If you've ever had the "pleasure" of seeing a cockroach silently skitter up the wall and disappear into a crack, then you know just how disturbing they are. If you've seen one crawl out of your pocketbook, you know how horrifying they can be. If you've experienced the horror of having one show up in a bowl of cereal you are eating, well… perhaps you'd rather not think about that.
The reality is that cockroaches are among the most disturbing, creepy creatures that can cause even grown men to turn inside out with disgust. Yes, there's no question, these insects are gross. But are they dangerous?
Are Cockroaches Dangerous?:
Though cockroaches aren't typically dangerous in the way that, say, a wild animal is dangerous, they are dangerous in other ways:
Food Contamination - Cockroaches are known to crawl around in all sorts of rotten materials, including dead plants, dead animals, fecal matter, hair, and other gross things. Then they crawl around on the food left out in kitchens. And like this isn't bad enough, they also leave their own feces, urine, and empty egg shells in it.
Disease-Causing Bacteria - When crawling around on food in the kitchen, cockroaches will regurgitate their saliva and digestive fluids on it, which deposits germs and bacteria from their gut. This can cause several diseases in humans such as urinary tract infections, digestive problems, and sepsis. Evidence also suggests that cockroaches spread typhoid, dysentery, and leprosy organisms.
Bites - Though cockroach bites are rare, they do occur on occasion when infestations are large and food sources are scarce.
Invasion of Ears or Nose - Several cases have been reported throughout the years where small cockroaches have entered the ears or noses of sleeping individuals.
Allergies and Asthma - Allergens on the bodies of cockroaches can trigger allergic reactions, skin rashes, sneezing, and watery eyes. Also, individuals with asthma are likely to have increased attacks when cockroach allergens are present.
Two Types of Dangerous Cockroach:
Two common types of cockroach in our area include the American cockroach and the German cockroach. American cockroaches are the largest house-infesting cockroach and can grow to be as long as 3 inches. They are a reddish brown with a yellow figure 8 pattern on their head. The German cockroach, though not as large at only ½ an inch in length, are the most common species of cockroach. These roaches are light tan to brown and have distinctive dark parallel lines from their head to their wings.
So Cockroaches Are Dangerous. What Now?
If you are seeing evidence of cockroaches in your Florida home or you want to be certain you do not let any of these disgusting, dangerous insects in, the professionals here at Hoffer Pest Solutions can help. With over 40 years of experience in the pest-control industry, and the most up-to-date technologies and tools, we eliminate any cockroach infestation and protect your home from future invasion.
What Happens If I Swallow A Cockroach:
There's nothing grosser than accidentally eating a cockroach. Besides the obvious gross factor, is it actually dangerous to eat a cockroach on accident?
Thankfully for most people accidentally swallowing a cockroach will not have any major negative impact. Your digestive system does a great job of breaking down matter and filtering out any bacteria, so you won't even notice anything different.
That being said, since cockroaches can technically carry diseases such as Salmonellosis, E. Coli, and Listeriosis it could potentially put you into contact with these diseases, putting you at risk. That being said, I haven't heard of anyone actually catching these diseases by swallowing a cockroach, but I'm sure it's technically possible.
How Dirty Are Cockroaches?:
Cockroaches are known for being dirty insects, and they certainly live up to the "dirty cockroach" stereotype by spreading bacteria wherever they go. If you see a cockroach in your home or in any other place where people eat and drink, like a restaurant for example, you should almost always assume that whatever it was crawling around was contaminated by its filthy feet and/or mouthparts.
Cockroaches can carry Salmonella on their bodies, which means that they could be dangerous if ingested even when the person is just touching them near their mouth (for example not washing their hands after picking up roach). Cockroaches also spread E. Coli, which makes them and their little bodies quite dirty.