Cockroach Prevention Is Necessary For Protecting Health

Posted: June 21, 2021


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 often signals contamination and uncleanliness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they are “unhygienic scavengers in human settlements.” Here’s what you need to know about the health risks they pose and why cockroach prevention is necessary.

Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

Cockroaches can pose a wide variety of hazards and risks to your home and family. They can carry many pathogens, cause diseases, and act as triggers for other health conditions. According to the National Pest Management Association, 78 to 98 percent of modern homes in urban areas have cockroaches in them. Cockroaches thrive in temperatures above 70 degrees, which is why they’re often found in the American South and in warm places everywhere else.

Food Contamination & Food Poisoning

Roaches can carry up to 33 different kinds of harmful bacteria and pathogens on their bodies due to their tendency to crawl through feces, trash, dead animal remains, and other forms of waste to get access to food sources. When they contaminate food, they often leave these disease-causing pathogens on that food. Some of the major pathogens that they carry include E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. These bacteria, if ingested, can cause food poisoning and other gastrointestinal illness. Some of the symptoms of digestive system infections include diarrhea (sometimes with blood in it), stomach pain and cramping, and vomiting—all for extended periods of time that can last up to several days.


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. They do not bite, but their leg spines may scratch or abrade the surface level of skin and leave bacteria that can cause an infection or allergic reaction.

Also, while cockroaches don’t cause asthma, the allergens they carry and deposit can be a major triggering factor for asthma attacks. If their waste is allowed to stay in the air of a home, it can affect sensitive respiratory systems and cause the difficulty breathing that characterizes asthma.

Other Cockroach Diseases

Cockroaches have been known historically to carry several other kinds of harmful diseases, such as:

  • Dysentery: a severe intestinal infection that usually results in bloody diarrhea, along with fever and cramps.
  • Typhoid Fever: an illness that results from salmonella contamination, typhoid’s symptoms include high fever, headache, stomach pain, and either constipation or diarrhea.

What to Do About Cockroaches

If you’re a homeowner who wants to get rid of or prevent a cockroach infestation, one of the best things you can do is keep your home clean. This can include keeping surfaces clean and sanitary especially while cooking, keeping trash bins sealed, not allowing the buildup of mold and mildew, and using an air purifying system.

There are four primary species of cockroaches to keep an eye out for: German cockroaches, American cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches, and Brown-banded cockroaches. They can be reddish brown to black in color, and are primarily nocturnal, which means they will also hide in dark corners and crevices and flee from light. You may not immediately see them, but if you do, it’s time to take some cockroach control measures.

If you need assistance with getting rid of cockroach problems, our technicians at Dodson Pest Control can help.

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