Can Pests Make Me Sick?

Can Pests Make Me Sick?

We have all had to deal with pest infestations at some point or another in our lives. Sometimes this can be as simple as an annoying amount of flies, but can also mean dealing with rats or other pests that carry vector-based diseases such as mosquitoes or ticks.  There is nothing more worrying than the possibility of dangerous pests in your home. They can cause allergic reactions but also carry dangerous diseases. 

Avoiding illness is one of the main reasons to call an exterminator, but what are some of the pests to look out for? What kind of illnesses can these pests cause? In this blog, we will lay out the facts on whether or not pests can make you sick, as well as detail what to do when you think you have a dangerous pest infestation.

Types of Pests That Can Cause Illness

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), various categories of pests are a concern to public health. Some of the pests on their list may come as a surprise, but all of them should be dealt with before they wreak havoc on you and your family.


Cockroaches are often considered to be a nuisance pest, but they can also pose serious health risks. These nasty critters can carry a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites on their bodies, which can contaminate food and surfaces in your home. When cockroaches crawl on food or utensils, they can transfer these harmful organisms, leading to illness in humans.

In addition, cockroach droppings, shed skins, and saliva can trigger allergies and asthma in sensitive individuals. Cockroach infestations can also lead to a decrease in indoor air quality, which can contribute to respiratory problems. If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation, it's important to address it promptly to protect your health and prevent the spread of disease.


You have probably told your children to watch out for bedbugs when they go to sleep. Bedbugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. While they are not known to transmit diseases, they can still cause health problems. Bedbug bites can lead to skin irritation, itching, and allergic reactions in some people. 

In severe cases, bedbug bites can cause anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Bedbugs can also cause mental health issues, such as anxiety, stress, and insomnia, due to the disruption of sleep and the feeling of being violated in one's own home.

Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and a professional exterminator may be required to fully eliminate the infestation. If you suspect you have bedbugs in your home, it's important to work with your pest control company to deal with them.


One of the most frustrating pests on the EPA’s list is the mosquito. These awful creatures not only suck the blood of their victims, but can transfer bloodborne pathogens from one person to the next. Additionally, these blood-sucking creatures are known for spreading deadly diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, zika, and West Nile. 

These deadly diseases account for over 700,000 deaths a year on average, and while mosquito-borne diseases aren't as common in the US, the possibility is always there. However, you are in luck; there are plenty of ways to get rid of mosquito infestations in your home and throughout your yard, one of which is to hire a professional.


Ticks are terrible, and that is just about all there is to it. Aside from feeding birds and lizards, there are very few redeeming qualities that can be attributed to ticks. 

If you hate mosquitoes, then you definitely hate ticks. For one, they are extremely hard to find, and when they latch onto your body can make you sick with diseases such as Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. 

If you enjoy the outdoors, then you know how they can find themselves just about anywhere. These parasites are hard to get rid of, but they can be done with both natural and chemical remedies

Rats and Mice

Rats and mice may be small but they can cause huge problems for your home. Mice specifically are profound reproducers, with anywhere from five to ten litters of up to a dozen offspring. An infestation can be massive. 

Mice carry diseases as well as fleas that can also cause problems. It is believed that the bubonic plague was carried by infected fleas that traveled around the world on the backs of rodents. 

Some of the diseases that rodents are directly responsible for spreading include:

  • Hantavirus
  • Lassa Fever
  • Monkeypox
  • Leptospirosis
  • Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis
  • Rat-Bite Fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Arenaviruses
  • Sylvatic Typhus,
  • Tularemia

While there are plenty of ways to get rid of rodents around your home, hiring a pest control service is the only way to do so safely and effectively.


Termites are not known to directly cause illness in humans. However, they can still pose a significant threat to human health and safety. Termites feed on wood and can cause extensive damage to the structural integrity of homes and buildings.

If left untreated, termite damage can lead to collapse or other safety hazards, which can result in injury or death. In addition, the presence of termites can also cause respiratory problems in some people, as their droppings can become airborne and irritate the lungs. 

Termites can also attract other pests, such as rodents, which can bring their own health risks. Check out our guide on getting rid of termites here.

Professional Pest Control Services

The only way to truly deal with pests that can make you sick is to work closely with a professional pest control company so that they can investigate your property and handle any pests. Rid-A-Bug is a reputable pest control company that knows exactly how to find entry points, identify infestations, and create a treatment plan. Contact us today for more information about our services.