Are Cockroaches Dangerous? Here Are 7 Reasons Roaches Are Bad for Your Health


August 3, 2018 - Brian Reynolds

Because cockroaches thrive in warm, humid, and dark climates, we have more than our fair share of them here in Florida. In fact, Miami is ranked #3 among U.S. cities when it comes cockroaches. There are more than 70 species of cockroaches in Florida. But are cockroaches dangerous? Yes, they are! Here are seven reasons why cockroaches are dangerous and should be treated immediately.

cockroach on a kitchen counter

They Carry Diseases

Do cockroaches carry disease? Yes! With the extreme potential to cause disease, it’s important to understand that cockroaches are unwanted pests for significant reasons–not just because they are creepy. Cockroaches are known to carry at least 30 different types of bacteria. According to the WHO, these diseases include typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, and diarrhea. Breathing in the air infested by cockroaches is enough to inhale any of the bacteria they carry. From everyday illnesses to more serious health issues, being around cockroaches can be the cause of why you don’t feel well.

They Cause Allergies and Asthma

Having a home infested with cockroaches is one of the worst conditions for those suffering from asthma and allergies. Cockroaches and the allergens they carry cause symptoms of asthma to increase in people who already have asthma. These bugs have also been known to cause asthma in people who did not previously suffer from it. Allergy sufferers will also notice more extreme symptoms when cockroaches are present. Their saliva is known to cause skin rashes and sneezing. Those at biggest risk are children and the elderly. If you notice cockroaches in your home, it’s important to take immediate steps to remove them and prevent them from returning. Family and friends will breathe much easier after an infestation has been resolved.

They Might Bite

According to the CDC, cockroaches do not bite. However, a quick Google search about cockroach bites shows that they have been known to bite. Cockroaches will eat just about anything. It could be reasoned that they might nibble on a toe, a hand, or an ear. If you think you have a cockroach bite, you might see redness and some skin irritation. Keep it clean and keep an eye on it. Rest assured, cockroaches are not venomous. A bite should not be cause for serious concern.

They Are Dirty

It might be an obvious question to ask, but are cockroaches dirty? Yes! They love dirty, smelly things. You’ll find them in dumpsters, around feces, and in spoiled food. Bacteria, dirt, and other contaminants cling to their legs and body. As they crawl around, they carry these things with them, leaving a trail of unsanitary conditions. To help eliminate the appearance of cockroaches in your home, it’s important to keep it clean. A lack of clean conditions is one of the leading causes of cockroaches in a home or building. Dirty dishes in the sink, an overflowing trashcan, or a bathroom sink, tub, or toilet that needs to be cleaned will attract cockroaches. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters with a cleaning solution to make those areas less attractive to cockroaches. Keep floors vacuumed or swept and mopped. Keeping your outdoor areas free of animal feces or discarded trash will also discourage cockroaches from coming close to your home.

They Poison Food

Cockroaches are scavengers. And as we mentioned above, they will eat anything–from fruits and vegetables to meat and cheese. All they need is access. That’s why cockroaches are often found in the kitchen and pantry. An open cereal box or food container is a welcome invitation to have a meal. As they crawl into an open food source, they leave behind their own waste. Anything you eat or consume that has been touched by a cockroach can lead to sickness. Keep all food sealed tight and put away. Toss out any food that is old or rotting (and be sure it goes in your outside trash container or dumpster). The best way to keep food safe from cockroaches is to be sure they can’t get to it.

They Can Invade Your Body

It’s the thing of horror stories. We think it doesn’t happen, then read about a cockroach that crawled into a Florida woman’s ear. Ears and noses are ideal environments for a cockroach–dark, damp, and usually dirty. Once a cockroach gets in your ear canal, it can be difficult to get it out without crushing it or before it lays eggs. As if the idea of a cockroach in your ear isn’t bad enough, the lasting health implications can be serious, including hearing loss or infection.

They Have Family (and Friends)

You’ve probably heard that if you see one cockroach there are many more hidden where you can’t see them. While the natural lifespan of a cockroach is only a matter of weeks to a couple of months, they breed at an alarming rate. A female cockroach produces hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. If not caught early and taken care of immediately at the first signs of cockroaches, an infestation can quickly spread. The larger the infestation, the more difficult it is to find the sources and exterminate completely. And we know that where cockroaches exist, other pests (including mosquitoes or ants) likely also exist.

Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

Yes, but they can be eliminated. The preferred course of action is to never have a cockroach problem in the first place. But sometimes even the best preventive measures aren’t enough. At the first sign of a problem, act fast. We offer free, no-obligation inspections and complete pest control services. Our professionals will locate the problem and recommend a solution to treat the immediate need and protect your home or business long-term. During our inspection, we’ll look for any additional pest issues, including mosquitoes and another major nuisance here in Florida: big head ants. Our trained professionals will identify the behavior of these invasive ants and treat them effectively. You’ve read here the answer to the question “are cockroaches dangerous?”. They are, but Reynolds Pest Management has helped many happy customers and we are here to help you

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