Cockroaches Health Problems.
How roach infestations can impact your health. There aren’t many people on this planet that like cockroaches and for good reason. They might scuttle around quietly but they are extremely unhygienic, can multiply quickly and are overall just not pleasant creatures to have in one’s home. The caveat is that homes are a steady and warm source of sustenance for these insects and they thrive here. In this article, we will discuss why cockroaches flock to people’s homes, why they are harmful and what are some of the diseases they carry. We will also briefly discuss some measures to get rid of them.
Why Do Roaches Infest Spaces?
These creatures are scavengers. This means, they are always in search of food left over or thrown out by others. If a place is inadvertently providing them with a steady supply of food, they are likely to take up residence there. Cockroaches are cold blooded so they thrive in warm places, mainly those with temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They also love the dark and will scatter and hide in light. A quick study of all of their characteristics makes it evident why these insects would love to pitch their tents in spaces where people live, especially in kitchens. Kitchens are warm, they are dark at night and they have food and water in plentiful. Spaces around the house that these pests commonly occupy are kitchen cupboards, wall cracks, stationary furniture, underneath sinks, and drains.
What Makes Cockroaches Harmful to Humans?
The main reason cockroaches are so harmful is that they will feed on anything they find. This includes rotten food and even feces, all organic matter that harbors tons of bacteria. These bacteria are transferred into the system of cockroaches and can survive there for months on end. When cockroaches feed on anything, they also vomit and defecate on it, releasing the bacteria into their system into the food they touch. Thus, any food contaminated by roaches will have microbes in it and some of these can cause serious diseases. During a roach infestation, roach feces can also be found littered around the space they infest, which also introduces pathogens into the said space.
Apart from spreading diseases, cockroaches also carry certain allergens. Allergens are compounds that trigger allergies. Some people are allergic to cockroaches and can have mild to harsh reactions to their allergens. Mild reactions usually include sneezing and coughing. Harsh reactions can even include asphyxiation i.e. choking.
How roach infestations can impact your health. A roach infestation can compromise the hygiene of your entire home but they don’t just stop there. During an infestation, the roaches multiply in large numbers. One cockroach can lay between 10 and 40 eggs at a time in a single batch and up to 30 batches in its entire lifetime. This means that if these insects invade your home in large numbers, soon, there would be hundreds of tiny bugs crawling around after dark. Smaller cockroaches, during very serious infestations, can even crawl over you at night or up bodily orifices like nostrils and earholes. Imagine the horror!
Diseases Caused by Cockroaches.
As mentioned before, cockroaches are carriers of disease causing pathogens and some of these can make a person gravely ill. These diseases are not passed directly from the cockroaches so they are not direct vectors. They are usually passed on from the stuff that they have contaminated. Below are some of the pathogens spread by cockroaches:
These bacteria infect the intestinal tract and cause Typhoid. Typhoid is highly contagious and is spread most commonly through water and food that has been contaminated by it. It is common in areas with poor sanitary conditions. Symptoms of salmonella infection typically include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. There may also be dehydration due to the diarrhea. If treated, a patient can usually recover from the infection in a week to 10 days. Full recovery of the intestines takes more time though. If left untreated, however, the infection can also spread beyond the intestines and can become life-threatening.
Salmonella typhi cause typhoid fever. Typhoid fever is highly infectious and its symptoms include head ache, muscular ache, high fever, stomach pains and diarrhea. Though easily treatable, if left untreated, it can cause complications.
Staphylococcus or staph for short can infect the skin and also the gut if contaminated food or drinks are ingested. If it infects the gut, symptoms normally include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and associated dehydration. If the bacteria effect the skin, it can cause boils and rashes to develop. The bacteria can also get into your body through cuts or any open wounds on the skin. If they get into the blood stream they can cause septicemia, a condition of blood poisoning, which, if not treated, can have life threatening effects on a person’s internal organs such as the heart and lungs.
Yersinia Pestis Bacterium.
This bacterium is known to spread bubonic plague that killed over 50 million people about 600 years ago. Thankfully, medical advances have allowed us to cure the diseases however, an infected person still requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of the disease include high fever, muscular cramps and swollen lymph nodes.
Vibrio cholera, as must be clear from the name, causes Cholera. In the past, this too was a serious epidemic with many many people dying. It is most commonly found in areas with poor hygiene, as our cockroaches. If the bugs pick up the bacteria, they can spread it about, contaminating food and water with it. This disease is easily spread through such mediums. Its symptoms include acute diarrhea, which can cause severe dehydration.
How roach infestations can impact your health & how to Avoid them.
The first way to avoid an infestation is to maintain a clean environment, especially around the kitchen. Since they hide in warm places, make sure you clean up being appliances like refrigerators. It is especially important to get rid of any tidbits of food. Avoid leaving food exposed in the kitchen or in cabinets. Use air tight seals or containers. Also try not to leave dirty dishes in the sink as they are sure to attract roaches. Cutting off their access to their hiding places is also a good deterrent for infestations. Fill up any cracks in walls. If there are any points in your house that could potentially allow them entry, seal them up. Clean up your trash cans regularly. Also avoid leaving cardboard boxes around as these too get occupied by roaches.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches.
While insecticide sprays are the first thing you think off to get rid of roaches, there are other even better products out there. Spraying large areas with insecticides can be harmful to humans, other harmless organisms as well as the environment. Cockroach baits are a more focused solution. These baits are usually made out of a certain type of gel. Roaches mistake them for food and when they feed on them, they ingest the insecticide within them which results in their extermination. I use tempo sc ultra for cockroach infestation and it works pretty good if used well.
There are also powders containing boric acid that effectively remove cockroaches. When carefully scattered in their potential hiding places, the powder inevitably comes into contact with them, killing them.
Finally, like mouse traps, there are also cockroach traps. These are normally set up with a bait. When cockroaches come into contact with the trap, an adhesive on it prevents them from detaching so they remain stuck to it. Traps may not be a good solution for serious infestations though, because they cannot trap more than a few roaches in a single go. Also in case of serious infestations, it does well to get professional help. A professional can guide you better as to how to go about the extermination and avoid future infestations.
Conclusion of how roach infestations can impact your health.
So, there you go. While there are plenty of products out there that will aid you in the removal of these pests, its ideal to prevent an infestation altogether. If you do a regular cleanup of the house every day, especially in the kitchen area and are mindful of not leaving food lying around or even in the trash, it is likely roaches will have no incentive to occupy your homes.
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