Can Cockroaches Make You Sick?

When it comes to allergy season, we tend to think about plant pollens as the major culprit of our itchy eyes and runny noses. But there are also a host of non-plant and year-round triggers for allergy symptoms and asthma attacks that you probably never considered. They go by the name of cockroaches.

Allergies Are Affected

Yes, it’s true—these not-so-lovely guests in your home could be the cause of your itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath. The issues are so serious that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA) and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) rank cockroaches as the most problematic household pests for patients suffering from asthma or allergies. The AAFA also reports that 78 to 98 percent of American urban homes have cockroaches. That means asthmatic children who are exposed to cockroach allergens are more likely to have episodes of wheezing, missed school days and unscheduled medical visits or hospitalizations. #yikes

But it’s not just allergies to be concerned with. Roaches have been found to transmit illnesses like gastroenteritis, cholera, salmonella and even e. coli. Of those listed, cockroaches most commonly cause gastroenteritis. While some cases are mild—with just stomach pain and nausea—severe cases (like those with extended diarrhea) can lead to dehydration and require hospitalization.

So what to do?

Allergists recommend that anyone with a pest problem consult with a pest management professional to help alleviate their symptoms. Cockroaches are known for being fast, nocturnal and adept at hiding. Live cockroaches are usually discovered when an unsuspecting homeowner flicks on the lights in a dark room, setting the roaches scattering. In other words, you unknowingly could have a colony on your hands—so how can you avoid an infestation in the first place?

Keep Them Out

To prevent unwelcome cockroaches in your home, follow these steps:

  • Make sure all food is stored in sealed, airtight containers. (Cockroaches love flour and cereal, which come in easy-to-chew-through paper or cardboard containers. They also love pet food, so store in a sealable bin rather than the original bag.)
  • Check underneath faucets, drains and your refrigerator for leaks and small pools of water. (Roaches need water to survive and will flock to areas with a lot of moisture. Oriental cockroaches, in particular, prefer moist areas.)
  • Clean often and thoroughly. Wipe up spills and crumbs promptly, take out the trash every day and don’t leave dishes in the sink overnight.
  • Take time to seal up any cracks or openings around outside walls, windows and light fixtures with caulk or screens, making it more difficult for roaches and other unwelcome guests to enter and move about your home.

And, it goes without saying, but don’t try to rid your home of these pesky pests yourself through DIY methods or using essential oils. It’s imperative to take steps now to prevent an infestation, because roaches can be a real threat to your health.

To reduce your risk, turn to a professional pest control company like ScherZinger Pest Control. Your technician will perform a thorough inspection of your home to find and seal openings and apply protective repellant that keeps roaches and other insects away.

We’ve Got You Covered

ScherZinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton and now Columbus. We’ve been pioneers who have engineered new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our websiteFacebook, or Twitter.