Cockroaches and Asthma

Cockroaches. Many of us shiver at the mere thought of a cockroach in our home. And while the looks of them can terrify many people, they can actually cause a lot of harm to those with asthma. But how?

According to the Partners Healthcare Asthma Center, most people with asthma have the tendency to make allergic responses in their bronchial tubes to certain things that we breath in. Excrement and debris from decomposing cockroach bodies is just the right size to be lifted into the air, breathed into the bronchial tubes and recognized by the immune system as a signal to make an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction in the bronchial tubes is asthma.

In a recent research project testing allergy producing substances in homes of children with asthma across several major cities in the United States, it was found the most important allergen came from cockroaches. And the worst asthma was found in those children who had both the allergic tendency to make reactions to cockroach allergens and exposure to high concentrations of those cockroach allergens in their homes.

There are many actions you can take to prevent cockroaches from getting inside your home. It is also important to keep the kitchen clean and tidy because food is what cockroaches are most attracted to. Take the following steps in your kitchen to help keep cockroaches away:

  • Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean and free of clutter
  • Clean dishes, spills and crumbs right away
  • Store food in airtight containers
  • Seal cracks and openings around or inside cabinets
  • At least every 2-3 days, vacuum or sweep areas that might attract cockroaches

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