Cockroach Allergy and Asthma Triggers
January 15, 2021 - Cockroaches
Cockroaches are one of the most unsightly pests that can invade a home, but worse than their nasty presence are the health implications cockroaches can have on your family. In a previous blog post, we explained how cockroaches spread disease-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa by feeding and harboring in unsanitary places such as sewers. Roaches pick up germs from these places and contaminate food preparation surfaces.
Another negative consequence of cockroaches is that they can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. Now you have more reasons to hate them and get them out of your home right away.
How Do Cockroaches Trigger Asthma Flare-Ups?
Cockroaches produce certain proteins that are allergens for many people. These allergens are found in roach feces, saliva, and body parts. Cockroaches crawl around your home spreading these allergens by eating and defecating, breeding and laying egg cases, molting and leaving exoskeleton shells, and lastly by dying. People who suffer from asthma and who are also allergic to the presence of cockroaches are likely to experience asthma attacks. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) states that children with asthma and who are also allergic to cockroaches need to go to the hospital more often than children with just asthma.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Cockroach Allergy?
The common symptoms of cockroach allergy are similar to those of pollen, tobacco smoke, dust mites, air pollution, pets, rodents, and mold. These symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, stuffy nose, itchy nose and throat, postnasal drip, cough, and itchy skin or rash.
With asthma attacks, you may experience difficulty breathing, chest tightness, repeated episodes of wheezing, and trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you remove the triggers in your environment that can make your asthma worse. If you have asthma or you are allergic to roaches, call a pest control professional as soon as you find cockroaches inside your home. One roach can turn into a full-blown infestation in little to no time.
How Do Doctors Diagnose A Cockroach Allergy?
Your family doctor should refer you to an allergist who is specifically trained to diagnose, treat, and manage allergies, asthma, and other immunologic disorders.
The most common method to diagnose a cockroach allergy is to do a skin prick test. The doctor places a small drop of the roach allergen on the skin and lightly pricks or scratches the area. If you are sensitive to the allergen, you will develop redness, swelling, or itching within a few minutes.
If you suffer from cockroach allergies, talk to your doctor about what medications may be right for you: antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, cromolyn sodium, decongestants, and bronchodilators if you have asthma.
Cockroach Prevention Tips
The best cure for cockroach allergies is to avoid cockroaches altogether. Making sure they don’t get inside your home will limit the exposure and reduce the symptoms. Once cockroaches get inside your home, they can be very difficult to control on your own, and do-it-yourself treatments waste time and money.
The number one prevention tip is to exclude them from your home. Here are some helpful tips to keep roaches away from your home:
- Inspect for gaps under doors and windows.
- Seal gaps around pipes.
- Inspect for broken vents.
- Keep grass short and vegetation trimmed.
- Inspect cardboard boxes with groceries before bringing them inside the house.
- Do not bring secondhand appliances or furniture into your home without confirming there is no evidence of roaches.
The second-best prevention tip is to make the environment less appealing so they cannot become established:
- Eliminate moisture problems.
- Fix leaky pipes under sinks.
- Clean drains regularly.
- Pick up food from the floor and behind the stove.
- Keep cooking surface clean and sweep food crumbs.
- Clean grease stains if you fry often.
- Cover trash cans tightly.
- Keep pet food in tight-sealed containers and clean bowls regularly.
GOTBUGSIKILL Cockroach Extermination
If you want to prevent cockroaches from invading your home and spreading allergens, look no further. GOTBUGSIKILL is a top-rated pest control company in South Florida with over 100 five-star ratings. We offer quarterly or bi-monthly pest control services in Boca Raton, depending on your needs.
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