Cockroaches can contaminate food with their waste and saliva which contains bacteria that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, and Staphylococcus infections.
Although they are associated with, and thrive in conditions of poor sanitation due to the large amount of food available, they can also invade even the best-kept homes. Contrary to popular belief, you do not get cockroaches because of poor housekeeping. Cockroaches can come into your home on food, packages, boxes, used furniture and appliances, or can migrate from adjoining apartments or buildings.
Since cockroaches need a food source and often scavenge on spoiled food in garbage bins, they pick up bacterial organisms on their legs. If they get into your home, they can deposit this bacteria onto uncovered food. In addition, many disease-causing organisms can grow and multiply in their digestive systems and be transmitted to silverware, plates, cooking surfaces, etc. during defecation.
We talked about how breathing dust containing cockroach feces or body parts can cause an allergic reaction and asthma, especially in children. As far as the diseases that cockroaches can spread, they can pick up Salmonella on their legs and deposit it to food, which can cause food poisoning if ingested.
It is important for people to take preventative measures to protect their families and properties from the health threats associated with cockroaches. Sanitation is the first phase in a cockroach control program and you should make efforts to reduce water, food and shelter available to cockroaches.
Here are a few quick tips:
- Place all food or edible material in tightly sealed containers, including pet food.
- Remove trash on a regular basis.
- Clean up all areas where spilled food and crumbs may accumulate, including under stoves, refrigerators, and behind cupboards. Of course, make sure cooking and eating surfaces are clean.
As always, if you are experiencing a pest problem, we are happy to help.