Roaches are everywhere.

The 2019 American Housing Survey reported that these disgusting and annoying pests are among the country’s top two causes of home deficiencies, with 14 million housing units seeing evidence of roaches in their homes.

But even though roaches are common everywhere, some states are more prone to roach infestation than others. And North Carolina, with its humid climate, is one of them. Some places in this state, like Mooresville and Cornelius, have a significant presence of these problematic pests.

Unfortunately, cockroaches cause more than just aversion in those who see them. They also have several serious consequences for homeowners and the community. And if people could only ask one question, it would be, "Are roaches harmful to my health?"

Read on and learn the facts about roaches in North Carolina and why they are harmful to your health.

What are Roaches?

The World Health Organization refers to cockroaches as “unhygienic scavengers in human settlements.” However, most species of roaches are not domiciliary pests. These species live freely in tropical regions of the world and are usually found under tree barks and decaying leaves.

Domiciliary roaches, on the other hand, are the ones you should be concerned about. They are the troublesome species that enter your home and settle in places that are dark and narrow, appearing almost invisible to homeowners.

Here are some facts about these critters that you need to know:

  • Cockroaches are among the top pests found in homes, restaurants, hospitals, and anywhere that can be a source of food and water.
  • They have a long, flat body and an antenna that’s almost as long as itself.
  • They have six long legs covered with spines.
  • They don’t bite but can scratch people with their heavy leg spines.
  • They are nocturnal insects. They hide during the day and become active at night.
  • They have wings, but only a few adult roaches fly.
  • They lay eggs in brownish-coloured cases that look like small capsules or dried kidney beans, with each egg case containing 16-50 eggs.
  • They carry several diseases that can be fatal to humans.

Undoubtedly, roaches are major pests that homeowners never want to see on their property. And there are different species of this insect that are more common in some places than others.

So, what are those that you would normally spot in North Carolina?

Types of Roaches in North Carolina

If you live in North Carolina, specifically in Mooresville and Cornelius, chances are you've seen a lot of cockroaches. This pest has a sizable population in this state, infesting roughly 32% of households.

The roaches found in this state, however, may not be the same as those found elsewhere. Only a few types of cockroaches can be found in North Carolina.

So, what are the most common species of roaches in this southeastern region of the U.S.?

  • American Cockroach. This species is the largest home-infesting cockroach, with an average length of four centimetres. They only are also called water bugs or palmetto bugs.
  • Cuban Cockroach. In contrast to the American Cockroach, this species is small, has an average length of 20-25 mm, and is not common indoors. They originated in Cuba and have an identifying green colour.
  • German Cockroach. The German Cockroach is the most common species of cockroach found worldwide, and it is the reason why roaches are so feared. They are small, light brown in colour, and only live indoors, feeding on human and pet food, leather, and even dead bodies.
  • Brown-Hooded Cockroach. These are woodland roaches that look like the German Cockroach. They live in pairs and are commonly found under rotting logs.
  • Western Wood Cockroach. As the name suggests, Western Wood Cockroaches are found in the woods, much like the Brown-hooded Cockroach. They hide under rocks, leaves, and branches during the day and feed on dead animals and plants at night.

The German Cockroach is the most troublesome among the different types of roaches found in North Carolina. The other types are rarely found in homes and other establishments, but the German Cockroach lives exclusively indoors.

Cockroaches have an average life span of six months. And in those months, they can lay up to 40 eggs, especially German species. As for American Cockroaches, they breed less frequently, but females can live longer, sometimes even more than a year, giving them more opportunities to lay eggs.

Why are Roaches Harmful to Humans?

Knowing the types of cockroaches to watch out for gives you an advantage in preventing an infestation. But why should you prevent these insects from invading your home?

It’s time you find the answer to “are roaches harmful to my health?”.

The National Center for Healthy Housing considers cockroaches health hazards. And it’s because of the following reasons:

  • Roaches trigger asthma attacks from debris, such as shredded body parts, saliva, and droppings. Research also revealed that roach allergens cause the development of asthma in preschool children.
  • They carry an offensive and foul smell that triggers asthma and causes respiratory illness and gastrointestinal conditions.
  • Although they don’t bite, the stings on their legs can cause scratches, which can become infected.
  • They carry bacteria, spreading them everywhere they go. When these germs fall on food, the consequences to human health can be devastating.

While seeing cockroaches in your home or business is annoying, the worst part is the health risk they pose. Unfortunately, without proper intervention, these threats become reality and cripple your home or business.

And what specific health conditions do roaches cause?

  • Allergies
  • Salmonella poisoning
  • Staphylococcus and Streptococcus infection
  • Dysentery
  • Diarrhea
  • Cholera
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Leprosy
  • Plague
  • Listeriosis
  • Campylobacteriosis

The variety of diseases they carry makes it apparent how roaches are dangerous to your health. So, at the first sign of cockroach infestation, you must immediately take the necessary steps to eradicate them.

What You Can Do

There is no question about the negative consequences of a cockroach infestation. So, the concern that comes with their presence is quite understandable.

But what can you do to stop these pests from entering your home? Here are some ways:

  • Always keep your home, office, or establishment clean and tidy.
  • Eliminate clutter in and around your home.
  • Keep the doors closed and seal entry points.
  • Keep food well-hidden and clean up after meals.
  • Remove sources of food and water.
  • Schedule deep cleaning at least twice a year.
  • Disinfect your home, especially the kitchen and bathrooms, regularly.
  • If you have stacked firewood, keep them well away from your walls.
  • Tend and manage your garden and vegetation well.
  • Take out your trash daily and close the bin tightly.

There are many ways to prevent an infestation from cockroaches. But sometimes, prevention is not enough. It’s pretty impressive how these pests manage to enter households no matter how hard people try to stop them.

So, when roaches still enter your property even though you took the necessary prevention steps, the best option is to call the experts from A+ Termite and Pest Control. Our team can effectively eliminate the presence of cockroaches in your home, office or facility. Our professional exterminators have the knowledge, skills, experience, and tools to completely eradicate an infestation and prevent the pests from returning.

So, at the first sign of cockroaches in your home, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll help put your worries to rest.