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What diseases do cockroaches cause?

Unlike mosquitoes and ticks, which cause diseases in humans and animals directly through their bites, cockroaches only indirectly cause diseases. Like domestic flies, cockroaches spread germs that can cause certain diseases due to their dirty habits. Believe it or not, cockroaches can kill you if you’re careless.

Cockroaches act as reservoirs of bacteria. The places they visit, such as sewers and bins, as well as the fact of eating raw meat and animal feces, means that they can accumulate bacteria easily and frequently.

These are some examples of diseases and infections that cockroaches spread: E. Coli, Salmonella, Typhoid Fever, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, Cholera, Gastroenteritis, Dysentery and Leprosy.

Cockroach crawling on the ground

Can cockroaches bite?

Although cockroach bites are not something you hear about every day, it does not mean they do not happen. In case you did not know, these animals have a pair of jaws similar to blades, which serve to grind food, dig in the dirt, carry things and defend themselves. In fact, these unpleasant insects are capable of biting up to 50 times stronger than their body weight. Fortunately, these bugs do not always use their biting apparatus to attack, but rather to chew rigid materials such as wood.

However, there have been some cases in which cockroaches attack people, leaving red welts a little larger than those of mosquito bites, which, if they are torn off, usually produce a tremendous inflammation and other complications such as skin rash.

Finally, as we said before, these bites are not very common, but if they happen, it is best to go to a doctor to tell us the most favorable treatment as the case may be.

Asthma is one Diseases cockroaches cause

Apart from diseases such as those mentioned above, these crawling insects can cause asthma. Cockroaches have certain proteins in their bodies that can be an allergen for certain people.

When the tiny particles of the cockroach bodies expand through the air in closed buildings, these proteins, when inhaled, can cause an attack of asthma in sensitive people.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology ensures that saliva, feces and the skin of molting cockroaches can trigger asthma and other allergies.

The National Pest Management Association, in the USA, has carried out studies on the allergens of cockroaches and residences. Their studies show that about 63% of households in the US They contain allergens. This statistic increases for households in urban areas (between 78% and 98%).

asthma inhaler
Cockroaches can cause asthma in some people.

How do cockroaches spread diseases?

So, how do roaches spread diseases?

There are several ways in which cockroaches can spread diseases: through their vomiting, their feces, or through direct contact.

When a cockroach feeds on something that contains bacteria such as a raw piece of chicken, or animal feces, the bacteria will enter your system by remaining inside your mouth, in your saliva, and even inactivated in your digestive system.

When they vomit or defecate, the bacteria can contaminate the place or food where they are deposited.

Moreover, during their transits and while they are feeding they come into contact with dirt, which contains germs, and which they then carry in their bodies. Think of cockroaches as giant magnets for bacteria and viruses! These germs are deposited anywhere they pass and with which they have contact.

What diseases are carriers?

Dysentery: This disease is related to the inflammation of the intestine, usually the colon, causing stomach aches and diarrhea. The severity of the symptoms may vary from the pathogen that causes it.

Anger: Is a type of bacteria called Vibrio cholerae, which is found in cockroaches. Changes in the state of mind and headache and diarrhea, although some people suffer few symptoms or even none at all.

Leprosy: Is caused by another passenger that can be found cockroaches, Mycobacterium leprae. This bad type causes terrible sores on the skin, which, if it is not, can trigger severe disfigurement, as well as cause damage to the nerves of the extremities.

Typhoid fever: is an infection caused by Salmonella typhi, or its cousin Salmonella paratyphi, the cause of the disease, the transmission of meat, water sources and food. The most common symptoms include high fevers, discomfort and pain, diarrhea and lethargy.

Poliomyelitis: One of the viruses that has been observed in cockroaches is Poliomyelitis, more it is known as Polio, which is a severe disease that most children. A person infected by the virus can suffer damage, fatigue, stiff neck, and if the virus invades the nervous system, paralysis.

How do cockroaches cause and spread diseases to us?

It is quite simple, we can get a disease just by eating or drinking anything where the cockroach has vomited, defecated or even where he has walked.

cockroach climbing a wall
Cockroaches are large climbers and carriers of viruses.

Similarly, if you have used any kitchen appliance or utensil such as a cup or dish that has been contaminated by cockroach excrement, there could be a risk of getting sick. The same goes for dish towels and dirty towels.

For asthmatics, the presence of cockroaches in your home or workplace can lead to an attack of asthma or other allergic reactions.

As I have already told you, the skin of cockroaches, saliva and feces contain all the proteins that trigger asthma, so the risk exists only by being in an area and breathing where those substances have been mixed with the air.

How to prevent cockroach diseases?

The best way to prevent cockroach diseases is to apply good hygiene practices.

Properly cooking foods before eating, washing raw ingredients, and regularly cleaning cutlery, cooking utensils and dishes can help eliminate any bacteria and viruses a cockroach may have left.

As for business, good practices to prevent the diseases that cockroaches can spread come hand in hand with compliance with the food safety norms and regulations that are right for each country.

There are specific rules and regulations that help limit the spread of bacteria by cockroaches, and other pests, to ensure that the food produced is safe for human consumption, and the risk of foodborne illness is kept to a minimum.

Learn more about cockroaches