Do cockroaches cause allergies?
With temperatures heating up, many pests such as cockroaches are looking for shelter to cool off. Common summer pests such as ants and flies are a nuisance. However, cockroaches are more than a nuisance – they are a health concern. Here is what you need to know about cockroach allergies and what you can do to prevent them this summer and all year round.
How can cockroaches affect my health?
These pests can cause allergies and trigger asthma. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes that cockroaches contain a protein that is an allergen for many people. An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic immune reaction. The body parts of these pests, along with their saliva and waste, are allergens. Even dead ones can cause allergic reactions.
What are the symptoms of a cockroach allergy?
There are several symptoms of this allergy, including:
- Stuffy and/or runny nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- Itchy nose, mouth or throat
- Postnasal drip (mucus from behind your nose that flows into your throat)
- Itchy skin or rash
If the allergy triggers your asthma, you may also experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness or pain
- A whistling or wheezing sound when breathing out
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
Are cockroach allergies common?
This type of allergy is very common – especially in warmer climates. If you already have allergies, it may heighten your usual symptoms. It’s always helpful to know if these pests are part of the issue if you’re experiencing symptoms.
It’s also a very common and severe cause for asthma – more than most people realize and especially for children.
FACT: UP TO 60% OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN CITIES AND HAVE ASTHMA ARE ALLERGIC TO COCKROACHES.
Can a cockroach allergy be diagnosed?
Symptoms of cockroach allergies are very similar to symptoms of other allergies. According to Healthline, getting an official diagnosis from a doctor will give you an exact answer. Your doctor may order an allergy test in order to detect cockroach antibodies or a skin patch test to see how your skin reacts to these pests.
How can I prevent cockroach exposure?
Preventing cockroach exposure begins with preventing cockroaches from getting inside your home. This is best done by hiring a professional pest control expert. However, there are things that you can do around your home to help minimize cockroach activity.
- Store your food in airtight containers. This includes food kept in cabinets and on counters.
- Line your garbage cans and keep the lids tightly sealed.
- Keep your sink clear of dirty dishes and leftover food.
- Clean all countertops, including the stovetop, so there are no crumbs or spills.
- Vacuum and/or mop floors frequently to remove any crumbs or spills.
- Sweep and/or mop regularly underneath appliances, machines and furniture.
- Avoid leaving pet food out in a bowl. Clean the bowl regularly like other dirty dishes.
- Look for any leaks in pipes and fix them immediately. Cockroaches also look for a water source.
FACT: WITH THEIR ANTENNAE, COCKROACHES ARE ABLE TO SMELL THE PRESENCE OF FOOD. THEY WILL CREATE A SCENT TRAIL TO NAVIGATE TO KNOWN FOOD SOURCES.
It has been said that roaches have been around for more than 280 million years…and they aren’t going away any time soon. That’s why it’s critical for homeowners and even people living in apartments to do everything they can to prevent cockroaches from entering their homes.
For more information on Massey Services’ cockroach prevention and treatment services, click here to schedule your free, no-obligation inspection.