Cockroaches are creepy, crawly and prevalent pests that most people would love to exterminate. However, before you call your local exterminator, it is important to understand the risks of cockroaches as well as what diseases do cockroaches carry. Cockroaches have a reputation for being disease-carrying vermin. Although they are not known to directly transmit pathogens from one person to another, cockroach presence in homes and businesses poses a serious risk of contamination through their habit of nesting in unsanitary areas such as bathrooms and pantries where food is kept. In addition to the risk they pose by contaminating food sources, there are some specific types of cockroaches which can also transmit certain pathogens. While you may not be able to completely eradicate these pests from your home or business, taking precautionary measures will go a long way in preventing them from posing a danger to you or your loved ones. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of cockroach, as well as the diseases they carry
Brown Banded Cockroach
The brown banded cockroach is also known as the Australian cockroach because of its prevalence in Australia and Southeast Asia. This species is relatively small compared to other species, growing to only about a half-inch in length. Brown banded cockroaches are typically light brown in colour with darker bands across the wings. This species is primarily found in tropical and sub-tropical climates, but has been known to spread to warmer parts of North America as well as Europe. This species typically prefers warm and humid environments, meaning it is likely to be found in the bathrooms of your home. Brown banded cockroaches can also be found living in sewer systems, particularly those in tropical climates.
The American cockroach is a particularly large species of cockroach, reaching up to two inches in length. It is easily identifiable thanks to two dark bands running across its wings and two dark spots on its front wings. American cockroaches are common throughout the United States but are less likely to be found in the warmer southern regions of the country. They thrive in areas with warm climates and high humidity, making them common pests in southern states such as Florida. American cockroaches are associated with unsanitary living conditions and are often found in houses without proper pest control. They are also known to be particularly resistant to pesticides, making them a difficult pest to eradicate.
The German cockroach is one of the most common species of cockroach found across the world. Admittedly, it would be impossible to eradicate this species completely, but it is important to understand what they are and how they behave in order to prevent them from posing a significant threat. German cockroaches are small enough to fit through cracks as thin as half an inch wide. They are also known to travel on foot from one place to another, meaning they are unlikely to be limited to a single room or building. Given their small size and tendency to congregate in high numbers, German cockroaches are particularly likely to contaminate food and spread harmful pathogens. While other species of cockroach may be able to do the same, German cockroaches are particularly common and can be identified by their two yellow stripes running across the wings.
The Asian cockroach is a particularly prolific species of cockroach, being known to reproduce at an extremely rapid rate. Asian cockroaches are primarily found in tropical and subtropical climates, with some species able to survive in colder climates as long as they are indoors. Asian cockroaches are particularly resilient pests, making them a challenge to eradicate. Because of the rapid reproduction rate and hardiness of Asian cockroaches, they are particularly likely to infect neighbouring homes, posing a serious threat to neighbouring families. Asian cockroaches are particularly likely to feed on starchy foods such as flour, making them a significant risk to food preparation areas in commercial settings such as restaurants. Asian cockroaches have also been known to spread food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli, posing a risk to those who come into contact with them.
Staphylococcus is a bacteria known to cause a variety of infections. Staphylococcal infections can range from mild skin infections to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia. Staphylococcus is most commonly transmitted through physical contact such as skin-to-skin contact, as well as through items such as clothing and towels that have been used by a person with the infection. Staphylococcus is also known to be a common complication of a cockroach bite, posing a serious health risk to those in close contact with these pests.
Streptococcus is a bacteria known to cause a range of infections, including minor skin infections, pneumonia and blood infections. Strepococcus is typically transmitted through physical contact, such as skin-to-skin contact as well as through clothing and other items used by an infected person. As with staphylococcus, streptococcus is also known to be a common complication of a cockroach bite, posing a serious health risk to those in close contact with these pests.
Toxocara is an intestinal parasite found in some species of cockroach. Typically, the parasite has to be ingested in order to cause an infection, but infected cockroaches may also spread the disease through their salivary glands. Toxocara is typically contracted by children, but can also be contracted by adults who come into contact with infected cockroaches. Toxocara is an extremely common infection, particularly among children. It causes an intestinal infection that can last for years before being cleared from the body, so it is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have contracted the parasite.
The presence of cockroaches in your home can pose a serious health risk, particularly to children and the elderly. While you may not be able to completely eradicate these pests, there are some steps you can take to prevent them from spreading disease. It is important to regularly clean your home, storing food in a way that prevents cockroaches from contaminating it. If you are in a commercial setting, it is important to eradicate cockroaches quickly and efficiently; otherwise, you risk spreading diseases to neighbouring families.