Deadly Cockroaches – List of Diseases caused by Cockroaches

Cockroaches are common pests found in houses and commercial places. They wander out in the night searching for food in the kitchen or food storage places. They are found near the dust bins, sewage drains etc. In this article we will be sharing a list of diseases caused by cockroaches.
Cockroaches are associated with dirt and poor hygiene. They are known to ingest and carry several pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites on their bodies. They are known to transmit these microorganisms and contaminate the food and surfaces they come in contact with, causing several illnesses or diseases.
For businesses like restaurants, hotels or food manufacturing, having cockroaches around can have a negative impact on their brand image. Their food may get contaminated leading to food poisoning.
The customers may fall ill, creating a bad name for the company. Moreover, it could lead to a breach in food safety laws, product recall, business closure and financial losses. Read more why is it important for food industry to have proper pest control.
Cockroaches are dangerous and harmful as they can cause allergic reactions and can trigger an asthma attack. They also carry certain types of bacteria that can cause several illnesses if left behind on the food.

How do cockroaches spread diseases?

Cockroaches are known to be reservoirs of disease-causing organisms, they can spread diseases and cause infections through their droppings, vomit or direct contact with their body parts.
Humans can contract these diseases through inhalation, ingestion or cross-contamination.

Below mentioned is a list of diseases caused by Cockroaches:

Like rats and rodents, cockroaches too can transmit the Salmonella [sp.] bacteria whereby causing Salmonellosis. It is a disease having symptoms similar to food poisoning. Cockroaches are known to accumulate bacteria by consuming contaminated food. The Salmonella bacteria remain in their digestive system for more than a month and get transmitted through cockroach faeces or vomit.
The symptoms of Salmonellosis start showing around 12 to 72 hours after infection. The common symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, and vomiting. It takes around four to seven days to recover from this bacterial infection.
Typhoid fever is a highly infectious bacterial infection. It is caused by the Salmonella typhi bacterium. Cockroaches accumulate this bacteria by feeding on faeces contaminated with the bacterium.
The common symptoms of typhoid fever are high temperature, constipation or diarrhoea, stomach pain, muscle aches etc.
If treated on time it takes around three to five days to recuperate from Typhoid fever. If proper treatment is not availed it can lead to serious complications.
Cholera is caused by the Vibrio cholera bacterium. One can be infected by cholera by consuming food and drink contaminated with the bacterium. When Cockroaches feed on food contaminated with the bacterium, it can spread the infection through their faeces and vomit.
Dysentery is a type of stomach infection that leads to bloody diarrhoea. People may suffer from mild symptoms and can recover in around 7 days.
The 2 types of Dysentery are Bacillary dysentery and Amoebic dysentery. Dysentery is usually caused by eating or drinking contaminated food.
Cockroaches are suspected of being carriers of the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae. This bacteria is known to cause the disease leprosy. Cockroaches spread the disease through their faeces. Though this bacteria is not highly infectious, if not treated on time, it can cause permanent damage to the skin, nerves, eyes and skin leading to disfigurement and deformities.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a commonly found bacterium in the gut of humans. Though most E.coli strains are harmless, some can cause serious food poisoning leading to watery diarrhoea and abdominal cramping.
Though most of the diseases from a cockroach are bacterial diseases, cockroaches are also known to trigger asthma.
There are certain proteins in the cockroach bodies that can be an allergen for certain people. When there is a cockroach infestation, tiny particles from cockroach bodies may spread in the air, when these proteins are inhaled by the people around they may trigger an asthma attack in sensitive people.
As per the reports submitted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology the saliva, faeces and shed skin of cockroaches can trigger both asthma and other allergic responses.