Ask Mr. Pest Control
Q: What diseases do roaches carry? — Christopher, CA
A: Because German cockroaches may travel between unsanitary conditions and food, it’s possible for them to carry disease microbes on their bodies and deposit them onto food and utensils. In this manner, the main concern is pathogens that cause food poisoning or gastroenteritis, a.k.a. stomach flu. There is a more direct connection between German cockroaches and acute asthma attacks. People may become allergic to proteins in cockroach feces from chronic exposure to cockroaches, as in long-term infestations. In sensitive people, inhalation of cockroach proteins produces mild allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes, which may progress into acute asthma attacks. Removing cockroaches from the environment significantly reduces acute asthma attacks. It’s also possible for American cockroaches to contaminate food with disease microbes and cause acute asthma attacks.