Cockroach Infestations: The Health Hazards of Cockroaches You Can’t Ignore

A cockroach infestation is a serious problem that can cause great harm to your home and health. It is important to be on the lookout for warning signs in order to get ahead of the problem before it starts. To help you avoid a future or worsening situation, we’ll cover the key signs of a cockroach infestation in your home.

How to Identify a Cockroach Infestation

Watch out for the following warning signs that suggest a cockroach infestation. Keeping your eyes open for these indicators can help you stop the infestation before it gets out of hand.

Unusual Smells

Cockroaches thrive in moist, humid environments. When they dwell in these areas, they produce an unusual scent. If you notice a new moist, oily, or musty smell, you may have cockroaches hiding in your bathroom, cabinets, or even walls.


Cockroaches will leave their droppings behind in places where they have been dwelling. Their droppings are very small and often look like coffee grounds or clusters of dark specks. If you notice droppings, you likely have an infestation, even if you haven’t seen an actual roach.

Skin Sheds

In addition to leaving behind droppings, cockroaches will also leave behind their shed skin. Cockroaches have exoskeletons, so they are constantly producing new skin to hold themselves together. When the old skin is no longer needed, they shed it off and leave it behind.

Living and Dead Insects

This might be the most obvious and important warning sign to look out for. Just because you see one cockroach does not always mean that you have an infestation. However, if you see multiple dead—or alive—cockroaches lying around, you can assume that there are more cockroaches in the area. Either way, the sight of a cockroach, live or dead, is a reason to call in a pest control professional.

The Health Hazards

Most people believe that the health hazards cockroaches provide come from having direct contact with them. Although it is possible to be bitten by a cockroach, it is very unlikely. If they do bite you, it can lead to a possible allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions are the most common types of health effects that cockroaches cause. Allergy symptoms can include:

  • Skin rashes
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Asthma attack
  • Anaphylaxis, in severe cases

However, cockroaches do more harm by spreading disease through indirect contact with humans. Studies show that cockroaches are responsible for the spread of 33 types of bacteria, 6 varieties of parasitic worms, and 7 types of pathogens. Indirect contact through contaminated food and surfaces can lead to:

  • Gastroenteritis
  • Listeriosis
  • Giardia
  • Staphylococcus
  • Streptococcus
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli)
  • Poliomyelitis virus
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Salmonella
  • Typhoid fever
  • Food poisoning

How to Stop an Infestation before It Begins

There are many preventative measures that can be taken in order to stop an infestation from happening before it begins. When done routinely, your chances of an infestation starting are very slim.

Fixing Leaks

Leaks in faucets, toilets, or pipes can lead to a buildup of water. Cockroaches will be drawn to these areas and will start to settle there. Patching up leaks will prevent water buildup and keep areas throughout your house dry.

Cleaning Kitchen Surfaces

Leftover food from kitchen countertops and dinner tables can attract cockroaches. It is best practice to wipe off and clean any surfaces that were used for food prep or dining.

Sealing Cracks and Crevices

Cockroaches make their way into your home through small cracks and crevices. Most of these cracks and crevices will be in areas close to the floor or in hard-to-see places. It is important to seal up these gaps in order to prevent them from making their way inside.

Cleaning and Putting Away Dirty Dishes

Dirty dishes left behind in the sink are wet and full of food. When these dishes start to pile up, they become the perfect spot for cockroaches to thrive. Cleaning and putting away the dirty dishes after each meal will go a long way towards preventing a cockroach infestation.

What to Do If You Have a Cockroach Infestation

If you have a cockroach infestation, it is important that you deal with the situation immediately. Fully getting rid of a severe cockroach infestation can take weeks, and every day that an infestation is not addressed, the situation gets worse. 

Thankfully, Clint Miller Exterminating specializes in getting rid of cockroaches and preventing them from getting into your home in the first place. Call Clint Miller Exterminating at +1 (704) 436-6607 for more details or fill out your information for a free quote and call back within 15 minutes.

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