How cockroaches spread disease

diseases spread by cockroaches

Cockroaches present a significant risk to food safety due to their ability to vector and spread diseases. They contaminate food and food-handling surfaces via their droppings or mechanical transfer from their bodies. On the left are German cockroaches on a petri dish. On the right are colonies of E. coli transferred by the cockroaches. 

 

 

Contaminating food  and food-handling surfaces

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the German cockroach is a known vector for diseases including: 
  • Salmonellosis – Salmonella food poisoning causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours. Symptoms are generally mild, but can be severe, especially for those with a compromised immune system.
  • Staphylococcus infections – This gastrointestinal illness develops soon after food is eaten and usually last about a day. The toxins are heat resistant so are not destroyed by cooking.
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally lives in the intestines of people and animals and some types can cause illness with diarrhea . 
  • Typhoid fever – This life-threatening illness is caused by Salmonella Typhi. When a contaminated food is consumed, the bacteria multiply and spread into the bloodstream. 
  • Gastroenteritis – inflammation of the stomach and small and large intestines, generally leading to vomiting or diarrhea.
  • General diarrhea.

People may become infected with any of these by eating or drinking a contaminated food or beverage. Cockroaches can also trigger asthma and other allergies. 

 
Learn more about Types of Cockroaches

more resources

Dangers of Cockroaches on Food

the dangers of cockroaches

Learn how cockroaches can affect food safety.

A type of common cockroach

Types of Cockroaches

Learn about common species of cockroaches most commonly found in commercial kitchens and food handling facilities.

Cleaning to prevent Cockroaches

Tips for PEST Prevention

Get proactive pest prevention tips for your commercial kitchen.

Cockroach Solutions at Ecolab

Ecolab cockroach program

Our proven 4-step protocol eliminates cockroaches.

Cockroach prevention at Ecolab

about ecolab pest elimination

More than 30 years of pest management experience focused exclusively on the commercial market segments. 

Ecolab Cockroach webinar

watch webinar recording

Learn about the importance of sanitation in a successful pest elimination program and get tips for preventing cockroaches from entering your establishment.

Learn how Ecolab can help eliminate pests in your food handling facility. Contact us today.

Contact Us

give us a call

For additional information on Ecolab solutions, complete the form and a company representative will contact you.

Or call us at 1-800-326-2000.

Asociación Nacional de Industriales.
Industrial Cuamatla, CP 54730 Cuautitlán
Izcalli, Méx., México

Tell Us About Yourself
Where Are you Located?
How Can We Reach You?
How Can We Help You?