Health Dangers of a Cockroach Infestation

From mice and beetles to spiders and squirrels, there are many types of pests that can enter and infest your home. While they are all problematic, some pests are more hazardous than others. If your home is infested with cockroaches, you probably already understand these insects can be frightening and unappealing. However, roaches are also hazardous to your family's health. Here are a few health hazards of a roach infestation.


Cockroaches feed on a variety of things. Not only will they feed on food scraps, crumbs, and greasy residue in your home, but roaches will also consume other insects, the fecal matter left behind by pets, rodents, other pests, and even dead skin cells from humans.

Because of their diet and lifestyle, it is common for roaches to carry many different types of pathogens, bacteria, and disease. Salmonella and E-coli are the most common bacteria that these bugs can carry and leave behind in your home, increasing your risk of contacting the bacteria and diseases.

Exposure to E-coli or Salmonella can lead to digestive issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The vomiting and diarrhea can be so severe, you may become dehydrated. While surprising to learn, recent reports have shown E-coli kills an estimated 500 people a year.

It is important to remember you may come in contact with these diseases and bacteria in a variety of ways. If you touch a roach or if you handle the fecal matter of these insects, the pathogens may be transmitted to you. In addition, if you consume food that cockroaches have made contact with, the pathogens and bacteria may be transmitted to you.


As roaches move through your home, they are leaving behind a variety of problems. Most will leave behind fecal matter, which will most likely contain pathogens and bacteria. This isn't just dangerous because of the reasons discussed above; particles found in their fecal matter and their shell can migrate into the air, affecting the air quality and increasing the risk of allergic reactions and the development of asthma.

Symptoms of a reaction related to roaches include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Wheezing
  • Skin rashes

If your home has been infected with roaches for a long period of time, these symptoms may be chronic and difficult to treat and manage.

Cockroaches are not only frightening to see—but they can also be threatening to your health and wellness. To ensure your home is healthy and free of roaches, contact an exterminator today.