18 Common Diseases & Illnesses Carried by Pests


When it comes to being human, there’s really nothing good about pests. (After all, they’re called pests for a reason.) But in addition to simply being bothersome, there are many different diseases and illnesses that pests can carry. Our Florence pest control company wants to remind and warn you of some of the sicknesses you can get from common pests like mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches, and fleas:


West Nile Virus: A virus that originated in Africa and spread to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It carries symptoms similar to the flu (fever, aching, rashes, headaches, etc.).

Malaria: An ancient disease that is largely found in tropical and sub-tropical areas. Symptoms can include fatigue, nausea, fever, chills, headaches, and sweats.

Yellow Fever: A virus that occurs in tropical areas of Africa and the Americas. It’s characterized by fever, chills, muscle pains, nausea, and sometimes abdominal pain and yellow skin.

Chikungunya: A pathogen that has been found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, joint swelling, headache, and muscle pain.


Lyme Disease: Transmitted by deer ticks. Signs include a rash and flu-like symptoms early on and joint pain and neurological problems weeks/months later.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Transmitted by American dog ticks. Early symptoms include vomiting, muscle pain, fever, headaches. Later symptoms include rash, abdominal pain, diarrhea, joint pain.

Tularemia: Transmitted by dog ticks, wood ticks, and lone star ticks. The disease is characterized by an ulcer at the site of the infection, swollen/painful lymph glands, fever, chills, and headaches.

Babesiosis: Transmitted by blacklegged ticks. Early symptoms include fever, fatigue, chills, headaches, and nausea. Some people experience enlarged livers or spleens.

Ehrlichiosis: Transmitted by lone star ticks. Symptoms include muscle aches, diarrhea, mild fever, nausea, fatigue, confusion, joint pain, rashes, cough.


Cockroaches don’t bite, but can carry bacteria and organisms on the surface of their bodies including Salmonella, E. coli, Bacillus cerreus (which causes food poisoning), Morganella morganii (which causes leprosy), the poliomyelitis virus responsible for Polio, Shigella dysenteriae (which causes dysentery), Salmonella typhi (which causes Typhoid fever), and many others.


Cat Scratch Disease: A bacterial disease that commonly occurs after a person has been scratched or bitten by a cat. It’s characterized by vomiting, fatigue, chills, nausea, fever, soreness of the lymph nodes.

Plague: A serious illness caused by bacteria. Symptoms include large sores and abscesses in the glands of the arms and legs, high fever, headaches, and swollen lymph glands. In rare cases, it can cause respiratory problems.

Typhus: A bacterial disease that comes in two forms: murine and epidemic. Murine typhus includes backaches, abdominal pain, joint and muscle pain, high fever, dry cough, and rashes. Epidemic typhus includes similar symptoms, but much more severe and can lead to bleeding into the skin, delirium, hypotension, and death.

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