Mosquitoes flying around

What Every Property Owner Ought To Know About The Dangers Of Cockroaches

August 14, 2020

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Cockroaches are an intimidating pest to find on your property because they’re so difficult to remove. Most people know that cockroaches are invasive pests that can cause problems but don’t realize how dangerous cockroaches in your home can be.

While cockroaches are hardy and difficult to eliminate, the biggest risk they pose is the dozens of pathogens they can carry and spread across your home. They are more than just a nuisance pest. Read this guide to discover everything you need to know about the dangers of cockroaches on your property.

What are the dangers of cockroaches to humans?

Cockroaches pose health risks, especially in multi-family properties such as apartment buildings. The longer they’re in a property, the higher your risk of health complications. Cockroaches are known to carry diseases, bacteria, and pathogens that can cause illnesses ranging from mild to severe. They also create unsanitary conditions, quickly contaminating food and everyday items.

Cockroach crawling on a piece of wood

What diseases do cockroaches carry?

Cockroaches have been known to carry around 35 different diseases. These pathogens can affect both humans and animals, making a cockroach infestation equally dangerous for pets. They can also trigger asthma attacks and allergies in some people. Below are some of the most common diseases cockroaches are known to carry:

  • Campulobacteriosis
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Giardia
  • Leprosy
  • Listeriosis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Typhoid Fever

Is it safe to live with cockroaches?

A cockroach infestation should be addressed at the first sign and handled with expert attention. The dangers of cockroaches to humans come not only from the risks posed to people with asthma or because they carry and spread disease-causing germs. Because of their rapid reproduction and preferred living environments, they also cause severe sanitation issues throughout the home as they reproduce. You may find them inside your food pantry, under your sink, or in your cabinets.

Why are cockroaches so good at spreading diseases?

The reason for this is two-fold. First, cockroaches tend to live in places like garbage, sewers, pipes, and around excrement and decay. Secondly, they have spines that look like small spikes coming out of their legs that are great for picking up debris and pathogens.

Once cockroaches make their way inside a building, they spread the germs on their legs and bodies over the surfaces they come in contact with. They often start spreading around your building before you notice they’re there. In homes or apartment units, they hang out in kitchens and bathrooms, contaminating food sources and surfaces people touch often.

An infestation of cockroaches eating food crumbs at night on the floor of an apartment.

What do cockroaches do to humans?

Besides inadvertently spreading diseases, cockroaches typically leave humans alone. Most of the time, they don’t bite humans. They can scratch humans with their leg spines, and because they carry bacteria, a cockroach scratch could potentially become infected. 

When cockroaches eat, they may defecate on their food source and other household surfaces. Their feces contain bacteria, dead skin, and empty eggshells. Cockroach waste is dangerous because it’s small enough to contaminate your food without you noticing.

What do cockroaches do to pets? 

More often than not, cockroaches will leave your dog or cat alone. However, if you have a large infestation and your pets go sniffing after them, they may bite your pet. Cockroach bites on dogs and other pets look like bright red, small, raised bumps.

Identifying a cockroach problem

If you’ve noticed even one cockroach around your home or business, there are probably many more. While you might see a stray cockroach here or there, other signs of an infestation can be easier to pick up on if you know what to look for, such as:

  • Rod-shaped droppings
  • Discarded skins
  • Small egg casings
  • A musty odor
  • Brown smear marks

If you notice any of these signs, you likely have an infestation and should seek professional pest control to remove it. However, if you haven’t noticed these signs yet, there are some steps you can take to help prevent cockroaches in the future.

Here are a few of the best prevention tips:

  • Empty garbage cans often
  • Regularly vacuum and sweep
  • Seal off entry points by checking for holes in screens
  • Clean up food crumbs and drink spills right after they happen
  • Keep your drains clean

Get help with cockroach problems

A cockroach infestation can put your and your family’s health at risk. If you notice any signs of cockroaches around your property, call the pest control experts at Hawx Pest Control. Our trained technicians can provide prevention assistance and are also able to address cockroach infestations in your home. To find out more or book a free inspection, call us today.

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