According to the National Pest Management Association, more than 60 percent of homes in the United States have cockroaches, and homeowners often don’t know. But are cockroaches dangerous to your health? Yes, they can be, depending on the circumstances.
Some signs you have cockroaches in your home include egg casings, droppings, adult cockroaches, and a musty smell. If you see any signs, address the problem immediately to help prevent future infestations.
Cockroach 101: Cockroach Facts You Should Know
Cockroaches have flat, oval-shaped bodies with six legs and long antennae. German cockroaches are about 13mm long, while American cockroaches can be over 40mm long.
While the planet has thousands of cockroach species, only 30 are household pests. In Woodland Hills, the most common roaches include:
- American cockroach
- Australian cockroach
- Brown-banded cockroach
- German cockroach
- Oriental cockroach
Are Cockroaches Dangerous?
While cockroaches don’t bite or sting, they can be dangerous to humans. They live in filthy, dark, damp places so they carry dangerous bacteria and fecal matter. They feed on garbage and spread microscopic organisms on kitchen counters.
They are considered unhygienic scavengers that spread diseases in human living spaces. Roaches also cause serious allergic reactions.
Do Cockroaches Bite?
Cockroaches do not bite defensively, but they have heavy, spiny legs that they use to scratch. People who have been scratched by a roach liken it to a bite. They may nibble on human skin, but this is because they are omnivorous.
Do Cockroaches Carry Disease?
Cockroaches carry around 30 different disease-causing bacteria. Touching, digesting, or inhaling the bacteria can cause disease outbreaks. Cockroaches spread diseases including:
- Typhoid fever
- Food poisoning
Cockroaches commonly cause indoor allergic reactions because of the protein enzymes in their excrement, saliva, molted body parts, and eggs. Unfortunately, these cockroach allergens trigger serious asthma attacks in children with cockroach allergies.
Cockroach allergies are predominant in urban areas, where cockroaches nest in a large percentage of homes. Cockroaches also create problems in areas where children spend time, like schools and child care centers. The pesky insects build nests where they can find food and shelter, and large school buildings fill their needs.
Useful Tips to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Utilizing professional exterminators is the best way to remove cockroaches from your home They have the equipment and knowledge to find and remove roaches while preventing them from reinfesting.
You can help prevent cockroach infestations by eliminating the food, water, and shelter that draws them into your home. Along with removing food and water, eliminate access to your home.
- Close entry points with caulk.
- Remove hiding places like piles of clothing and cardboard from basements and crawl spaces.
- Check your windows and screens and repair holes.
- Never leave your windows and doors open.
- Remove clutter from your home, as those piles create hiding places.
If roaches enter your home, they will nest near food and water sources. You can take several steps to remove these attractants.
- Tightly cover your trash containers inside and outside of your home.
- Cover your pet food and do not leave it in the open.
- Always store food in airtight containers.
- Vacuum, sweep, and mop your floors daily.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter.
Cockroaches need to drink water, so install dehumidifiers in moist areas and remove all standing water from inside and around your home. Quickly repair leaky pipes and running faucets.