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Are Cockroaches Making You Sick?

Cockroaches like everything else in Texas, seem to be bigger here. Maybe that’s exaggerating but they can be a bigger problem in the Houston area. Our warmer, wetter climate is paradise for cockroaches and we get plenty of calls for pest control in Houston because of them.

Cockroaches and filth go hand in hand and for good reason —they are disgusting by nature. Cockroaches in Houston feeding and habitation habits mean they attract a flood of microorganisms on their bodies and ingest them as well. These microorganisms can cause diseases from salmonella to listeria and everything in between.

Most calls for pest control in Houston are a result of the German Cockroach, a common indoor variety that is always around food in homes, hospitals, andrestaurants. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, then you know what kind of reputation a cockroach infestation can earn a restaurant. But more than just a bad reputation or scaring the daylights out of unsuspecting humans who discover a cockroach near them—cockroaches can quite literally make you sick.


Unlike mosquitoes, ticks and fleas which transmit diseases directly to humans through bites—cockroaches transmit diseases indirectly by contaminating food we eat or surfaces we touch.

The  World Health Organization (WHO)says that cockroaches are by large, one of the most significant pests found in residences, hospitals, and restaurants worldwide. And because they carry so many pathogenic bacteria, fungi, mold, parasites, and viruses—they post a major health risk. Some of the dangerous diseases and bacteria they carry are:

  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter
  • Listeria
  • E. coli
  • Staphylococcus aureus 
  • Staphylococcus faecalis
  • Giardia
  • Shigelladysenteriae

To make things worse, in the case of Salmonella samples found, many were quite resistant to antibacterial drugs, making the infection harder to kill, contain and keep from spreading.

Cockroaches Can Trigger Asthma Attacks & Allergic Reactions

Cockroach allergies were first discovered around 1943 when some patients broke out in a rash after being exposed to cockroaches crawling on their skin. As many calls as we take for pest control in Houston, we actually see a lot of people that have allergies related to cockroaches or suffer from asthma attacks due to a cockroachinfestation.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has confirmed even recently due to findings, that cockroaches can indeed trigger both asthma and other allergic reactions in some select people and the statistics back it up:

  • The National Pest Management Associationin the USfound that around over 60% of homes in the US contain cockroach allergens and in urban areas, that number rose to a staggering range of between nearly 80 – 96%!
  • In the US alone roughly 60-80% of inner-city children diagnosed with asthma, have been exposed to high levels of cockroach allergens.

The reason cockroaches can sometimes cause asthma attacks is because—and this is gross; proteins in their fecal matter and body parts can trigger asthma related allergies in some people. If that The tiny particles from dried fecal matter and body parts spread through the HVAC systems in buildings and you breathe that in. If that isn’t motivation to keep a clean house we don’t know what is.


Diseases In Cockroach Feces

Since cockroaches have highly unsanitary habits, cockroaches can distribute dangerous pathogens through their fecal matter. When a cockroach eats contaminated food, such as spoiled raw chicken or other animal feces—the microorganisms present can enter and lay dormant or multiply within the cockroaches digestive system. If you’ve ever called for pest control in Houston, then you’ve likely seen the aftermath of their dirty habits, it’s quite unsettling. Once they pass waste, the pathogens go with it in the feces and will also find its way on to surfaces they crawl on.

Cockroach Saliva And Vomit

Cockroach saliva and vomit can also spread those nasty microorganisms as cockroaches sometimes use saliva to make food easier to digest. In a similarfashion, when they eat, often they will vomit up partially digested food. Either way,both of these disgusting activities can spread pathogens to humans who unknowingly touch contaminated surfaces or eat contaminated food. We suspect about this far into thearticle, you’ll be Googling for pest control in Houston if you haven’t already. No one said this business is neat and tidy like an office job. It’s a dirty job but someone with skills has to do it.

 Direct Contact

Cockroaches can be found in just about any dirty environment that gives them a source of food, shelter and reasonable conditions to thrive. Places like sewers, drains, garbage cans and more. It is in these places that they come into contact with various bacteria and microorganisms and pick up pathogens with their sensitive exoskeletons.


Diseases from cockroaches can be contracted in a few various ways. For the most part, however, it is usually by eating or touching anything a cockroach has come into contact with such as contaminated food and drinks, cutlery, or plates. You can also sleep on bedding that cockroaches have crawled on and left behind numerous pathogens that can make you sick.

Also if the air in your home is full of cockroach feces particles, skin they have shed, or their dried saliva—this too can trigger not just disease but an allergic or asthmatic reaction.


Deterring the presence of cockroaches is the most effective way to protect yourself from the diseases they bring with them. Practice good cleaning habits, good organization and keep your home clutter free and free of crumbs or spills. Don’t leave standing water in or around the home and you can also follow this quick checklist:

  • Eliminate food supply for cockroaches
  • Wherever food is handled, eaten or stored, keep it extra clean and free from spoilage
  • Seal all cracks they may penetrate from the outside or underground
  • Always practice good personal hygiene.


Contact Champions Pest Control if your Houston home has been invaded by these disgusting intruders. We have the tools and knowledge to locate the exploits in your home, eradicate the roaches, and prevent them from coming back.

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