Cockroaches and Asthma: Everything You Never Wanted to Know

cockroaches and asthma

Is your asthma spiraling out of control?

Have you recently discovered a cockroach infestation in your home?

Unfortunately, studies consistently show a connection between roaches and asthma. If you suspect you have a roach allergy, it’s time to go to a doctor and make some changes at home.

We’ll cover symptoms and treatment for people who have cockroaches and asthma. We’ll also tell you some actions you can take to remove roach infestations from your home, apartment, or office.

How Do I Know If I Have Roaches?

According to pest control experts, there are several ways to spot a roach infestation.

If you see a roach, you should know that there are probably hundreds more in your walls. Roaches breed constantly and love dark, damp places like your basement or the perimeter of your home.

Also, you might have spotted cockroach feces without knowing what it was. Roach feces look like tiny coffee grounds or black specks.

Roaches typically hang out behind stoves, under refrigerators, and near sinks. If you clean regularly but notice that the “dirt” comes back quickly, you could be dealing with roaches.

Another way to know if you’ve got roaches is to inspect your attic and basement.

Do you see a rectangular brown “case” attached to your walls or floor? Those are containers for roach eggs and each one can hatch up to 50 baby roaches.

Finally, you may notice a strong odor coming from several rooms in your home. Pest control experts say that they can smell roaches the second they enter a home.

What Causes a Cockroach Allergy?

Cockroaches are a nocturnal insect that runs away from light and thrives in warm conditions, like the walls of your home. Recent studies showed that 60% of homes in the United States test positive for cockroach allergens.

In major cities, more than 75% of homes tested positive for cockroach allergens. In some areas, 98% of homes tested were positive.

What part of the roach is considered an allergen? Roaches’ saliva and feces are the perfect size to float in the air and cause allergies.

When they shed, those little bits of protein also float through the air, causing allergies. The cockroach allergens are so small that they mimic dust mites, flying through the air and bypassing air filters.

Even dead cockroaches can cause allergies. If you’ve never had a pest control treatment, you might want to take a look at this website.

Symptoms of a Roach Allergy

You might be wondering how you can tell if you have a roach allergy.

The symptoms of a cockroach allergy are similar to regular allergies. You may have symptoms that include a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, or a new or worsening skin rash.

You might find yourself having difficulty breathing when you’re at home, shortness of breath, or problems going to sleep.

In general, you might be noticing that your asthma is getting worse, even after you’ve replaced your air filters.

Vacuuming may not be enough to remove the cockroach allergens from your home or apartment. Since they live in the walls, you can’t reach them easily. Roaches love to hide in dark, warm, damp places.

They are hardy creatures that are very resourceful when it comes to finding food and surviving.

If you’re finding that you can’t sleep and that your allergies are getting worse, take the time and talk to a pest control pro.

Should I Go to a Doctor?

If you’re having trouble breathing or sleeping, you should definitely go to a doctor.

They will give you a physical exam and talk with you about your symptoms. Make sure to mention your suspicions of a cockroach allergy.

Doctors can give you a blood test to see if there is a connection between your cockroaches and asthma. They can also give you a simple “skin prick” test where they rub a tiny bit of the allergen into your skin.

After 15 minutes, they can see whether you’ve had a reaction.

An allergy doctor might prescribe prescription medication to treat your cockroach allergy. They may also prescribe periodic shots you can take to minimize the effects of the roaches.

Before you visit the doctor, try to keep a record of your symptoms. It may be helpful to have a written list of your worst flare-ups.

You might have seasonal allergies but if they are lasting all year long then there could be a positive connection to a cockroach infestation.

What Can I Do About My Cockroaches and Asthma?

In addition to hiring a pest control company, there are several actions you can take to remove roaches from your home.

First, make sure you’re keeping your food — and your garbage — sealed. Roaches love to explore open containers of food and garbage cans.

They also love dirty dishes and laundry piles. If you’ve seen roaches in your laundry basket, you may want to consider switching to a fabric laundry bag that you can tie shut.

Put some traps around your home and see if the roaches prefer a certain area.

Are they congregating in your kitchen? Make sure you’re keeping your stove clean and free of debris. Mop regularly, clean the kitchen sink and seal any water leaks that you have in your home. Make your home inhospitable to roaches.

What Should I Do Next?

Roaches don’t want to leave a home once they’ve gotten comfortable. Make sure you talk with a pest control expert about how you can start to deal with cockroaches and asthma. They should be able to help.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, make sure that you start pest control at least six months before you put it on the market.

Check out our article about deep cleaning projects you can do before you sell your home. We’ve got articles about everything from pest control to health and wellness.

Having roaches can be very upsetting, but you can definitely remove them with the help of a pest control company. Take a deep breath, call your doctor, and call those exterminators!

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