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Various species of a hardy common household insect pest, regarded as verminous, associated with unclean dilapidated conditions. Despite the dislike they evoke, cockroaches have never been unequivocally identified as vectors of any specific disease, although they play a role in mechanical transmission of some intestinal infections. The health risks from cockroaches may be little, if any, greater than those from insecticides, fumigants, and other heavy-handed but usually unsuccessful endeavors to eradicate them. Cockroaches are an evolutionary success, having survived unchanged through all the environmental climatic changes of the past 100 million years and may still infest the earth after humans become extinct.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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