Cockroaches tend to be dirty insects, particularly in urban areas. They get into sewers, dumpsters, compost heaps, septic systems, and other dirty places. They feed on rotting organic matter and feces. They explore dirty drains, dirty mop buckets, and climb around in the grime on the sides of ovens and other appliances. While unpleasant to think about, it is important that you are aware of this behavior. While some refer to cockroaches as water bugs, the last thing you want to imagine is cockroaches bathing in water all day long. While some refer to cockroaches as Palmetto bugs, dirt is not the dirtiest thing that insects crawl around on. This is primarily why cockroaches are considered dangerous. How dangerous are they? Let's take a look.

cockroach eating bread
cockroach on kitchen table


When cockroaches crawl around in places we would never think about crawling around in, they pick up organisms that are so small we can't detect them without a microscope. These tiny organisms can be carried on the outside of the roaches, or in the gut of the roaches. Inside your home, contamination can occur when roaches crawl on your counters, cutting boards, dishes, silverware, toothbrushes, and other sensitive areas.

Most of the microorganisms that are spread by cockroaches will do nothing more than give you a stomach ache and pass through your system. Unfortunately, there are certain organisms, like Salmonella and E. coli, that have the potential to result in dangerous and even life-threatening sickness. According to the CDC, approximately 73,000 cases of E. coli are reported each year, and about 100 of these reported cases result in death. About 26,500 U.S. residents are hospitalized for Salmonella infections, which results in 420 deaths. Obviously, the percentage of the U.S. population that is impacted is quite low. Even if 520 people died from these illnesses in Alabama, where the population is almost five million, your chances of serious exposure would still be low. This is important to keep in mind.

Cockroaches are known to carry at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six unique parasitic worms, and more than seven other types of human pathogens. These can cause cholera, leprosy, listeriosis, campylobacteriosis, Giardia-related intestinal infections, and more. 

We're not trying to scare you. We believe it is important that you understand the risk of having cockroaches in your home. Health organizations and health inspectors don't tolerate these insects in businesses and municipalities because of the link to serious stomach illness is considerable. You shouldn't tolerate them in your Auburn home.


In most homes, cockroaches will do little more than reduce air quality and cause residents to sneeze or develop a respiratory wheeze. But in a home where asthma is a concern, cockroaches can present a danger. Studies have shown that homes in urban centers that have cockroach infestations are more likely to have increased hospital visitations for asthma-related symptoms. If someone in your home suffers from asthma, you know that this is a potentially life-threatening illness. At the first sign of cockroach infestation, you should contact a licensed pest management professional.


Perhaps the most surprising way cockroaches can make you seriously sick is when they develop a tolerance for pest control chemicals. These are robust insects that can survive contact with toxic chemicals. When they do, nymphs have an ability to shed their skins and create new skins that are even more resistant. This can create super roaches in your home. A super roach can crawl across a toxic chemical, pick it up on its legs, and bring that chemical into your pantry and kitchen cabinets. We strongly discourage the use of toxic chemicals to get control of roach infestations. Not only can they make you seriously sick, they're actually not all that effective at arresting infestations.

How To Mitigate The Danger Of Cockroaches

There are many things you as a homeowner can do to reduce the risk of cockroach-related illness.

  • Clean your entire home, particularly your bathroom.

  • Deep clean areas that are unseen, like the sides of your oven.

  • Properly manage your trash and recycling.

  • Disinfect mops and mop buckets.

  • Clean your drains.

  • If you have a litter box, make sure your pets are covering their waste.

  • Address humidity and leaky faucets in your home. A dry home can drive some cockroach species out, such as Oriental or American cockroaches.

  • Seal your exterior and remove gaps and cracks roaches use to get inside.

  • Address moisture, leaves, branch piles, scrap wood, dirty trash receptacles, and other attractants that lure cockroaches to your home.

When Cockroach Control Is Needed

If you need cockroach control in Auburn, Daphne, Fairhope, Orange Beach, or Foley, the best solution is to contact Prewett Pest Control. We service Auburn area homes and businesses with industry-leading cockroach control. We know what is required to deal with the pest roach species in Auburn. Reach out to us today for assistance. We can help!


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