The Link Between Cockroaches and Allergies

The sight of a cockroach in your home is enough to send most people running, but did you know that they are more than just disgusting? They are a health hazard as well. In fact it is the ones you don’t see that are often the problem. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, when you see one cockroach, it is estimated that there are 800 more in the immediate area. Cockroaches carry allergens on their body which are spread throughout a home or office. Having a regular pest control program in Seattle is the best way to avoid this allergen in your home. In the meantime, here is some information to be aware of.

How Does it Work?

The allergen trigger cockroaches carry is believed to be on their bodies as well as in their feces and saliva. Some people have a sensitivity to this trigger. What that means is that an immune reaction is created as a defense to exposure to the allergen. Cockroach allergies are particularly likely in people who have asthma and can bring on severe asthma attacks—making it a dangerous allergen.

In one study done on children, 37 percent of inner-city children were found to be allergic to cockroaches. Of those who were allergic and had exposure to the insects, they were hospitalized 3.3 times more often for asthma attacks than other children. Since the roaches do not need to be present for exposure to happen, it is nearly impossible to know when contact to the trigger has occurred. This makes preventative extermination measures very important, especially in homes where residents are allergic.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

There are a variety of symptoms an allergy to cockroaches can cause, making it difficult to recognize or diagnose. Some of the symptoms include mild itchy skin and an itchy sensation in the throat, eyes, and nose. The above mentioned asthma attack is, of course, also a more severe symptom. As cockroaches do not have a season they do best in but instead thrive all year, these symptoms can also continue through the year.

Tips to Avoid an Allergic Reactions to Cockroach

If you or someone in your home does have a cockroach allergy, of course avoiding exposure is the best preventative to a reaction. Having an exterminator in Seattle schedule regular visits is the most effective way to keep roaches out of your home or office. Here are some additional tips you can manage to decrease the likelihood of an infestation.

  • Cockroaches like moist, dark places, but they can thrive just about anywhere. Fix any leaking faucets and damp areas under sinks.
  • Keep all garbage and food containers tightly sealed.
  • Clean up crumbs and food waste immediately after preparing and eating food.
  • Get rid of clutter. Don’t leave piles of papers, clothes, and other hiding places around.
  • Keep clothing in a hamper with a tight lid wash it as frequently as possible.
  • Tightly seal all pet food in the home.

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