Cockroaches have a long history of spreading illness in human settlements. When cockroaches get into your Mooresville home, there are many ways they can make you sick. But it is important to point out that most roach-related illnesses will not result in death. In fact, the statistical chance of death is surprisingly low, considering how many ways these insects impact human health. Please keep this in mind as we discuss how German cockroaches can present a danger to you and your family. Our goal is not to make you fearful of these roaches but to inform you should a danger present itself.

cockroach under file cabinet
cockroach on white paper


Recent studies confirm that the presence of cockroaches in households increases hospital visits for asthma-related symptoms. Asthma has the potential to be deadly. It is best to not have cockroaches in your home if you or someone you love suffers with asthma. The allergens left by cockroaches in your home will definitely act as a trigger.

Bacteria And Parasites

Whether you call them bacteria, parasites, or just germs, there are certain bacteria that can present a significant threat to human health. When cockroaches climb around in dumpsters, sewers, and the trash receptacles on your property (among other places), they can come in contact with harmful bacteria. They transport this bacteria to kitchen surfaces, food-preparation areas, cutting boards, dishes, silverware, stored food and more. Most bacteria will cause a sickness that you can recover from on your own, but in certain cases, hospitalization is required and antibacterial medication is needed. 

A common bacterial illness related to cockroach infestations is Salmonellosis. This bacteria gets into the intestinal tract and causes flu-like symptoms. In rare cases, these symptoms can be severe and even deadly. Salmonella can also cause typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever, both of which can be dangerous.

Another bacteria worth mentioning is E. coli. There are many types of Escherichia coli that are harmless, but certain strains have the ability to cause serious stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and organ failure. Once again, it is important to point out that it is rare to get a severe case of E. coli or to experience life-threatening health consequences. 

There are many parasites that can be spread by cockroaches. We could exhaust your attention by delving into how Salmonella, E. coli, Giardia, hookworms, and a long list of other organisms may threaten your health, but what matters most is that you recognize that the presence of cockroaches in your home can create flu-like illnesses and you may need medical attention if symptoms worsen or persist.


Cockroaches don't prefer to feed on living tissue, so we're happy to say that you don't have to worry about the thousands of cockroaches in your home, attacking you in your sleep. There is, however, one concern of which you should be aware. Cockroaches feed on dead skin cells and they are known to come out at night and feed on dead skin cells in the eyelashes, eyebrows, and around the mouths of sleeping people. If you're accidentally bitten by a cockroach while sleeping, the area is likely to swell. This is due to exposure to bacteria on the cockroach that bites you. It is also possible to get conjunctivitis (pink eye) due to exposure to cockroaches. This can happen without a cockroach biting you or even coming in contact with your eye. You can get conjunctivitis by rubbing your eye on a contaminated spot on your pillow. While not deadly, it is important to be aware of the risk of bites, pink eye, rashes, hives, rhinitis, and other potential illnesses that arise from exposure to cockroaches.

How Bad Are German Cockroaches? 

When it comes to spreading sickness, German cockroaches are the worst. This isn't because they are dirtier than other roaches, but rather that they are far more likely to infest Mooresville homes in large numbers. The German cockroach, known scientifically as Blattella germanica, is the most widely distributed cockroach species in the world. Here are a few facts every Mooresville resident should know about them:

  • These are small roaches. An adult roach of this species is ½ to ⅝ of an inch in length.

  • Newly hatched German cockroach nymphs are small enough to fit through the holes in an electrical outlet.

  • These are tan roaches with two dark stripes running down the back. Adults have wings that obscure these black lines and this creates a marking that looks like an equal sign on the back, just below the head.

    Though they have wings, they rarely fly.

  • They prefer to live in warm, humid spaces that are near food or moisture sources.

  • These roaches put off a musty odor.

  • They're more tolerant of dry conditions than many other cockroach pests, particularly Oriental cockroaches and American cockroaches (also known as palmetto bugs).

How To Get Control Of German Cockroaches

If you live in Mooresville, North Carolina, let the licensed pest control technicians here at Lake Norman Pest Control address a cockroach infestation in your home. While you can have some success managing cockroaches with general pest maintenance, it is best to have them completely controlled, due to their connection to illness. Don't take any chances, particularly with German cockroaches. Reach out to us today for assistance.


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