Not The Pest Thing: How Roaches Harm Your Health

Are roaches unhealthy to have in your home? Most likely. Read about the infections and problems they cause and how to get rid of them.

How Roaches Are Dangerous and What to Do to Get Rid of Them

People tend to cringe when we hear about, see, or get crawled on by a cockroach. To get repulsed by these bugs would be a normal response, considering how roaches bring harmful effects with them. According to The Health Site, cockroaches are carriers of bacteria and infections, which could cause food contamination and life-threatening diseases. Households or families with children or members prone to sickness should take this to heart. To further stress the dangers roaches bring, the National Pest Management Association mentions that 63 percent of US homes have cockroach allergens. In implementing anti-pest control measures at home, it helps to know exactly what harmful effects roaches bring.

What is Escherichia coli?

According to Rentokil, Escherichia coli can be spread by roaches and cause food poisoning. Symptoms of those who've been food-poisoned are fever, muscle aches, chills, and nausea. Although these symptoms don't require medical support, getting bogged by E. coli infections in the middle of the week could hassle you, your workmates and your loved ones.

What are the symptoms of Salmonellosis?

Salmonella bacteria causes diarrhea, vomiting, and fever in humans. It is believed that the bacteria gets accumulated by cockroaches who feast on contaminated food. Scientists explain that the Salmonella could stay within the roaches' digestive system for months, which would then exit through the roaches' vomit or feces. There can't be a more disgusting way of contamination than this.

How Leprosy may be spread by roaches

The Mycobacterium leprae bacillus also gets spread by cockroaches, causing leprosy if it enters the human body. Left untreated, the bacteria could worsen the person's condition even though it's not highly contagious. The patient's skin, eyes, and nerves could suffer permanent damage and leave the person disfigured or deformed.

Can Dysentery be caused by roaches?

Diarrhea with blood or Dysentery is another disease that could be a result of roach infestations. It is transmitted through poor hygiene and consumption of contaminated food. Once a person gets beset with dysentery, they would produce wet excrement filled with blood and mucus. Their stomach would experience painful cramps, and nausea or vomiting could accompany it.

How Cholera Is Caused By Roaches

Cholera is a more deadly diarrheal infection spread by roaches, usually contracted through eating contaminated food and drinks. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.4 million cases of cholera are documented each year, resulting in up to 140,000 deaths. It's also alarming that more than half of the people infected don't develop any symptoms. Those who do exhibit symptoms have acute watery diarrhea and severe dehydration.

How Allergies are aggravated by roaches

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology explains that cockroaches cause allergies if a person comes into contact with their saliva, shed skin, or fecal matter. Symptoms might include skin rashes, watery eyes, and sneezing. Studies also show that 23 to 60 percent of people suffering from asthma show sensitivity to cockroach allergens. This reinforces how urgent pest control is for households that have allergic family members.

What are the symptoms of Listeriosis?

Cockroach infestations also result in Listeriosis, which is touted by the Center of Disease Control as an important public health problem in the US. Pregnant women, newborn children and the elderly are susceptible to this infection due to their weak immune systems. While listeriosis is confined to the gastrointestinal tract, symptoms would include fever, diarrhea, and muscle aches. Once it spreads, however, those infected could experience loss of balance, confusion, headaches, and stiff neck.

How Typhoid Fever Can be spread by roaches

This bacterial infection runs rampant in areas with dismal sanitation and lack of clean water. Children and the elderly are most prone to typhoid fever, which is something families should take note of. Symptoms of typhoid fever include head and muscle aches, constipation, diarrhea, exhaustion, high temperature, and stomach pain.

Why Pests Are So Dangerous In the Home Environment

By now, it's pretty clear that roaches bring with them life-threatening diseases to an infested household. These include infections like E. coli, Salmonellosis, Leprosy, Dysentery, Cholera, Allergies, Listeriosis, and Typhoid Fever, among others. Nothing gets worse than the pest thing, as it endangers your health and inconveniences guests. Families who have pregnant women, newborn children, and seniors need to exert effort in pest control, be it through spraying pesticides, cleaning dark and dirty corners, or enlisting the help of exterminators. Once your home is safe and clean, you'll find pest control as worth investing in.

Resources— The HealthSite, RentokilThe American College of Allergy, Asthma & ImmunologyWorld Health Organization, Center For Disease Control, National Pest Management Association

Share this article