Cockroaches and Asthma

american cockroach

Cockroaches are a repulsive insect because of their propensity for living in the most unsanitary of places and their ability to carry and spread disease. Now it turns out that cockroaches are also responsible for allergies and asthma in some individuals. If you wanted to rid your home of cockroaches before, you may now find yourself even more willing to do whatever it takes to get them out!

 

american cockroach

 

Research

Scientists have been studying the effects of cockroaches on allergy and asthma sufferers for many years. In a study described in the New York Times, researchers identified how big of a problem they really are. Leading researcher, Daniel G. Remick said, “For inner-city children, the major cause of asthma is not dust mites, not dog dander, not outdoor air pollen. It’s allergies to cockroaches.”

How can this be? Cockroaches molt regularly leaving bits of their exoskeletons all over people’s homes. Saliva, excrement, and the decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain a protein that is a trigger in many people that have allergic tendencies. The combination of an allergic tendency and high exposure to the cockroach allergen greatly increases the risk for cockroach associated asthma.

Cockroach Allergy Symptoms can include: year round coughing, nasal congestion, skin rash, wheezing, ear infections and sinus infections. These allergies can then lead to asthma, which is a disease that affects the lungs causing repeated episodes of wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing.

Prevention

The best way to help people with asthma caused by cockroaches is to get at the heart of the problem and eliminate the cockroaches. Cockroaches thrive in warm, moist environments where there is plenty of food, water, and shelter. If you take away these essentials, the cockroaches will be less likely to enter your home. Here are some tips to keep cockroaches out.

  • Keep your home free of crumbs and spills
  • Make sure all food (including pet food) is stored in sealed containers
  • Wash dishes immediately after use
  • Vacuum and mop regularly
  • Take out the trash regularly
  • Remove excess clutter
  • Get rid of any excess moisture in your home (fix leaks, use a dehumidifier, get rid of standing water)
  • Walk around the exterior of your house and seal any cracks or crevices that might allow entry

If cockroaches are still a problem after you have tried these tips, give the professionals at Midwest Pest Control a call. We will work with you to come up with a plan to keep cockroaches out of your home and eliminate the ones that may already be there. We are here to keep your family safe, healthy, and pest-free.

Grant ChristensenCockroaches and Asthma