Cockroaches can be major pests in restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices and buildings with food-handling areas. Cockroaches are known to carry human pathogens, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can result in human diseases, such as food poisoning or diarrhea. Occasionally, they will destroy fabric and paper products. In large numbers, cockroaches secrete a substance which can result in stains on surfaces and produce disagreeable odors. Products of cockroach infestations, including saliva, feces and cast skins, are a source of allergens and can irritate allergies and asthma in people, especially children.
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Identification and Control Information
- Fact Sheet: Cockroaches (PDF)—Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Laboratory
- Pest Management Fact Sheet: Cockroaches—University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- Least Toxic Methods of Cockroach Control (PDF)—University of Florida Extension
- Entomological Notes: German Cockroaches (PDF)—Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension
[Photos, left to right: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org; Gary Alpert, Harvard University, Bugwood.org; Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org]