Although extremely visible when exposed, cockroaches are very capable of remaining out of sight. Commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms around appliances and pipes, cockroaches feed on a variety of foods, with decaying organic matter being their favorite. Cockroaches also feed on items containing starches and can cause noticeable damage to book bindings, paper goods, and clothing. Their droppings are easily confused with pepper and are usually found near their infestation sites. Their oily bodies and droppings can contaminate your counters, walls and any exposed products.
They feed on human and pet food and can leave an offensive odor. They can passively transport pathogenic microbes on their body surfaces, particularly in environments such as hospitals. Cockroaches are linked with allergic reactions in humans. One of the proteins that trigger allergic reactions is tropomyosin. These allergens are also linked to asthma. About 60% of asthma patients in some large cities were found to be sensitive to cockroach allergens. Studies similar to this have been done globally and all the results are similar. Cockroaches can live for a few days up to a month without food, so just because no cockroaches are visible in a home does not mean they are not there. Approximately 20-48% of homes with no visible sign of cockroaches have detectable cockroach allergens in dust.
Cockroaches can burrow into human ears, causing pain and hearing loss. They may be removed with forceps, possibly after first drowning them with olive oil.
Cockroaches can transmit the following diseases:
Cockroaches can also trigger asthma and other allergies as well as spread E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus.
Cockroaches are omnivores that eat plants and meat. They have been known to eat human flesh of both the living and the dead, they tend to go after fingernails, eyelashes, feet, and hands. Their bites can cause irritation, swelling, and lesions. Some have suffered from minor wounds that later became infected.