Health Risks Of Pests

Pests like cockroaches, mosquitoes, rodents, and fleas can carry disease and cause serious health issues. From West Nile virus spread by mosquitoes to Lyme disease carried by fleas and ticks, pests are a threat to our overall health.

Even pests that do not bite or sting can trigger allergies and asthma in susceptible individuals. Their droppings and cast skin can also exacerbate allergies. You should talk with Nature Shield Pest Solutions experts today.

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Despite being considered pests, cockroaches are amazing at adapting to their surroundings and have survived on Earth for millions of years. Their hardiness provides us with a lesson about the power of resilience.

Cockroaches have a complex gut microbiome that contributes to their metabolism, absorption of nutrients, and immunity against pathogens. The microorganisms that are found in the hindgut of cockroaches have the greatest diversity and play the most important role in digestion, metabolism, and behavior (Chen et al., 2020; Tinker and Ottesen, 2016).

The bacteria that are found in the droppings of cockroaches can cause illness when they are ingested. They may also contain viruses and other microorganisms, such as fungi. Infections caused by cockroach droppings can lead to stomach pain, severe diarrhea, and dehydration. Some of these infections can even be life-threatening.

Another way that cockroaches can spread disease is by touching and contaminating surfaces with their legs, saliva, and excrement. These germs can then be ingested and cause infection, as well as being absorbed into the bloodstream and causing serious illnesses.

The legs of cockroaches are covered with touch-sensitive spines that allow them to explore the surface of their surroundings. These spines can stick to anything they touch, including human skin. This contact can result in rashes and other allergic reactions. It can also trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Aside from contaminating food and surfaces, cockroaches can also harm our bodies by inhaling air contaminated with proteins found in their feces, saliva, and body parts. They can also carry bacteria and viruses from one object to another through the air. These particles can then get into our mouths, noses, and eyes, causing sickness.


Mosquitoes are the transmitters of several diseases, including malaria and West Nile virus (WNV). These diseases are spread through mosquito bites. Infections range from mild to severe and may cause a variety of symptoms. Some of these diseases are caused by viruses, while others are caused by parasites. Mosquito-borne illnesses affect both humans and animals.

Infected people develop fever, headache, body aches, and a rash or swollen lymph nodes (lymph glands). The severity of the disease varies depending on the pathogen, but in many cases, symptoms are mild. In severe cases, people can experience swelling of the brain and nervous system. Some of the most serious illnesses caused by mosquitoes include eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), western equine encephalitis (WNV), and LaCrosse encephalitis (LaCrosse, or Ochlerotatus triseriatus, the tree hole mosquito).

The mosquito life cycle begins with an egg hatching into larvae. The larvae then turn into a pupa and later become an adult mosquito. Females feed on blood to sustain themselves during this period, which is why only female mosquitoes bite and transmit disease.

Once a mosquito finds its host, it inserts its proboscis into the skin and probes for blood vessels beneath. It then injects saliva into the wound to prevent clotting and allow it to draw a steady flow of blood. The saliva contains a substance that triggers the host immune system to release histamine, which causes itching at the site of the bite.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs near standing water, so it is important to empty and scrub containers that hold water – such as discarded tires, cans, buckets, planters, and barrels — and cover them. These measures can reduce mosquito populations.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are blood-sucking ectoparasites that can live in even the cleanest hotels, motels, apartments, and homes. Like head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis), they are hematophagous insects, meaning that they feed on the blood of warm-blooded vertebrates. But unlike head lice, they are not believed to transmit any diseases.

When bed bugs bite, they inject saliva to ensure blood flow and pierce the skin with needle-like mouthparts. After three to five minutes of feeding, the bug reverts to its hiding place and digests the meal. The host may develop itchy marks that look like mosquito or flea bites. Some people have more complex skin reactions, including hives and blisters, that are associated with the bites.

The pests are most active at night and tend to linger in the seams, folds, and crevices of beds and other upholstered furniture, where they are difficult to reach with cleaning products. But they can also be found in suitcases, bags, and clothing brought into an infested home. Caregivers, firefighters and other service workers who enter infested dwellings to provide care or assistance are especially prone to transporting the pests to other locations.

Like ticks and fleas, bed bugs can be killed by exposing them to high levels of heat. Infested rooms should be heated to 122 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for at least 10 minutes to kill both adults and nymphs. The temperature needs to be sustained so that it reaches the bugs’ eggs, which can survive at temperatures much lower than that required to kill the bugs themselves. Infestations of this type are often difficult to eradicate, especially in multi-family apartment buildings. The CDC has more information about the pest and ways to control it.


Rodents, especially domestic rats (Rattus norvegicus) and mice (Mus musculus), carry pathogens that can directly infect humans with diseases such as plague, murine typhus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and leptospirosis. In addition, they act as reservoirs for infections transmitted by ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks.

Rodents can also be carriers of diseases that spread when humans come into contact with their droppings, urine, or carcasses. The deer mouse, for example, is the primary carrier of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which can be deadly. It spreads by inhaling airborne particles contaminated with the virus from rodent feces, urine, or saliva.

The risk of contracting diseases from rodents increases if the rodents live close to human dwellings or are exposed to people during crop work. This was the finding of a study in which respondents were surveyed about their experiences with rodents in and around their homes. In the analysis, the likelihood of reporting rodents in the home was positively associated with the awareness that rodents can transmit disease to people, having a flush toilet as sanitation, having a main drinking water source other than rainwater in all seasons, residing in a dwelling with wooden walls, and several cultivation-related activities.

Many rodents chew their hair or the hair of cage mates, a habit known as barbering. This can be distressing for the animal and can cause severe itching. It can also lead to skin infections, including a bacterial infection called chromodacryorrhea that causes circular raised bumps on the muzzle and nose. Treatment includes the use of antibiotics and removing the affected area from the pet’s cage. Another concern with rodents is that they can suffer from seizures, which are most often seen in gerbils and can be life-threatening. They are triggered by stress and may occur after handling the animals or by eating certain foods.


Unlike mosquitoes and cockroaches, termites do not directly transmit diseases to humans. However, they still pose some health risks when they infest homes. They can cause structural damage to wooden parts of the house, furniture, and cellulose-based materials in the home. They can also release a foul odor that causes discomfort for the occupants of the house.

Termites can also spread various diseases through their droppings, as they often live in areas that are affected by mildew and mold. As they chew through wood, termites can disturb these organisms and spread their spores throughout the house. These spores can lead to coughing, sneezing, and flu-like symptoms in humans if they are inhaled. They can also trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Another risk that termites pose to human health is their tendency to bite and sting. This is a problem because it introduces bacteria and other germs into the wound, potentially leading to serious infections. Some people can develop skin allergies and rashes from termite bites as well.

Although rare, termites can electrocute people when they chew through electrical wires in search of cellulose to eat. One case of this was when a termite colony nested around the insulation of an electrical cable in a hot water system, which caused a short circuit that led to an electric shock.

Termites can also be carriers of certain types of fungi, as they have a symbiotic relationship with them in their nests. These fungi generate spores, which the termites collect and then transport as they move through their colony. This can result in fungal infections in people who inhale the spores. Those who suffer from weak immune systems are especially susceptible to the effects of these spores.