Cockroaches are major pests in homes, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices and other structures with food-handling areas. These insects can contaminate food and eating utensils, destroy fabric and paper products and impart stains and odors to surfaces they contact. Cockroaches have not been found to be direct carriers of disease; however, they can mechanically contaminate food or utensils by transporting filth or disease organisms on their bodies or by way of their excreta. They are suspected to be associated with the spread of dysentery, diarrhea and food poisoning.
They are also associated with allergies and related to some aspects of asthma attacks. Although there are more than 50 species of cockroaches in the United States, only five are considered major pests in Texas. These species are the German, Brown-Banded, American, Oriental, and Smokey Brown cockroaches.