Asthma is a disease of the respiratory system. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is a condition in which the airways in your respiratory system swell up and create excess mucus. This makes it hard to breath causing coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Many children suffer from this disease. But do cockroaches cause asthma? While we don’t know exactly what causes asthma, we do know that dusts and particles from cockroaches can agitate it.
Unsanitary conditions cause excess dust and particles in the air. These kinds of conditions are exactly the ones that cockroaches thrive in. But the insects themselves can also add to the problem. Children and adults with asthma have shown an increase in respiratory function when cockroaches are eliminated from their environment. This means that an Oklahoma exterminator can help in the fight against asthma.
HOW DO THESE ALLERGENS WORK?
Cockroaches as an insect release dirt and dust into their environment. This dust is made up of fecal matter, body parts and molted skin. Cockroaches, during their development, will molt their exoskeleton off when they have grown to a point at which the exoskeleton can grow with them. When they lose this exoskeleton, it deteriorates and can create a dust that flies in the air. These insects are also known for being unsanitary. Living in sewers and eating just about anything, including each other, they are carriers of dust, germs and disease.
Cockroach allergens behave a lot like dust mites. These allergens will stick to heavy particles and begin to fall to the ground. Vacuuming or walking over these allergens will stir them up, re exposing them to the air. Often these allergens will redeposit themselves clothing or bedding. It’s here where people will often be exposed to them by breathing them in during sleep or from their clothing.
WHO IS EXPOSED TO COCKROACH ALLERGENS?
Astoundingly, cockroaches don’t even need to be present for cockroach allergens to be in the air. One in five homes without cockroach infestations have these allergens in the air. The highest concentrations of allergens are most often found in the kitchen, due to food and water being available for cockroaches.
But often, the bedroom allergens are the most important. Allergens in pillows and bedding are most dangerous because they are most readily inhaled. It has also been found that people who are socioeconomically disadvantaged are more susceptible to these allergens, probably because they don’t have access to more expensive pest control methods of Tulsa pest control companies. This is true regardless of whether the home is in urban areas, or rural.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT COCKROACHES AND ASTHMA
Here a few facts about cockroaches and asthma:
- Cockroach allergies are highest in cities. Between 78% and 98% of homes in urban areas have cockroach issues.
- As many as 60% of people with asthma have cockroach allergies. This is probably because cockroaches are so prevalent in cities.
- Cockroach allergies are particularly high in the South. This is probable due to the warmer temperatures. Allergies are also higher in low income communities.
- Most people are specifically allergic to the saliva, bodies and waste of cockroaches.
- One third of people with allergies are allergic to cockroaches. Twelve percent of people without any allergies at all are allergic to cockroaches.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ELIMINATE ALLERGENS?
There are many things that most people can do to lessen or eliminate allergens. Sanitation is the first step. Do not leave out food, dirty dishes or unclean surfaces. Any access to food will encourage a cockroach infestation. Keep dog food and trash cans sealed. These are favorite places for roaches to feed. Fix leaking faucets and any other water supplies. Insects need water to live, so removing these from the equation will keep these pests at bay. Keep your home picked up. Hoarding, stacking and other clutter give these bugs places to hid, live and breed.
Vacuum often with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. This will help to remove particles from the carpets that can get on bedding and clothing. Wash bedding and clothes regularly. If possible, remove any carpeting from your home. Shag and long haired carpets can carry a lot of dust and particles, so start there. Reduce the humidity in your home. Roaches are tropical pests and prefer humid climates. Using a dehumidifier will encourage them to stay away. Remove unnecessary fabrics like thick drapes or unused furniture.
GETTING PROFESSIONAL HELP
After everything is done that you as a home owner can do, it’s time to contact an Oklahoma pest control company. Your exterminator will have the chemicals and expertise to navigate the process of eliminating your cockroach problem. They will be able to identify harborage areas, feeding problems and any water sources that the cockroaches in your home are using. Often, Tulsa exterminators will offer guarantees to protect your time and investment into their services. And pricing of these services are usually very reasonable.
If you are in need of help with any pest control issue, call us here at TermMax Pest Control. We are here to help!