem?

If you have a cockroach infestation, the best thing to do is contact a professional pest control company. While you may be able to get rid of some cockroaches with DIY methods like boric acid or cockroach baits, trained exterminators are able to quickly identify different species of cockroaches to put together an effective treatment plan. Cockroach infestations aren’t just inconvenience — they are dangerous, and finding a way to eliminate cockroaches as quickly as possible should be your top priority.

At Dodson Pest Control, our inspections are always free. We pride ourselves on offering top-of-the-line pest control services, and we are here to help treat any cockroach problems you may have.

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