The presence of cockroaches in and around the home can make even the bravest soul feel squeamish. These pesky houseguests are not only annoying but also pose serious health concerns.

Since cockroaches live in moist and dirty areas like sewers, pipes, drains, garbage, bathrooms, decaying matter, and other filth. They pick up germs from these places and transfer them along with their shed skins and droppings into our foods and contaminate them.

Cockroaches are known to spread 33 kinds of bacteria, transmitting some deadly infections and diseases.  According to sources, around 78% and 98% of houses in the urban areas have cockroaches. Therefore, it is essential to know the health hazards these pesky little critters can cause so that necessary action is taken to get rid of them.

Let’s explore.


Cockroaches play a role as carriers of many severe diseases. The allergens found in the saliva, droppings, and body parts of cockroaches affect human health. Listed below are some major diseases transmitted by cockroaches.


Asthma is a complex, extremely widespread disease that causes substantial morbidity. Cockroaches in the home can trigger severe asthma outcomes. According to sources, over 60% of people with Asthma who live in urban areas are allergic to cockroaches. As per the CDC report, around 7.4 percent of adults, and 8.6 percent of children in the United States, have Asthma.


Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness that is caused by the Salmonella typhi bacterium. It is believed that typhoid bacteria is accumulated by cockroaches, after consuming bacterium contaminated feces. Each year, it affects around 21.5 million persons. People with symptoms get their stool or blood tested for the presence of Salmonella Typhi. In some cases, even after the recovery, people still carry Salmonella Typhi and can pass the disease to other people.


Amoebiasis is a disease that is transmitted by the Entamoeba histolytica parasite. It is common for people living in tropical areas. Amoebiasis affects people with poor sanitary conditions that invite cockroaches. The infection occurs when a person ingests or consumes contaminated food. Diagnosing amoebiasis illness is very difficult. A blood test is available but is recommended, only if your infection has spread beyond the gut intestine to some other organ, like the liver.


Shigellosis is caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella and is highly infectious. People infected with Shigella develop stomach cramps, blood dysentery, and fever. Shigellosis disease lasts for 5 to 7 days. Once someone is affected with shigellosis, they are not likely to get infected again for several years. The Shigella bacteria is contagious and transmits from one infected person to another when basic hygiene is low.

Prevention Tips

The presence of cockroaches in your home is a sign of poor sanitation. By now, we know that cockroaches are not just icky pests. They transmit serious illnesses to humans. Therefore, prevention is always better than cure. We have compiled a list of prevention tips you can follow to protect your home:

  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Cover the trash cans tightly.
  • Clean all dirty dishes instead of keeping them in the sink.
  • Remove food crumbs from the kitchen counters, dining table, stovetop, and floor.
  • Vacuum, sweep and mop your floor regularly.
  • Fix all the leaky pipes in the basement, and under the sinks.
  • Seal all gaps and cracks in the walls and floors.

Wrapping Up

From the thousands of identified cockroach species, only a limited number of them play a significant role in transmitting some major life-threatening diseases to humans. Therefore, follow the above prevention tips and keep cockroaches away. If you have tried everything and still find cockroaches in your home, then seek the help of a professional pest control company immediately to nip cockroaches in the bud.