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Cockroaches and Asthma – What You Need to Know

No one likes having pests in their home. No one wants to be bitten, or to find feces in unexpected places. But some pests are worse than others. They’re not just unhygienic and unwelcome, but they can pose a genuine and immediate health-problem. And one of those pests is cockroaches.

For most of us, roaches are just ugly things that steal our food and contaminate our kitchens. However, recent research has shown that these apparently indestructible little suckers can make us really sick. How? Not only do they spread E. coli, but they’re being increasingly linked to asthma.

Asthma and the Cockroach

So, what’s the deal? Most people know about the dust mite allergies. If you start sneezing in a dusty room or breaking out in hives, it’s not the bits of fluff and crud that are getting to you, but rather the feces of the dust mites that live among them. Well, that’s pretty much the story with roaches. Cockroach excrement, saliva and shed body bits can all trigger an allergic reaction. They break into particles which are just the right size to be moved around by the air, meaning that we can easily inhale them. For those with bronchial problems, this can lead to an asthma attack. In fact, a recent study showed that in inner-city areas, cockroach allergies were among the greatest causes of asthma in children. They were an even bigger problem than dust mites and cats.

Cockroach allergy symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Skin rash
  • Wheezing
  • Ear infection
  • Sinus infection

What Can You Do if You Think You Suffer from Cockroach Allergy?

Well, we’re not doctors. Obviously! And if you’re worried about asthma in particular, your first point of contact should be a doctor. However, the most common advice to allergy sufferers is to keep your home clear of the triggers. If you’re allergic to cats, choose another pet. If you’re allergic to dust mites, vacuum daily. If you’re allergic to cockroaches, make sure that there aren’t any in your home.

How to Get Rid of and Keep Out Cockroaches

If you already have a cockroach problem, you need to deal with that first. SO:  

  1.       Identify the problem. This can be tricky, so if you’re seeing signs of roaches – shed skins, nasty odor, droppings, odd smear marks – but can’t see where they’re coming from, you’ll need to seek professional help. A pest management professional will be able to track them down and remove the problem.
  2.       Stop feeding them! C’mon maaannn, a ‘roach gotta eat! But he don’t gotta eat at your table. Make sure that all your food is properly sealed away in containers that cockroaches can’t get into. And don’t leave dirty dishes lying around.
  3.       Take away their homes. Roaches like to hide in dark nooks and crannies and particularly love paper. Don’t give them the opportunity. Clear out old magazines and paperwork so they’ve nowhere to hide.
  4.       Stop them getting back in. Of course, cockroaches can come in from anywhere. They can even make it in through plumbing, but that’s far less common than you might think. Generally, they’ll come in through cracks in window and door frames, holes in walls and gaps around pipework. So, your job is to make sure that they can’t. Caulk up any holes you find and once your current infestation has been removed, there’s a far lower chance of a return.

Allergy or no, cockroaches aren’t pleasant creatures to share your home with. For a start, their table manners are appalling! If you think that you have a cockroach problem in your home, please contact the Noose Pest Management Customer Service Team. We’re ready to help whenever you need us: 704-499-9922

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