Cockroaches are terrible. Fascinating maybe, but absolutely terrible. Not only do they have a cringe-worthy appearance and disgustingly crunchy outer shell, but they also pose a real threat to human health and sanitation.
Are Cockroaches Dangerous?
Yes, cockroaches are dangerous, often triggering asthma and allergies, or causing diseases such as dysentery, cholera, typhoid fever, and more.
1. Roaches Can Trigger Asthma and Allergies
Through their saliva (gross), feces (grosser), and shedding body parts (somehow even grosser), cockroaches send allergens into the environment. For most people, this causes nothing more than normal allergy irritation. But, a severe allergy to roaches can be really dangerous. Furthermore, their allergens are more common than you would think.
According to the National Pest Management Association, 63 percent of U.S. homes contain cockroach allergens. In urban areas, the figure escalates to between 78 and 98 percent of homes.
If you are noticing prolonged allergy symptoms and don’t know why, it may be beneficial to check your home for cockroaches. Even if you don’t see any, it’s still possible they are everywhere. Which brings us to:
2. It’s Never Only a Few
Seriously, never. If you’ve seen one, chances are you have a huge problem. A drop-everything-else-and-fix-this-now problem.
Roaches love hiding, especially in moist or confined spaces… which is weird. For us, confinement is uncomfortable at best. But roaches, being the freaks they are, love it. That’s because they’re thigmotropic, so they want to feel contact on all sides of their body, making all the cracks and crevices in your home their ideal nesting grounds. Some common places for roaches to hide:
- In wall cracks
- Underneath sinks
- In drains
- In kitchen cupboards
- Around water heaters
- Behind refrigerators
- In pantries
- Underneath stacks of papers or cardboard boxes
- Underneath undisturbed furniture
- In gardens
Essentially, they could quite literally be everywhere. Treating for them is usually a process because it can be difficult to locate all of them. The most important thing is that you take immediate steps towards evicting them from your home.
3. Roaches Carry Numerous Diseases
Have we mentioned yet that cockroaches are filthy?
Because they are. Truly, truly filthy.
They often carry diseases that they can transmit to humans. Roaches pose a very real threat to the health of those in your home. Among the diseases they carry are:
- Typhoid fever
And many more.
Because there is potential for disease transmission, it’s a not a good idea to touch them directly. If you see one, use gloves or call a specialist to help you.
4. Roaches Can Infect You Indirectly
That’s right—they don’t even need to touch you to get you sick. When roaches infest your home, they sometimes get into food and water supplies, contaminating them with all the dirt and germs hitching a ride on their bodies. Consuming infected food or water can lead to serious illness, so if you’ve had an infestation, it’s best to throw out any open food products. Which means, airtight food containers are a good investment to keep food safe from pests.
If you or your immediate neighbors have seen any cockroaches, it’s a good idea to reach out to a professional pest service… ASAP. Humor aside, roaches are clearly not a joke. The infections and allergens they carry are a real issue. Eradicating them from your property is not only preferable but also essential to keeping you and your family safe.