The Lowdown on Loathsome Cockroaches
Cockroaches can virtually live by eating anything. Apart from the food we eat, they also feed on dead plants, animals, fecal matter, glue, soap, paper, leather and even strands of fallen hair. While crawling around at night, they contaminate open food by defecating on it, leaving behind hair and dead skin and depositing empty egg shells in it.
Cockroaches can spread a range of diseases; however, unlike mosquitos, they are not direct vectors. Transmission occurs indirectly – from consumption or contact with items which have been contaminated by cockroaches, rather than through bites. Some diseases that are known to be spread by cockroaches in this fashion are cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, leprosy, salmonellosis, and listeriosis.
Some species of cockroaches have been found to bite humans. These cases are rare as there are more than 4,000 species of cockroaches, but if your home is heavily infested, you should still be cautious.
Cockroaches can cause allergies. Their saliva secretion and body parts contain hundreds of allergens that can trigger a reaction. You may suffer from skin rashes, sneezing and watery eyes. Cockroach allergens can cause severe complications and can even be life-threatening. The incidence of asthma attacks may increase if your house is infested with cockroaches. People who are not asthmatic may develop cockroach asthma by inhaling cockroach allergens.