Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

Cockroaches are unhygienic. They sometimes carry bacteria, viruses, and diseases. They infest food and they can trigger a long list of health problems from respiratory issues to digestive problems.

Cockroaches are on the warning list of the World Health Organization. They are described as scavengers in human settlements.

While they exist all around the world, roaches are as dangerous in North America as they are in South America or other continents.

Cockroaches are spreaders of disease-causing bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella. They carry viruses such as the Poliovirus. Roaches may also bite people and pets in case of a serious home infestation.

Roaches can be treated lightly when seen inside the house. They should be treated seriously as they quickly multiply increasing the risk of triggering a major health problem.

Common reasons why cockroaches are so dangerous

While they don’t bite people, cockroaches are always dangerous. They travel through the dirty damp places, they are known for droppings on food, and they spread diseases that would not otherwise be spread to homes.

Roaches can trigger asthma

Roaches can be the unseen enemy in the house when it comes to triggering asthma. By far, this is the most common health problem associated with cockroaches.

Roaches found inside the house are the primary cause of asthma-triggering in children. The problem is often overlooked, especially when you only see a couple of roaches around the kitchen.

cockroach on ceiling

The main problem is that it’s never just a couple of roaches as they multiply quickly. They might even be hiding during the day which means you might not see them at all.

Most people don’t have more than a few mild symptoms of roach allergies. They might have an itchy nose from time to time. In people who suffer from asthma or whose allergies are a bit more serious, roaches can trigger severe daily reactions.

Here are a few common signs you might be suffering an allergic reaction in the form of asthma triggering when it comes to roach home invasion.

  • Repeated sneezing
  • Itchy watery eyes
  • A stuffy nose
  • Coughing
  • Itchy skin

The best treatment against cockroach allergies for all people involves limiting access to roaches. Doctors can also prescribe certain treatments against allergies, particularly for those with asthma or for people with severe allergic reactions to roaches.

  • Antihistamines – most common
  • Decongestants and nasal corticosteroids – nose sprays

Cockroaches carry diseases

Apart from allergic reactions, cockroaches carry all types of diseases. Some types of diseases roaches carry might require medical attention.

Roaches carry E.coli

E.coli is easily spread from food and animals to humans through roaches. Most types of E.coli are harmless to humans. Others cause stomach upset that takes weeks or months to overcome.

You might be suffering from E.coli through roaches when you have symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and constant stomach cramps.

You need to talk to a doctor if these symptoms don’t disappear within a few days.

Roaches carry salmonella

Salmonella is known to cause food poisoning. There are thousands of salmonella infections in the US alone each year.

Restaurants are known places for spreading salmonella through cockroach infestation.

Roaches spread viruses

Continuously moving through sewage, garbage, and leftover food is problematic with roaches. They are known to spread all types of viruses. The Poliovirus is one of the most serious viruses spread by these bugs.

Brownbanded Cockroach

Poliovirus – The Poliovirus is a known disabling virus. It has a serious role when it affects the spinal cord. This life-threatening virus is enabled through the house through flies and cockroaches.

The problem with cockroaches and viruses is that they eat almost anything. This includes human and animal waste.

Businesses can suffer from roaches

Roaches are also damaging to businesses, not just individuals. Restaurants are known to fight roaches all the time. Since large commercial kitchens have plenty of food and warmth, they are often targeted by roaches.

Businesses are shut all the time due to roach infestation. Even a single complaint from a customer seeing a single roach can close down restaurants.

Health inspectors that find roaches or roach nymphs are bound to close a restaurant. Roach droppings can also close restaurants. Apart from the economic damage, roaches in restaurants can also spread bacteria and viruses further to customers through food contamination.

What makes cockroaches so dangerous?

Cockroaches can be very dangerous even if they’re some of the smallest home pests. Both the food they consume and the place they live to impact their role in our lives.


Cockroaches are omnivores. They eat vegetables and meat, together with almost anything else they can get to chew through. Here are a few common foods roaches eat that explain why they are so dangerous.


Cockroaches love to waste. They are often seen around trash cans. Some of the largest roach nests are found around garbage, particularly next to the ones with plenty of decaying organic matter and plenty of leftover food.


Human and animal waste is always attracting roaches. They carry bacteria from feces inside the house where they can transmit diseases such as E.coli to people.

Rotting food

Rotting food including rotting meat attracts roaches. Most roaches have a sense of smell. They are guided by this sense to the rotting food’s location where they eat until full and where they return to, especially if close to the nest.

Rotting organic matter

Rotting leaves, rotting grass clippings, and rotting fruits are part of the diet of cockroaches. Rotting or fermented fruits can contaminate fresh food whenever roaches get in contact with it.

Fingernails and skin

Roaches can also eat fingernail clippings and even human skin. They can transmit disease from one person to another easily.


Hair on the bathroom floor and around the house is a common food for cockroaches.

Are Cockroaches Dangerous?


Soap and even shampoo can be consumed by roaches whenever they lack access to any other foods.

Mold and fungi

Mold and fungi are among the consumed foods that can cause health problems roaches are known for. Mold travels through the air whenever transported by roaches.


Nesting locations are as important as foods for the impact roaches have on our health. Cockroaches never nest in a clean location.

Humid habitats

Cockroaches prefer humidity. German and Oriental cockroaches are known for their high humidity preferences. Many types of bacteria spread easier in humid habitats.

Dirty habitats

Cockroaches are known for living in sewage, basements, and garbage. These habitats make roaches some of the dirtiest home pests, even if they seem clean at first glance.

Do cockroaches bite?

Cockroaches can also be dangerous in other aspects apart from carrying bacteria and viruses. They can bite, albeit they rarely do so.

German cockroaches are known for sometimes biting people. These roaches never bite when in small numbers. Only serious home infestations have been shown to facilitate an environment where roaches would bite people.

How to recognize a cockroach bite?

Cockroach bites aren’t as painful as the bites of other small pests such as some types of spiders. However, they can manifest themselves in the following ways.

Red skin

Red skin in the area of the bite can indicate a roach bite. These types of symptoms can be visible for up to a few days on the skin.

Red bump

Red skin bumps such as those seen in the case of mosquito bites are also common with roach bites.

Itchy skin

Skin rashes in the area of the bite and the immediate area of the bite are highly common. In the case of multiple bites, these rashes can expand considerably.

Are roaches dangerous to pets?

Cockroaches can be just as harmful to pets as they are to humans. Cases of roaches being around animals are rare as they prefer to flee. It’s with serious infestations that roaches can become truly dangerous to pets as follows.

Eating outer skin

Cockroaches only eat animal skin when truly hungry. A rare sight, this can still happen and should prompt pet owners to ensure their beloved pets live in clean environments that don’t attract roaches.

Contaminating food

One of the hidden effects roaches can have on pets comes with food. Roaches are known for eating leftover pet food in food bowls. Dogs, cats, cattle, and other animals can be impacted by bacteria and viruses transmitted through food whenever roaches get in their feeding area.


Cockroaches are dangerous to both humans and animals. Much of their harmful nature isn’t perceived as immediate. Roaches can impact your health within a few days through allergic reactions and the spread of diseases.

While not tempted to bite, roaches harm human health by spreading bacteria such as E.coli. Since they eat feces, human, and animal waste, roaches transmit a long list of diseases.

Allergic reactions caused by roaches are very common. Some data suggest up to 25% of people can be allergic to German roaches. The species and other roach species can cause can be short-term allergies and reactions (runny nose or itchy skin) or long-term health conditions through the triggering of asthma.

Similar Posts