Why are cockroaches hazardous to health

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Why are cockroaches hazardous to health

Why are cockroaches hazardous to health?

Studies have shown that cockroaches produce a dangerous protein and that can cause allergic reactions and can trigger asthma.

Cockroaches carry certain bacteria that can contaminate food with their waste and saliva, cause illnesses, and makes you sick! Food poisoning, diarrhea, and Staphylococcus infections are some of the diseases caused by cockroach contaminated food. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cockroaches are “unhygienic scavengers in human“

There is no record that specific diseases can be linked to cockroaches however they do carry around microorganisms that can cause intestinal diseases, such as: Dysentery, diarrhea, leprosy, plague, cholera and typhoid fever, and viral diseases, such as poliomyelitis.

Gastroenteritis an intestinal infection is the most common disease spread by cockroaches and can cause diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. There are also other diseases caused by cockroaches, including:

  • Salmonella
  • Polio
  • E.coli
  • Enterococcus

Additionally, if you have symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, bloating, dysentery, sneezing, wheezing, muscle and joint pain, you could be infected with parasitic worm larvae that cockroaches carry around in their bodies

Fact: There are 33 kinds of bacteria that can be spread by cockroaches, including E. coli and Salmonella, six parasitic worms, and more than seven other types of human pathogens.

When a cockroach scratches you with its heavy leg spines, it can become infected because of the bacteria carriers.

Did you know that according to the EPA, cockroach allergies are more common to be picked up by children than adults?

Thus, it is safe to say that cockroaches can cause many health problems.

7 ways cockroaches are bad for your health

  1. Food contamination: Cockroaches eat everything including dead plants animals, fecal matter, glue, soap, paper, leather and even strands of fallen hair. While crawling around at night, Cockroaches contaminate open food by discharging feces from the body, lying down empty eggshells, hair and, dead skin in the food.
  2. Inoculation of disease-causing bacteria: While feeding, cockroaches vomit their saliva and digestive fluids from their mouth to inject your food with germs or bacteria. Studies have shown that in the gut of cockroaches we can found that the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa can multiply and, can cause diseases like urinary tract infections, digestive problems and sepsis.
  3. Cockroach bites: These cases are rare but cockroaches can be found to nibble on fingernails, toes and, soft parts of the skin causing open wounds, mostly when it is heavily infested. Humans are bitten by some species of cockroaches.
  4. Invasion of body parts: When you are sleeping cockroaches can invade by entering the ear or nose. Small cockroaches can readily enter body orifices If you’re in a deep sleep small cockroaches can enter your body part through your mouth cavity.
  5. Food poisoning: Typhoid and food poisoning can be caused by the bacterium Salmonella that gets carried around by cockroaches.
  6. Allergies: Cockroaches can cause allergies by transferring bacteria through roach saliva and you may suffer from skin rashes, sneezing and, watery eyes.
  7. Asthma: If you have asthma, cockroaches can be your worst enemy. You can get an asthma attack if your house is infested with cockroaches. People may develop cockroach asthma by inhaling cockroach allergens.


Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications, to deal with cockroach allergies, such as:

  • OTC medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal corticosteroid spray
  • Prescription medications
  • Cromolyn sodium
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists
  • Desensitization treatments

Your doctor may also prescribe bronchodilators or anti-inflammatory medication if you have asthma.

Further Reading

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