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Everything You Did Not Know About Cockroaches & Their Diseases


We cannot deny that the Brown German Cockroach consistently snatches its way inside our houses. It fits itself on sidewalks at dusk, intimidating anyone who passes by. Millions of people in this world fear cockroaches. In not, they are disgusted by it. Some even develop a psychological condition known as “katsaridaphobia,” or the extreme and irrational fear of cockroaches. Because of traumatic experiences with these creatures, people can easily acquire such a psychological condition.

When we see a cockroach, the first thing that comes to mind is the process of eliminating the insect. However, only a few people know that conventional methods of eliminating cockroaches are almost never effective.

I am sure that most of you tried cutting their heads off, drowning them in a basin, and flushing them down the toilet. Did you know? These methods don’t even work at all! Firstly, cockroaches are hydrophilic. Meaning, they just love moist. They can live without solid food for weeks. But they cannot survive days without water.

Did you know that cockroaches can hold their breath for more than 30 minutes? That gives them more than enough time to settle on to something dry when you flush them down the drain. Cockroaches never really drown unless you leave them stranded on a pool of water without any way out. Otherwise, you will only be sending them home and they will be back stronger.

Secondly, cockroaches are gifted and unique creatures. They can live for a few days without their head. Imagine dealing with a headless cockroach. They don’t have the sense to determine where humans are. If the cockroach still had the head, it would know which places to go to. If there are humans around, it has the tendency to hide. But without its head, it would remain directionless. It won’t care where it goes. It will just move around infesting wherever his feet would take it.

One of the main reasons we need to get rid of cockroaches is the diseases they bring to human beings. Here are some of the most astonishing facts about cockroaches and their diseases:

Facts About Cockroaches

There are 4,000 species of cockroaches in this world. But there are only three species that plague humanity, namely: the Periplanetaamericana, Blattellagermanica, and Blattellaorientalis. These creatures feed on almost anything, including their deceased comrades. But just like ants, you’ll be surprised to know that cockroaches do have a sweet tooth. They prefer eating sugary and starchy foods, including beer, and cardboard. A huge part of their diet revolves around but human detritus such as feces, toenails, and bodily residue.

Some of you are wondering if cockroaches can destroy clothes. In fact, they can. Did you know that these creatures are attracted to sweat and stains? They eat through clothes just to reach the stain. This tears the fabric of the clothing, leaving a trace of loose threads and holes.

These dietary choices of cockroaches drive them to contaminate food, utensils, and surfaces for food preparations. For this reason, cockroaches are linked to several consequences to human health. Cockroaches crawl on the dirtiest places on earth. It is inherent that parasites, virus, fungi, and bacteria will latch on to their bodies. When they infest homes, they are likely to spread these parasites, causing illnesses to human beings.

Unlike mosquitoes, cockroaches are not vectors. They are more of a bacterial reservoir. A mosquito will squelch its proboscis on the skin, injecting the person with malaria, dengue, plague, and other bacteria. A cockroach, on the other hand, causes illness to human beings in a mechanical and indirect fashion. A human being needs to get in contact with contaminated surfaces before they can get sick.

To this date, there have been several documented cases of small outbreaks that are associated with cockroach infestations as an indirect but prominent modem for disease transmission. According to entomologists, there was one county in Northern Ireland in the late 1970s where fifteen food-handlers in various establishments were got sick from dysentery caused by the Shigella bacterium in just 8 weeks. Researchers have found out that the restaurants handled by these food-handlers had serious infestations, particularly in the kitchen and dining areas.

Furthermore, experts note that cockroaches are suspected to be the cause of a hepatitis A outbreak in a housing project in Los Angeles in the late 1950s. In the years 1956 to 1959, the Carmelitos Housing Project embodied 39% of all cases of hepatitis A in Los Angeles County. The number of cases steadily increased over the years. Luckily, they promulgated a full-scale cockroach control program promoting a newly developed insecticide known as the industrial silica aerogel Dri-Die 67. It was then that the Hepatitis A outbreak halted. After two years of applying for the program, the incidence of hepatitis A from the Los Angeles Housing Project dropped to 0.0%.

