What diseases are spread by cockroaches? How do cockroaches spread disease? Are they serious or benign? And how can you reduce the risk of disease if you have an infestation?
Here is an article that answers all these questions simply and concisely so that you will no longer have any doubts about the subject.
I. What diseases are spread by cockroaches?
There are multiple diseases that cockroaches can transmit to humans and other animals, ranging from the simplest to cure to those that are serious and deadly.
Here are some of the best-known:
This is a bacterium (salmonella) that can cause food poisoning and manifests itself in symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps for 12 to 72 hours.
These symptoms are relatively mild and uncomplicated. However, they can become very serious, especially in people with weakened immune systems.
There are more than 50,000 cases of this infection worldwide each year.
2. Infections caused by staphylococcus
It is a gastrointestinal disease that develops shortly after eating food contaminated by cockroaches.
Symptoms of this disease usually last 24 hours.
The toxins that cause this disease are very resistant to heat and therefore unfortunately cannot be eliminated even during cooking.
Another argument to protect food more is by putting it either in the refrigerator or in airtight plastic boxes.
The harmless form of this bacteria lives normally in our digestive tract.
However, cockroaches often harbor a very harmful strain of this same bacteria called E.coli.
They cause serious food poisoning which can be accompanied by diarrhea. It can last for about 7 to 15 days from the time of infection.
4. Typhoid Fever
This is a serious disease that can cause death. It is transmitted by the pathogen Salmonella Typhi, which can be ingested by eating food contaminated by cockroaches or other pests.
This bacterium has the ability to spread in our bloodstream by multiplying rapidly in such a way that the immune system usually cannot defend itself against it.
Special vaccines are needed to limit its spread and subsequent elimination.
It is the inflammation of the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine at the same time.
It is usually accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. The pathogens that cause this disease are sometimes spread by cockroaches that deposit them on the food they eat or leave them around the house.
6. Ordinary Diarrhea
It can also be one of the diseases caused by cockroaches.
Sometimes eating or drinking food or drink contaminated by these insects is enough to cause ordinary diarrhea.
The secretions and dead skin left behind by cockroaches contain tons of allergens that can cause allergic symptoms in humans such as skin rashes, sneezing, and itching.
Cockroaches carry proteins capable of causing allergies ranging from the simple to the more severe and offensive.
8. Asthma Attacks
The presence of cockroaches in the home can increase asthma attacks in people with asthma.
The allergens carried by these insects can sometimes cause the death of fragile people, or at least be the cause of very serious complications in these people.
Cockroach allergens are even capable of causing asthma problems in people who are not normally prone to asthma.
II. How do cockroaches spread disease?
There is no doubt for doctors and specialists in the medical field that cockroaches are insects capable of transmitting several diseases, which we will see later, through three different ways that are:
Cockroaches can keep in their digestive tract microorganisms pathogens that can multiply while they are still in the intestines of the insect.
The insect will then release them from its excrement and deposit them everywhere, making these spaces dirty and full of pathogens.
If you don’t follow these basic hygiene rules, such as cleaning the house thoroughly, especially the kitchen, and washing food before eating or cooking, there is a good chance that you will be contaminated by possible diseases contained in the excrement of the cockroaches that have invaded your house.
2. Saliva and vomit
Cockroaches also transmit pathogen-carrying microorganisms that cause us certain diseases from their saliva and vomit.
If you don’t protect your food well enough and leave it in the open, it will attract cockroaches which, before consuming part of it, will usually secrete soiled saliva on it.
It is not uncommon for these cockroaches to spit up half-digested food in the same place, and this vomit is usually full of pathogens that spread to your food.
3. Direct contact with cockroaches.
As we all know, cockroaches are particularly fond of dirty places such as garbage cans, drains, and sewage pits.
They are therefore always in direct contact with microbes and pathogens of certain diseases that are very abundant in these kinds of dirty places.
These insects almost always move around with their bodies covered in microbes that they spread wherever they go.
It becomes easy to be contaminated, just by touching them.
III. How to avoid cockroach diseases?
Since cockroaches are mainly attracted to the food they find in homes, you should therefore make sure to have impeccable hygiene around food.
Make every effort to keep your home as free of food sources as possible for these insects.
Don’t leave any food scraps on the sink or kitchen utensils.
Make sure that nothing is left out in the open overnight in the kitchen. Store or dispose of it in airtight garbage bags.
Always keep the places where your food is stored (freezers, refrigerator, pantry, grocery store…) clean. Because it is the dirt that attracts many of these bugs that eat all the leftovers, even microscopic ones.
Clean and ensure impeccable hygiene of your hands and your food before any consumption of food.
This will prevent you from coming into contact with pathogens left behind by cockroaches.
Maintain your pipes and buildings regularly.
Plug any holes, cracks, or other spaces in the house where cockroaches could hide.
The goal is to leave them no place where they can take shelter.
Spray insecticides in drains, in dark, warm, and humid corners of the house to eliminate them in mass.