Cockroaches, disease, and allergies: What you need to know

Mar 9, 2018, 08:33 AM by Fred Speer

In addition to being unattractive (and certainly unwelcome) houseguests, cockroaches can also pose serious health concerns when they enter homes.

Cockroaches can be a trigger of asthma and allergies, especially in children. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that one in five children in the United States have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens.

In addition, these pests have been implicated in the spread of a number of serious parasites and bacteria to humans, resulting in diseases – 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, six parasitic worms, and more than seven other types of human pathogens, according to the National Pest Management Association. This makes the presence of cockroaches in homes all the more concerning.

You should pay extra attention to kitchen and bathroom areas, especially under appliances and sinks, because these locations are particularly popular with cockroaches, which are attracted by the presence of food and moisture in plumbing fixtures, drains, and toilets.

Cockroaches pick up germs on the spines of their legs as they crawl across sewage, garbage, decaying matter, and other filth. They can then transfer these germs – along with their shed skins and fecal droppings – onto foods and counter surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom.

The Clark Man recommends a preventive approach to keeping cockroaches from gaining access to your home and posing a threat to your family. The first step to combatting cockroaches effectively is good cleaning practices:

  • Keep the kitchen and bathrooms free of crumbs and other food debris.
  • Vacuum frequently and use a disinfectant to wipe down counters and other food surfaces after meal prep.
  • As tempting as it may be, avoid letting dirty dishes pile up in the sink.
  • Take out the trash frequently, and store it in a sealed receptacle outdoors.

Your pantry is another area to keep an eye on. Food stored in cardboard boxes or paper packaging should be transferred into sturdy, sealed containers. Any foods that have passed their expiration dates should be thrown away. Also, keep pet food in a sealed container and wash out pet bowls frequently.

Reducing moisture in your home can help to prevent cockroaches and other pests from finding it attractive. Repair leaks under sinks and other appliances, and consider installing a dehumidifier in damp crawl spaces.

If you are experiencing a problem with cockroaches in your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at Our highly trained technicians have years of experience eliminating these filthy pests from homes.

Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.