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Can Cockroaches Make You Sick?

Can Cockroaches Make You Sick?

Most people do everything possible to eliminate cockroaches from living in our homes. We clean our homes, we keep the yard growth in check, and we use pesticides when necessary. But every now and then even the cleanest home may have a cockroach that comes in from outdoors, is dropped by a bird flying overhead, or hitchhikes on a box we bring in from another place.

We expect the public places we visit to also be free of cockroaches. But at some point in life, many of us have gone out to eat and have seen a cockroach in the restaurant while enjoying our meal. It is very likely that we’ve never returned to that restaurant again and it’s likely that we’ve warned a friend or two as well.

We avoid cockroaches but have you ever wondered if, since they are everywhere, are they really a threat to your health? And can cockroaches make you sick?

The answer is a clear – yes!

Cockroaches tested have been found to carry pathogens on their bodies that can cause serious diseases and make us sick such as:

  • Salmonella Typhi – the virus that causes Typhoid
  • Dysentery – a disorder that causes inflammatory intestines leading to severe diarrhea with mucus and bleeding
  • Poliomyelitis – the virus that causes Polio

Cockroaches live in just about any environment, often feeding on things like spoiled food, chemicals, waste, and anything else they can find to eat and getting to those things by being in places that are without a doubt unsanitary. Just the environment itself is a breeding ground for these pathogens that can cause serious diseases in humans and animals and make us sick. Cockroaches carry these pathogens on their bodies, infecting every surface that they crawl on.

For more information on cockroaches check out the cockroach section in our pest library.

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