How Cockroaches Affect your Health

Everywhere cockroaches go, they leave behind filth and disease. Cockroach infestations include feces, saliva, and parts of their bodies that they shed or that fall off. Similar to dust mites, these parts of a roach contain specific proteins or allergens that may cause allergies. They can even trigger asthma symptoms.

In addition to these proteins that the cockroaches naturally carry, there have been studies that examine the pathogens in their bodies. The scary thing is that cockroaches can carry some seriously scary diseases. Salmonella Typhi, which causes Typhoid, has been found in roaches. Poliomyelitis, which causes Polio, has also been found in these insects. They can also cause Dysentery, a disease that causes severe diarrhea that may include bleeding.

Cockroaches and Asthma

Did you know that the presence of roaches in homes are linked to childhood asthma?  The National Pest Management Association recently released some startling findings.  Specifically, that insects can spread up to 33 different kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella species.  ¹

Some people with asthma have predisposed conditions, the other half seems to acquire the condition along the way.  Meaning, certain things we breath in, can elicit an allergic reaction.  Things like roach and other insect saliva, droppings, and the decomposing bodies of the roach contain those allergens known to trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, especially in children.

In environments like ours, it’s important to not only keep your house free of cockroaches, but to also dispose of the corpses.  Daily cleaning, limiting food to the kitchen and cleaning dinner dishes nightly are just a few things you can do to limit roach activity in your home. The smallest crumb to us is a nice big sandwich to a tiny roach!

¹ National Pest Management Association
² Partners Healthcare/asthma center