Diseases Caused By Cockroaches

by | Last updated Jun 28, 2023 | Roaches

Do you know of any Diseases Caused By Cockroaches? Some people can barely stand in a room with roaches; others even mentioning the name cockroach is enough to make their stomachs turn. It is no longer a secret that they are the most disgusting household pests.

Their synonymy with dirt, poor hygiene, and filth makes it even worse. They feed on decomposing food material, and their nests are always covered with filth droppings.

Such habits make it possible for the roaches to consume and convey pathogenic microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, parasites, and even bacteria which may be fatal to humans.

Contamination occurs when cockroaches carrying these pathogens crawl over your utensils or leave droppings on your working surfaces. These creatures not only make you sick but can also trigger your asthma and other allergies.

Diseases Caused By Cockroaches

Be mindful of the cockroaches that move around your house because there is a chance they are carrying Pathogenic Microorganisms that cause the following diseases and infections.

  • Typhoid Fever
  • Leprosy
  • E.coli
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Salmonella

Health Problems Caused by Cockroaches

The menace roaches create is nothing compared to the health risk you present to yourself and your family if you dare tolerate them in your apartment. Although they don’t infect you directly, the indirect contact you have with them is enough to make you sick. According to the world health organization, “Cockroaches are not usually the most important cause of a disease, but just like houseflies, they play a supplementary role in the spread of some diseases.”

Allergies and Asthmatic Reactions

When you hear people complain of having allergies to cockroaches, they mean that they have an immune reaction towards a particular protein contained in cockroaches. This protein is an allergen to most people, and it is characterized by sneezing, watery eyes, an itchy nose, coughing, skin rash, and stuffy nose.

If you are allergic to cockroaches and have an asthmatic condition, chances are your allergic reactions may escalate to asthmatic attacks. Attacks as a result of allergens are likely to be worse than regular attacks, especially in children. You will experience shortness of breath, chest tightness, sneezing, and wheezing in such a situation.

Typhoid Fever

Among the pathogenic microorganisms carried by cockroaches is Salmonella Typhi. It is the bacteria that causes an infection called Typhoid Fever prevalent in areas with poor sanitation and lack of clean water. Developing countries and informal settlements report the highest number of Typhoid Fever cases mainly because they lack the required amenities responsible for preventing this disease.

Cockroaches spread this disease by feeding on feces and waste dominated by the bacterium. Once you start experiencing any of the following symptoms, pay a visit to the doctor because staying with the infection in your body can lead to severe complications

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea


If you fail to wash your hands before meals or eat food and drinks with utensils that were crawled over by roaches, you may get infected with dysentery. It is characterized by stomach pains, fever, and diarrhea, and vomiting. These symptoms can worsen if you fail to treat them, but they can go away within a week without any treatment.


Cholera infection is the last thing you would wish to happen to anyone. It is highly infectious and causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. Watery diarrhea causes you to lose most of the water from the body leading to dehydration. When contaminated roaches crawl over your kitchen to your food and working area, you risk contracting cholera.

Cholera-causing bacteria is called vibrio cholerae, and if untreated, it can lead to death due to severe dehydration. The main symptom is watery diarrhea and vomiting, which eventually leads to dehydration.

5. E.coli

E.coli is a bacteria mainly found in the gut area. Most strains are usually harmless, but they can cause severe diarrhea, especially when ingested with contaminated food and drinks in rare cases. You may also experience abdominal cramps, and just like in cholera, cockroaches can contaminate your food and drinks if they walk through it or drop their feces.

Cockroach Sickness Symptoms

Symptoms of sicknesses as a result of cockroach contamination vary from one disease to another. Most of them present the symptoms of food poisoning, and if you are not keen, you may mistake one for the other. If it is an allergy, the reaction will manifest in the form of skin rashes, coughing, and difficulty in breathing, sneezing, or even chest tightness in case of an asthmatic attack.

Some of the symptoms you may experience as a result of ingesting food or drinks contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms include;

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pains
  • Fever
  • Tiredness

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you got it from a roach once you are diagnosed with any of these infections. From a broad perspective, these infections are a result of poor hygiene.

Related reading: How to Find a Roach Nest

What are the Dangers of Cockroaches to Humans?

The history of cockroaches and humans dates back millions of years ago. They have always found peace living with humans, but this has not been without qualms. Having cockroaches living in your house poses a significant danger to your health. Research has shown that they are among the great transmitters of pathogenic microorganisms.

Some of the diseases you are likely to contract from contaminated roaches include cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, leprosy, and E.coli, among others. Additionally, some people are allergic to cockroaches, and if you happen to have asthma, these allergies may trigger asthmatic attacks.

Related reading: I Saw One Cockroach, Should I be Worried?

How do Cockroaches Spread Diseases?

Roaches are filthy insects that thrive in dirty and grimy environments. Their habitats are always messy and greasy, which makes it possible for pathogens to survive. They crawl in toilets, restrooms, garbage bins, and other waste areas searching for food and water. The food they eat and the areas they crawl are where they pick pathogenic microorganisms that cause human infections.

When roaches find their way into your house, they will crawl everywhere, including your utensils and working surfaces. If they find available food, they will lurk over it and, if possible, have a bite or two. In the process of moving from one point to another, they leave a trail of pathogens. When humans touch these surfaces or eat food contaminated by the roaches, they get infected.

If you get infected by any pathogenic microorganisms, you may exhibit symptoms like those of food poisoning. Examples of cockroach food poising symptoms include;

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • High fever
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Dehydration
  • Blood in urine

Related reading: What Smell Repels Cockroaches?


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Can you get sick from cockroaches in your house?

Yes. Cockroaches carry pathogenic microorganisms which cause infectious diseases such as cholera and dysentery. They can contaminate your food with these pathogens in the form of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These infections can make you sick, and some can even lead to death.

What health problems can roaches cause?

Apart from diseases and infections resulting from roach contamination, most people suffer from allergies when they come into contact with these insects. If one is asthmatic, the allergies can trigger attacks, which, if not treated immediately, can be fatal.

Is cockroach poop toxic?

When cockroaches eat food contaminated with pathogens, they don’t get sick. Instead, the pathogens are released with the roach droppings. Consequently, the roach droppings are contaminated, which means they are toxic.

Related reading: cockroaches

Bottom Line

It is so distressing having an infestation that is not responding to pesticides or other natural remedies. The thought of contracting an infection due to pathogenic microorganisms transmitted by contaminated roaches is even more worrying.

Cockroaches transmit infections that may exhibit symptoms of food poisoning once you get infected. You must seek medical attention as soon as you start showing the signs because some could be fatal.

Related reading: Diseases

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