In our area, we have a few cockroach species to contend with. Each presents its own challenges. Some roaches get into man-made structures in Raleigh and stay permanently. Some prefer to live outside in damp or dirty locations and go in and out of structures. Some rarely get in, and only do so when wood scraps, firewood, construction material, or rotting wood is near a home. This last group is considered a low threat. But, the first two groups can present a serious health concern. Here are a few facts every Raleigh resident should know.


It is estimated that cockroaches spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria. These are microorganisms that can cause stomach illness and other issues. One example is Salmonella. It is likely that you’ve heard of this one. It gets a lot of press. What you may not know is that, along with being able to cause flu-like symptoms, it can present a risk for sickle cell diseases in high-risk populations. Cockroaches spread this and other bacteria by coming in contact with, and by eating, rotting organic matter.

Swollen Eyes

Cockroaches don’t prefer to bite you, but they can. They eat dead skin cells, and they are known to feed on the dead skin cells in the eyelashes of sleeping people. When an accidental bite occurs, it often leads to swelling, and may also result in pink eye (conjunctivitis). This is due to the harmful bacteria cockroaches can have on their skins.


There are many parasites that can be picked up by cockroaches. Some are ingested and some attach to the legs or exoskeleton.

Giardia is an example of an ingested parasite. If a cockroach exposes you to this microscopic parasite, you can have serious stomach illness.

Hookworm is an example of an external parasite. It is picked up by cockroaches and carried into sensitive areas within your home. The first signs of hookworm may be itching and a rash. These occur when a hookworm penetrates your skin. If you have a minor infection, you may have no symptoms, but a severe infection can lead to flu-like symptoms and anemia.


Cockroaches have proteins on their skins that can cause you to have an adverse reaction. These allergens can impact you if you come in contact with a roach, but also when you are exposed to the shed skins of roaches, which are often left in ventilation ducts. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reported recently that cockroach infestations have a significant and harmful impact on people who suffer from asthma. In a recent study, it was found that high exposure to cockroach allergens in the bedroom resulted in wheezing, absenteeism from school, sleepless nights, and unscheduled visits to the hospital for asthma-related symptoms. This is a serious concern due to the fact that asthma is sometimes life-threatening, and 60 percent of people with asthma who live in cities are allergic to roaches.


Cockroaches don’t just present a health threat, they can damage your belongings, and even damage the building material in your home. 

  • They chew holes through cardboard and paper food packages to gain access.
  • They can stain fabrics with their droppings.
  • They feed on cellulose, like a termite. While they won’t harm your home, they can be found feeding on wallpaper and other paper materials.
  • They may chew holes in clothing, upholstered furniture, and other fabrics.

Don’t Live With Cockroaches

At the first sign of a cockroach infestation (or long before) contact Innovative Pest Solutions to learn how you can get rid of cockroaches and keep them out of your Raleigh property. We’re here to assist you with all your pest concerns. 

A CTA for cockroach control services