Most homeowners aren’t fond of having creepy-crawlers in their house, especially cockroaches. What most folks don’t realize is that not only are these cockroaches an annoyance, they’re also detrimental to the health of those who live in the home. This is why it’s so important for homeowners to get rid of the cockroaches as soon as they realize they’re sharing a home with them. Here are just a few ways cockroaches are harmful to your health.
Contamination of Food
Unlike humans and other species, cockroaches can stay alive by eating just about anything. In addition to the food that we eat every day, they can also eat the following:
- Fecal matter.
Cockroaches prefer to move around at night. While they’re adventuring in your home, they contaminate any food in the open with their hair, dead skin, empty egg shells, and waste.
A gross fact about cockroaches is that they regurgitate their saliva and digestive fluids while they eat. This means when they’re snacking on your food, they leave behind bacteria that were once in their digestive systems. According to one study, the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is known to substantially multiply in cockroaches’ stomachs. Other bacteria that can be carried on the cockroaches’ exoskeletons include the following:
- E. coli.
- Staphylococcus aureus.
The bacteria and parasites carried by cockroaches can cause diseases and illnesses such as:
- Urinary tract infections.
- Typhoid fever.
While bites from cockroaches are rare, and the smoky brown roach will almost always run or fly away from people rather than biting them, some species of cockroaches are known to bite humans. Cockroach bites typically happen when a home is extremely infested. When overrun, cockroaches can bite fingers, toes, and other soft areas of the skin, leaving behind sores. Bites are just one of the many ways that cockroaches are harmful to your health.
Asthma & Allergen Irritants
Cockroaches are known to be detrimental to individuals who suffer from asthma. If you have a cockroach infestation and struggle with asthma, their presence may increase your risk of an asthma attack. Allergic reactions in asthma-prone kids can cause serious reactions, such as:
- Extended increases in bronchial hyper-reactivity.
- Eosinophilic airway inflammation.
If you don’t suffer from asthma, cockroaches can still cause allergic reactions. Many allergens are spread from their saliva and body parts that can trigger reactions such as these:
- Watery eyes.
- Chest tightness.
According to Allergy & Air, many people are allergic to the protein that’s spread from the saliva, shed exoskeleton, and fecal matter of cockroaches. Individuals most susceptible to these allergens include:
- Young children.
- Elderly people.
- Immunocompromised adults.
Cockroaches can be a big hazard to your health and that of anyone else who lives in your home. No one wants to find themselves or their loved ones ill due to a cockroach infestation. If you realize you’re sharing your space with these not-so-harmless insects, it’s a good idea to take action and have them removed right away.