Cockroaches can virtually live by eating anything. Apart from the food we eat, they also feed on dead plant, animals, faecal matter, glue, soap, paper, leather and even strands of fallen hair. While crawling around at nights, they contaminate open food by defecating on it, leaving behind hair and dead skin and depositing empty egg shells in it.
Inoculation of disease-causing bacteria
While feeding cockroaches regurgitate their own saliva and digestive fluids from their mouth to inoculate your food with germs or bacteria residing in their gut. A study found that the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa can multiply extensively in gut of cockroaches. It can cause several diseases like urinary tract infections, digestive problems and sepsis.
Some species of cockroaches have been found to bite humans. These cases are rare but if your home is heavily infested with these insects then you should be careful because they can nibble on fingernails, toes and soft parts of the skin causing wounds.
Invasion of body parts
Cockroaches can not only invade your home but also your body parts. There are several cases of cockroaches entering the ear and nose while sleeping. Small cockroaches can readily enter body orifices if you’re in deep sleep.
In an epidemic outbreak of food poisoning, it was found that the incidence of new cases dropped abruptly after cockroach infestation was eliminated. The insect is also a home for the bacterium Salmonella which can cause typhoid and food poisoning.
Read more about causes, prevention and treatment of food poisoning.
Cockroaches can cause allergies. Their saliva secretion and body parts contain hundreds of allergens that can trigger an undesirable reaction. You may suffer from skin rashes, sneezing and watery eyes.
Cockroaches can be the worst enemies of asthmatic people. The incidence of asthma attack may increase if your house is infested with cockroaches. Cockroach allergens can cause severe complications and can even be life-threatening. And people who are not asthmatic may develop cockroach asthma by inhaling cockroach allergens. Here are 10 asthma triggers that you should avoid.