If no food is available, the American cockroach will find something to eat – even if it isn't "food." Cockroaches don't discriminate on unsanitary or harmful items they eat, making them a very dirty insect. They have been found to carry the pathogens that cause tuberculosis, cholera, leprosy, dysentery, and typhoid Disease. They also carry and spread harmful bacteria and protozoa that cause diarrhea and gastroenteritis. American cockroaches' feces and saliva contain proteins and allergens, which may trigger asthma attacks. Roaches can foul food, damage wallpaper, books and clothing, and produce an unpleasant odor. Vacuuming and cleaning affected areas with warm water and soap can help lessen allergic reactions.