On another note, experts found that cockroaches harboring the S. Typhi bacteria was infesting the homes of Typhoid patients in Italy. The same species was found infesting a Belgian hospital’s children’s wards which were filled with the victims of an undergoing epidemic of gastroenteritis in 1950.

In a more recent study, there was an outbreak of the bacteria Klebsiellapneumoniae in neonatal units. Every evidence from the investigation pointed out to the same species of cockroach carrying the bacteria and spreading it among households. The same thing happened in certain hospitals in Ethiopia and South Africa.  In a more recent event, a study in 2012, the researchers trapped the cockroaches inside the neonatal intensive care unit. They later found that the roaches were harboring multi-drop resistant bacteria. The antibiotics used in the intensive care unit was Ampicillin, Augmentin, Tetracycline, Amoxicillin, and many more.

Another study in South Korea found that cockroaches who infested homes located within 3 miles from a hospital harbored bacteria that were immune to 6 to 12 commonly used antibiotics. These antibiotics are mostly prescribed by doctors yet bacteria from cockroaches seem to be impervious to any of it.

Whether you live in the city or in the suburbs, you will always encounter cockroaches. For this reason, it is important to call for a local exterminator near in Mooresville, North Carolina. If you are in North Carolina, contact Lake Norman Home Services. This company has been providing high-quality service for more than 50 years. Founded by Sam and Fran Newman, Lake Norman Home Services has proven their effectiveness as a team and the efficiency of their methods.

In this humble company, the exterminators pride themselves in using environmental-friendly means of pest control. So, even when the process takes place indoors, you don’t have to worry about a thing. If you’re worried about the price, never fret about it. Lake Norman Home Services offers a basic service plan that is affordable and totally efficient in eliminating and controlling pests. 

Diseases From Cockroaches

Moving forward, there are several diseases that cockroaches can bring to families. This proves how stressful cockroach infestations can get. Apart from the fact that they can be a total nuisance at home, they can bring various bacteria, parasites, and virus which could compromise the lives of our loved ones. 


These creatures accumulate salmonella bacteria in their bodies by eating contaminated food. It can only be disposed of their bodies when they vomit or defecate. Indeed, cockroaches can vomit. And it is one of these instances that they strongly contaminate the surfaces they come across.

The salmonella bacteria harbour and multiply inside the cockroach’s stomach for several days before it can be transmitted. When humans acquire the bacteria, they experience the following symptoms: diarrhea, fever, and vomiting which could last for 12 to 72 hours depending on the severity of the infection. Most people can recover from Salmonellosis within 4 to 7 days without medical treatment. However, there are instances when the infection becomes so severe that the person experiences extreme dehydration. In these cases, he or she needs medical assistance. 

Typhoid Fever

This is another disease brought by the cockroach caused by another strand of the salmonella bacteria.  This disease is fairly common in areas with poor sanitation, overpopulation, and limited access to water.

The symptoms of typhoid include a high fever, head, and muscle aches, constipation, diarrhea, exhaustion, and stomach pain. It usually takes 3 to 7 days for the symptoms to subside. Without the proper knowledge, typhoid fever can be easily mistaken as the flu. Without correct medical treatment, it could lead to serious complications. 


Cholera is another disease caused by Vibrio bacterium. This is an acute diarrhoeal infection common in poorly-managed and poorly-sanitized areas. Just like salmonellosis, cholera is spread through the ingestion of contaminated food and water. It can also be acquired by getting in contact with contaminated areas.

Did you know that 80% of the victims of cholera do not experience any symptoms at all? Most of them experience mild to moderate level of diarrhea. However, this disease should not be taken for granted. More than 142,000 die from cholera every year. 


Dysentery is a type of gastroenteritis which causes diarrhea with blood. Human beings acquire the disease by consuming foods or drinks with the shigella bacterium. It can also be acquired through poor hand hygiene. The symptoms of this illness include but is not limited to the following: diarrhea with blood, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever. and poor hand hygiene. Symptoms of this disease include diarrhea with blood and mucus, painful stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and high temperature. Although the symptoms are a bit extreme, people usually recover within 3 to 5 days, provided they are given proper care.