Just How Dangerous Is It To Have Cockroaches In My Jacksonville Home?

There is a consensus that cockroaches are gross. Few people are excited when they find cockroaches living in their Jacksonville homes, yet a surprising number of people live with cockroaches in their homes. Why is this? Because they don't realize that cockroaches aren't just gross to look at; they have some very disgusting habits. We're going to take a few minutes to talk about these habits and how they can present a threat to you and everyone living in your home.

cockroach on table


Cockroaches are drawn to decaying organic matter. While a roach will nibble on a piece of fresh fruit, it will choose a rotting piece of fruit over something fresh every time. Not only do they eat things that are rotting, but they also lay their eggs in them. If you have gelatinous organic goo rotting in the bottom of a trash can, roaches will zero in on it. This exposes cockroaches to harmful bacteria, parasitic worms, and other microorganisms.


Cockroaches eat a lot of things, but one of the most disturbing things they eat is animal waste. If you have a dog that leaves droppings in your yard, cockroaches will take notice. Even worse than this, the waste left by your cat in a cat box can give roaches a bite to eat. This exposes roaches to diseases and pathogens.

Tight Spaces

Are you ready for a ten-cent word? Cockroaches are thigmotactic. You might not recognize this word, but you should understand this behavior. Thigmotaxis is sort of the opposite of claustrophobia. Cockroaches like to be squeezed into tight spaces. This love of tight spaces is one of the reasons they so readily enter Jacksonville homes. They see a gap or crack, and they squeeze right in. It also causes cockroaches to get into some filly places, such as the grimy space next to your oven, where decaying grease and organic material can be found. This is just one more way roaches expose themselves to harmful organisms.


Once a cockroach is exposed, it has the uncanny ability to spread harmful, illness-causing organisms around. Cockroaches can scale walls, run across ceilings, squeeze through gaps that are more than half their height, and some even fly. It doesn't take much effort for a cockroach to go from a dirty place to a clean place.

Point Of Contact

Some of the many locations you are likely to have contact with harmful organisms left by cockroaches may surprise and startle you.

  • Food. Cockroaches can chew through cardboard, paper, and thin plastic. This allows them to get into your stored foods and contaminate them.

  • Food-preparation surfaces. When cockroaches run across your cutting board, they leave organisms on the surface that are invisible to the naked eye.

  • Dishes and silverware. You might think that your dishes and silverware are safely hidden inside closed compartments, but cockroaches can get through very tight spaces, especially when they are newly hatched. When they hatch from their eggs, German cockroaches are small enough to pass through the holes in an electrical outlet.

  • Toothbrush bristles. Cockroaches eat toothpaste. They're also drawn to decaying organic material that can be found in the bristles of a toothbrush.

  • Your open mouth. Cockroaches sometimes take a drink from the mouths of sleeping people as they explore for dead skin cells to eat in the lashes and eyebrows. Yes. It is as disturbing as it sounds.

  • The open mouths of babies. Stale milk smells like sweet flowers to cockroaches. That's all we have to say about this.

The Bottom Line

At this point, you get the idea. Cockroaches are drawn to filthy locations and can spread invisible organisms to other places with relative ease, leading to sickness. But how bad is the sickness? Experts have determined that roaches can spread more than 33 kinds of bacteria, over seven human pathogens, and six parasitic worms. They also increase asthma symptoms that require hospitalization. These are not pests that you should ever allow to run around inside your Jacksonville home!

Get control of cockroaches by reaching out to Lindsey Pest Services. We provide industry-leading pest control in the Greater Jacksonville area. Our licensed and experienced service professionals can help you protect your health and property from harmful pests.


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