Cockroaches The Pests We Fear

We all know about the brown, pesky little insects that invade our homes. Cockroaches are among the most common and repugnant pests found everywhere. The mere sight of these little pests gets us shuddering in disgust, but the more disturbing part? They often get around your homes without being noticed. They are adept at navigating the opportunities we create through our lifestyle and are experts at hiding.

But why might cockroaches cause you concern right now? Let’s find out more about what makes cockroaches so repulsive, how they harm us, and how you can stop them.

Why do roaches scare us?

You may be surprised to know that human distaste for cockroaches goes way back to ancient Egypt when Egyptians entreated the ram-headed god Khnum to banish cockroaches or to ancient Rome when Pliny the Elder described the “disgusting” nature of these pests. By the 19th century, the cockroach species had carved out a niche for itself as the pests that had more or less had achieved world domination. 

However, our fear of cockroaches is not rational in terms of human health. They are hardly worse than mosquitoes, ticks, or flies who feed directly on our blood, fluids, or skin. So, why do so many people experience katsaridaphobia (cockroach phobia)?

Jeffrey Lockwood, author of The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, And Love Insects, explains that our aversion to cockroaches is linked to the pest’s biology and how we are nurtured as kids. Their trait of being greasy, slimy, and smelly calls out to our hardwired disgust reflexes. They invoke the two universal negative human emotions–fear and disgust–which we associate with danger and potential for disease, respectively. 

Not to mention the crunch sound they produce when you step on them and the smell of a dirty urinal that accompanies the said crunch. Yes, roaches stink because they store uric acid in their stomach, a major component of human urine. The way cockroaches scuttle and startle us with their sneakiness is no less than a horror movie and does not help our fear of them either. If you are looking for cockroach control services so contact us.

But, you might also wonder: apart from scaring us, do these pests affect our health?

Cockroaches: A Health Concern

There are over 4,000 species of cockroaches worldwide, but they rank pretty low when it comes to insects that can harm you. So, why might cockroaches cause you concern? Here’s why:

  • Allergies: Cockroaches produce many allergens in their droppings, saliva, eggs, and shed exoskeleton. These allergens usually affect the respiratory system. That means asthma patients have a higher risk of symptoms when exposed to cockroach antigens/allergens. Furthermore, according to the NIEHS (USA), children are more susceptible to these allergic reactions. 
  • Spread of Bacteria and Diseases: The common bacteria spread by cockroaches include:
    • E. coli: Cause food poisoning), 
    • Staphylococcus aureus: Cause skin problems and pneumonia 
    • Streptococcus: Cause strep throat, impetigo, cellulitis, etc.

These pests also spread diseases like:

  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Leprosy
  • Plague

Take Action

It’s a fact that cockroaches harm our mental and physical health. But, do not worry. It is never too late to take action and stop these pests from invading your home and making it their intimate space. All you have to do is keep your home clean and clean up food messes immediately. Additionally, you may schedule a pest inspection through professionals like Top Line Pest Control if you find signs of roaches in or around your home.