Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

Cockroaches, the pesky insect that has been around for millions of years, and oftentimes winds up in our homes. These insects have evolved into one of the most resilient pests around today, able to live almost a month without food, weeks without water, and up to one week without its head. Cockroaches choose to live in warm environments near food and water which makes homes and buildings an attractive place to take up residence. These sometimes winged insects can hatch up to 150 offspring a year, making them a difficult pest to tackle. It’s not unknown for cockroaches to be pesky home invaders, but what we want to know is if cockroaches are dangerous or not.


Whether or not cockroaches are dangerous may depend on your definition of “dangerous.” If you are someone who is susceptible to asthma or allergies, these insects may very well cause you a great deal of harm. Cockroaches are also known to carry and spread up to 33 different kinds of bacteria, which can lead to illnesses in humans and animals. This particular type of bug is considered to be a scavenger and can leave surfaces they come in contact with unhygienic. 




If the ability for an insect to bite is what you consider to be dangerous, then you’re safe with cockroaches. Cockroaches are not known to bite, but their legs have the ability to scratch the surface of the skin leaving it open and vulnerable to infection. The legs of a cockroach have heavy spines that can break human skin, leaving bacteria behind.


It is no secret that cockroaches carry bacteria with them as they move along, but they have never been associated with any specific outbreak of disease. However, they have been linked to streptococcus, salmonella, and staphylococcus which are caused when the bacteria they carry is left behind on food. In addition to food related bacterial problems, cockroaches have also been known to spread dysentery, cholera, and diarrhea which affects the gastrointestinal tract. 



Cockroaches are opportunists. They will search and establish themselves anywhere they can find the basics: food, water, shelter. These pesky insects are not selective about what they eat as they have been seen to feed on garbage and any and all food scraps left behind. The place you call home offers the perfect conditions for cockroaches to thrive. Because cockroaches are nocturnal, it’s common most homeowners do not even know they have them. In addition to only coming out at night, these insects are top-tier escape artists and can hide just about anywhere. It is possible you may have a cockroach problem and not even know it. Chances are, if you find a single cockroach, it may not be alone. 



Cockroaches may be more than just a nuisance pest. Due to their unsanitary nature and ability to carry disease, cockroaches can pose a potential threat to the health of you and your family. Cockroaches will breed in sewage systems and then make their way into your home, leaving waste behind. Thirty-three different types of bacteria have been associated with cockroaches, and although they haven’t been directly linked to outbreaks, their involvement in infection spread isn’t too far from the imagination. The pathogens cockroaches carry may not be the main cause in disease, but they certainly play a role. Cockroaches and their disease carrying abilities can cause viral infections and intestinal issues that can be life threatening. 


Individuals that suffer from allergies and asthma may be particularly sensitive to the presence of cockroaches. Cockroaches emit a specific type of allergen that can worsen asthma and even cause attacks in individuals, but mainly children. Asthma is a large cause of hospitalization in children, so it’s especially important to keep homes free of these insects. Many people with allergies may be triggered by the type of protein that cockroaches produce. Waste, moltings, saliva, and dead cockroaches are the main source of these triggers. 



We’ve already established that cockroaches carry diseases and can leave those with asthma and allergies in bad standing, but many wonder if they will be physically harmed by the insect in question. Cockroaches are not poisonous, do not sting and they typically do not bite. Mainly, cockroaches cause worry in many individuals. This worry leads to the growing fear of the insect in what they may do physically, although they may just leave behind scratches. for more information on how our pest control company can help see our home page.