According to the American Lung Association, cockroaches produce allergens in a manner that’s similar to common dust mites. These allergens are substances that are present in cockroach body fragments or in cockroach fecal matter. When cockroaches are present in the home, these allergens become airborne and contaminate the home’s air. They also settle and collect in fabrics and dust around the home. Individuals and families should work to prevent cockroach allergies by eliminating cockroaches in their homes, as well as minimizing and maintaining areas where cockroach allergens tend to collect.
Cockroach allergens are similar to dust mite allergens in that they attach to heavier particles in the air that settle quickly. As a result, cockroach allergen is often found in dust and on various surfaces. The American Lung Association states that the most common cockroach allergy triggers are breathing in allergens and dust that have collected in fabrics. These include bedding, pillows, and other fabrics that are more prone to trapping dust. Cockroach allergy symptoms include sneezing, coughing, and asthma.
Cockroaches Allergies and Children
Researchers are currently investigating evidence of the dangerous effects of cockroach allergens on children and babies. Research suggests that preschool children may actually develop asthma when exposed to cockroach allergen. Additionally, babies one year or younger may begin to cough and wheeze after inhaling allergens and particles from cockroaches. This evidence shows that cockroach control and elimination is critical to families with children.
Eliminating Cockroach Allergens
One of the best ways to eliminate cockroach allergens is to use a routine pest control plan. A pest control professional can conduct an evaluation of the home and determine the best ways to implement pest control or pest management. Apart from chemical pest control, individuals and families can help to keep their residence cockroach free by maintaining clean and dry living spaces.
Cockroach Allergy Prevention Tips
Keeping the home clean is important for preventing cockroach infestation. Make sure that living spaces – especially the kitchen – are free of food scraps and other items that may attract cockroaches. Clean under tables and the refrigerator to ensure that all food scraps are gone. Reducing humidity can also prevent infestation, as moist areas tend to foster growth of pests like cockroaches.
Fabrics such as bedding should be washed weekly with hot water. Removing unnecessary fabrics like upholstered furniture and curtains may also help. Individuals with known cockroach allergies are recommended to replace carpeting with smooth flooring, as cockroach and dust mite allergens will collect in carpet fibers.