technician inspecting for cockroaches

When a hundred cockroaches come running out from under a refrigerator, it's enough to cause most people to go into cardiac arrest, but this isn't how cockroaches present a threat in homes and businesses. Sights like this are rare (if you don't watch a lot of horror movies). The threats cockroaches present are more subtle. Let's take a look, and you can decide how dangerous cockroaches are.

6 Reasons You Don't Want Cockroaches in Your Home or Business

  • Roaches spread bacteria. Studies show that cockroaches are able to spread more than 33 kinds of bacteria, including Salmonella, E. coli, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. This is because they crawl around in or on dumpsters, trash cans, bathroom areas, sewers, compost piles, dead animals and other dirty places where bacteria can be found.
  • Roaches spread viruses. There are more than 7 human pathogens that can be spread by cockroaches. Polio, or poliomyelitis, is one of them. It is a potentially deadly virus that has crippling symptoms, including brain swelling and paralysis of the body.
  • Roaches spread parasitic worms. There are 6 parasitic worms that have been directly culled from cockroaches gathered in urban environments. They are Ascaris, Trichuris, Capillaria, Toxocara, hookworm, and Eimeria. There may be more.
  • When these worms get into the digestive tract of a human, they can lead to significant illness.
  • Roaches trigger asthma. In a study conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, it was found that the presence of cockroaches in homes increased the number of hospital visits for asthma-related sickness. Children and the elderly were the hardest hit.
  • Roaches are hard to kill. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Well, in the case of cockroaches, what doesn't kill you can be carried on your body or in your gut and kill someone else. Along with all of the scary organisms cockroaches can spread around, they can also pick up toxic chemicals and spread them around. Cockroaches have the ability to develop skins that are resistant to chemicals as they develop from larvae to adults. This can make them a mechanical vector for pretty scary stuff. If they go from a pool of chemicals in a sewer system to your food storage shelves, it can result in serious illness. More often, however, they don't have to travel far to carry harmful chemicals into your food storage. If you spray pesticides in your home or business to control pests, these insects could bring those chemicals into places you didn't spray. Do you see the problem?
  • Roaches bite. When a population of roaches grows too large, these insects can start biting people. Usually, bites occur on the eyelids as roaches prefer to feed on the dead skin in eyelashes rather than feed on living skin tissue. They'll also target feet or hands where dead skin can be found.
  • Cockroaches are mobile. If roaches were dirty insects with no ability to bring harmful organisms, pathogens, and parasites into man-made structures, they wouldn't be a threat but roaches are highly mobile insects. They can climb walls, run across ceilings, squeeze through gaps a third their size, and some have the ability to fly. If this isn't enough, cockroach larvae from some species are small enough to fit through the eye of an outlet. These are extraordinarily difficult insects to keep out.

What makes cockroaches so dirty? They're not born dirty, are they? Well, some are. Cockroaches have a propensity for allowing their eggs to hatch in dirty places so their larvae have plenty of rotting organic matter to eat. This quickly exposes them to harmful bacteria. Cockroaches also have a propensity for feeding on the dung of animals and humans. This extremely unsavory dietary choice exposes them to more than just bacteria.

So what do you think? Do cockroaches sound dangerous? They certainly can be. That is why no property owner should allow these insects to go untreated.

If you're seeing cockroaches or finding evidence that you have a cockroach infestation, reach out to us. American Pest Solutions uses trusted strategies and EPA-approved products to eliminate cockroach infestation in homes and businesses. We serve the Greater Hartford and Greater Springfield areas with customizable solutions to difficult pest control problems, like cockroach infestations.

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