Would you be able to pick out a German cockroach in a lineup of cockroaches? Most people can. There are two reasons for this. First of all, German cockroaches have a distinct appearance. Out of the five common cockroaches that get into Pittsburgh homes, German cockroaches are the only tan cockroaches we see. If this tan coloration isn't enough, a German cockroach also has two dark lines on the back of its head that look a little bit like an equal sign. You can use this as further help in identifying what type of cockroach you have. The second reason most people can identify a German cockroach is that they are a very common household invader. Of all the cockroaches that get into our Pittsburgh homes, German cockroaches are the most successful. This is because they can tolerate dry conditions and scarcity of food resources. When they get in, they present a threat to us. That is what we're going to focus on today. Here are a few ways German cockroaches can make us sick.
Harmful Bacteria — When cockroaches climb in trash bins and dumpsters, they are exposed to a wide range of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. They consume these tiny organisms and spread them when they leave their feces around a home. They can also contaminate foods, dishes, silverware, cutting boards, pans, and more, when they climb around in kitchens and pantries.
Human Pathogens and Parasitic Worms — Cockroaches feed on the waste of humans and animals. For this reason, they are commonly exposed to human pathogens and parasitic worms. These can be picked up and carried on the outside of their bodies or consumed and spread by their feces.
Allergens — Cockroaches are filthy insects that can cause a rash just by crawling around on your skin but recent studies have linked cockroaches to another form of allergic reaction. It was found that cockroaches inhabiting homes in urban centers lead to an increase in hospitalization due to asthma symptoms.
Treatments for Cockroaches Can Be a Threat — The illnesses that can be caused by cockroaches lead residents to take extreme actions to get rid of cockroaches, but the use of pesticides can cause more sickness. Cockroaches have the ability to develop a chemical-resistant cuticle (skin). This can make them carriers of the toxic chemicals used to exterminate them.
There are many ways we invite cockroaches into our homes and there are some preventative measures that work to reduce cockroach populations. But in light of how dangerous cockroaches can be to human health, it is best to have a licensed and experienced pest management professional eliminate and exclude cockroaches from your home. For assistance with cockroach control in the Pittsburgh area, reach out Witt Pest Management. We use the most advanced products and methods to protect families from cockroach-related illnesses, without exposing families to harmful chemicals. Get started by requesting a free pest inspection for your Pittsburgh home.