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How Dangerous Is a Cockroach?

Last Updated: 20.09.20

 

Besides the fact that these creatures are hideous pests, cockroaches can pose serious risks to people’s health. In case you want to find out more about an effective product that kills cockroaches, you should read one of our recent articles on this topic.  

 

Why are cockroaches dangerous?

These pests are known to be drawn to human food. Therefore, they are a serious cause of food contamination. The fact of the matter is that these insects defecate as well as regurgitate on the food that they consume. 

As if this wasn’t disgusting enough, the process spreads parasites and bacteria which can live inside of them. For this reason, some of the threats posed by cockroaches are bacterial infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria that is particularly found in these pests and can easily be transmitted to humans. 

Another more known bacteria is the Salmonella which can also be spread by cockroaches and it can cause dangerous diseases such as food poisoning and even typhoid. 

These are not the only health risks of cockroaches. Allergic reactions can be worsened by these pests. Actually, these insects are one of the most common allergens reported. Studies have found anywhere in the range of 20 to 60 percent of urban inhabitants suffering from cockroach allergies. The symptoms include itching, but they can go as far as severe asthma. 

Maybe, until now, you only found cockroaches to be disgusting-looking creatures. If you’ve read our article so far, you can understand why so many people consider these insects terrifying pests. You might have thought they might be exaggerating, but not anymore, right? 

We would not be wrong to call these creatures equal-opportunity invaders. They can establish themselves anywhere they can find stable sources of water, food, and, of course, shelter. The bad news is that human homes represent one of the major suppliers of all the above-mentioned cockroaches’ necessities.

A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association revealed that 78 to 98 percent of urban-area homes host these pests. There are even many cases where homeowners do not even detect the presence of these insects. Besides being nocturnal creatures, cockroaches are also experts at hiding. 

Believe us when we say that if you see one of them, many more might be lurking around without you even knowing that your home is infested. Unfortunately, the number of cockroaches invading a home can be alarming. 

 

 

Can cockroaches bite or sting?

Can these creatures be even more of a nuisance? Actually, yes! Cockroaches can bite humans. They do not feed on blood like mosquitoes or bed bugs, nor do they usually bite out of defense. However, if they are hungry enough, they will bite humans as well, both living or dead. 

Cockroaches are not aggressive insects. To put it this way, if you walk into a room that is full of these insects, they are going to flee from your presence and hide as fast as they can. Now, for the really creepy part: cockroaches bites usually occur while you are sleeping. 

Also, the most common bites are on eyelids, as these insects prefer eyelashes and dead skin. However, you might end up with bites anywhere on your skin. 

In case you were wondering, you should know that cockroaches do not have poison or venom. Finally, some good news! If these insects bite, you will see marks that look similar to red welts which are a bit larger than mosquito bites. They can also appear as swellings. 

Even though the wounds generated by cockroaches do not have venom or poison, they can easily get infected because these are dirty insects that usually have dangerous bacteria on their bodies.

 

Cockroaches are disease carriers

Although we have mentioned a few things about this aspect, it is important to understand why and how these insects spread illnesses. First of all, cockroaches run through sewers and also crawl around in dumpsters. 

Moreover, if they enter your house or workplace, they will be drawn to the dirtiest places they can find. For example, if there is rotting food anywhere, be sure that they will find it. They will also visit toilet rims, garbage cans, and in the gap between the oven and the wall. 

I believe we have established just how dirty these creatures are, based on the places they like to crawl around. Moving on, these pests will carry all that harmful bacteria to your dish cabinets, food preparation surfaces, food storage areas, or silverware drawers. 

This is how easy it is for you to ingest various types of hazardous bacteria and parasites and end up suffering from a number of stomach ailments. What is more, when these insects invade a structure, they can generate an increase in asthmatic symptoms for people who are already affected by this physical condition. 

Unfortunately, cockroaches carry and also transmit a large number of pathogens. According to studies in this direction, these insects are linked to the spread of salmonellosis, typhoid fever, cholera, gastroenteritis, dysentery, giardia, listeriosis, E. coli, and even leprosy and plague. 

Still, it is important to mention that cockroaches are not actual vectors for disease, nor are they reservoirs for diseases. According to specialists, they play a supplementary part in the expanse of diseases, and not a primary role.

 

How can pets be affected by cockroaches?

Since cockroaches are dangerous to humans, you might have already guessed that they are harmful to pets as well. They can bite cats and dogs, just like in the case of humans, especially if the animal in question is ill and cannot scratch these pests away. 

However, in most of the situations, the insects view pets as predators and will not come close unless they are very hungry. The serious danger is when these pests share food with your pet. Because roaches carry a lot of diseases and also spread bacteria, they can make your little companion sick by contaminating his or her food. 

In case you suspect that your home has been invaded by cockroaches, it is a good idea to only put your pet’s food down for short periods, during meals. 

 

Are cockroaches dangerous to businesses?

We discussed a lot about the dangers that cockroaches can present to humans and pets, but there is another aspect that needs to be mentioned here. What happens when your business is infested by these pests? 

Their capacity to spread disease makes these creatures high on the checklist for governmental inspectors. If your business is connected to growing, transporting, storing, preparation, or selling of food, and there is evidence of a cockroach infestation, this can lead to a complete shutdown. 

You can suffer serious financial losses. Not to mention lawsuits initiated by other people whose health might have been affected by your situation! 

 

 

Are cockroaches dangerous to properties or belongings?

The answer to this question is debatable but most of the time it is yes. Cockroaches do not eat things, so they would not damage your belongings materially. The problem is that since they are so messy, and they leave their feces everywhere, your things will get infected with who knows what parasites or bacteria. 

Even though it is possible to clean stains left by these pests most of the times, having a cockroach infestation can sometimes lead to property damage that is impossible to recover. 

 

Big numbers

If you read our article up until this point, you can understand that even one cockroach can pose a threat to your and your family’s health. The problem with these creatures is that you will never find just one or only a few. If you see one in your home, chances are you have a huge issue. It is a drop-everything-else-and-deal-with-this-now type of problem. 

These insects like to hide and they are experts. They prefer moist and confined spaces. Also, since they are thigmotropic creatures, they like to feel contact on all sides of their bodies. Therefore, crevices and cracks are perfect nesting grounds for roaches. 

You might find them in places such as wall cracks, underneath sinks, in kitchen cupboards, in drains, behind refrigerators, around water heaters, or in pantries, but there are many other places you might find them in.

The bottom line is that you don’t want any cockroaches near you and your home. There are various things you can do to get rid of them, but that is another topic for a different article. The important thing is, in case you discover an invasion, to take immediate action. 

 

 

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