The insects are scavengers and opportunistic feeders, they will feed on any type of foods. They prefer starches, sweets, grease, and meat products. In many areas, garbage is a principal food source.
The American cockroach has an odorous secretion. This can get on food and cause a case of food poisoning. Cockroaches do spread bacteria, protozoans, and viruses. Different forms of gastroenteritis appear to be the primary illness caused by cockroaches. Cockroach droppings and cast skins also contain a number of allergens which some people are allergic to; some physical reaction include skin rashes, watery eyes,sneezing, congestion, and asthma.