It can be unnerving when you expose cockroaches in your home. It can seem like one day you don't have them, the next day you have thousands of them. This is because cockroaches stay in hiding until their population gets too large for available resources. If you start seeing one or two of them, it means that many more are in the home - they’ve simply outgrown their nest. 

The real danger with cockroaches is how long they go unnoticed. Long before you start moving objects in your living room and watching dozens of roaches flee for cover, cockroaches will have already had an adverse impact on you and everyone living in your home. Most homeowners only become aware of a cockroach infestation once it becomes severe, but it only takes a small roach population to put your health in jeopardy. 

The goal of this article is to explore some of the ways roaches can present a danger to you, and how understanding this threat can alert you to cockroach infestation in your Columbia property.

mouse in flour
mouse on table

Stomach Illness

If you don't feel so well and you start to have nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting, you might think that you have the flu or the common cold. However, if you have a roach infestation in your home, they could be the true culprit. Roaches regularly inhabit some of the dirtiest and most unsanitary areas of our environment. When they get into the trash or the sewers, and when they feed on rotting organic matter, the hairs on their legs pick up various microorganisms. 

Roach activity can expose you and your family to a variety of bacteria and parasitic worms. When those roaches go from your trash to your pantry, kitchen cabinets, or dish cabinets, they can transport and deposit those invisible organisms in these sensitive areas. When you experience chronic stomach ailments, it is important to consider a roach infestation as a possible source, even if you haven't seen any roaches. Common stomach diseases caused by cockroaches are:

  • Salmonellosis
  • E. Coli
  • Staphylococcus
  • Giardia
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Dysentery
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Listeriosis
  • And many more

The danger roaches pose is one of the primary reasons why it’s important to call a professional for help when roaches get in. 

Other Diseases

Cockroaches are known carriers of a long list of diseases that go beyond stomach illness, including scary illnesses and diseases such as leprosy and plague. While both are treatable, they can be a serious threat if they go untreated for too long. 

These diseases spread primarily through contact with the feces of cockroaches. Roach droppings look like black specks of pepper. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask if you undertake cleaning up cockroach droppings. However, due to the inherent risk that comes with dealing with these hazardous pests, cockroach cleanup is a task always best left to the professionals here at Go-Forth Pest Control.     


Recent studies have shown that roach infestations increase the frequency of symptoms and hospitalizations due to asthma symptoms. If someone in your home suffers from asthma attacks, you may have a cockroach infestation. 

Cockroaches can also aggravate those who have a cockroach allergy. If you’ve recently had an ear or sinus infection, nasal congestion, or coughing/wheezing fits, roaches could be to blame.


Another way cockroaches can trigger allergies is by crawling on your skin and leaving a rash.

A Swollen Eye

If you wake up with a swollen eye, it is likely that you had a bad encounter with a cockroach. While roaches don't typically bite humans—because they don't eat living flesh—they can accidentally bite when they feed on dead skin cells in the eyebrows and eyelashes of sleeping people. If a roach accidentally bites you in the night, the wound can become inflamed and swollen due to contact with harmful bacteria on the roach that bit you.

Property Damage

Cockroaches chew on paper, cardboard, and fabrics. This can be a danger to your belongings and also to you. Roaches can eat wallpaper, documents, books, and clothing. That can create damage that may not be repairable. They can also chew on food packages. If they get into your food, they can make you sick. In either case, the appearance of tiny chew holes can be a warning sign that you have a cockroach infestation in your Columbia home.

What You Should Do About Roaches

If you wake up with a rash on your skin or any of the above symptoms of a roach infestation, it is a good idea to do an inspection of your home and look for warning signs of a cockroach infestation, such as:

  • Areas speckled with black feces or black stains. These may be found on walls, floors, ceilings, or objects.
    Insect skins scattered about in secluded spaces.
  • Cockroach egg casings. You may find intact cases or shed casings, depending on the roach species.
  • A bad smell. The pheromones secreted by roaches are unpleasant to most people.
  • And (obviously) the presence of cockroaches or their nymphs crawling around.

There are many ways roaches can adversely impact your life. The problem is that you may not even realize you have an infestation. If you start noticing any of these warning signs, reach out to Go-Forth Pest Control immediately. We can help you determine whether or not your home is infested with roaches and then guide you in selecting a treatment option to correct the issue. We provide advanced pest control in Columbia and the surrounding region. Reach out to us today and schedule a pest control inspection to get started. We're here to help you address all of your pest concerns.


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