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Do Cockroaches Trigger Asthma and Allergies in Columbia Homes?

Jan 23, 2022

One of the leading pest problems in Columbia is cockroaches. These filthy and sneaky creatures offer challenges to homeowners. Roaches are resilient and adaptable, which is why they still manage to infest homes. 

After making their way inside, roaches trigger allergy and asthma attacks. They also contaminate food prep areas where they spread gastrointestinal diseases, including cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery.  

Are Cockroaches an Indoor Air Problem?

When it comes to cockroach allergies, the insect isn’t the real problem. Instead, the allergens involve the things they leave behind. Fecal matter and discarded body parts like skins and wings are the main culprits. 

The fecal matter and body parts get into the air and move through HVAC systems, triggering allergies and asthma attacks. 

Do Cockroaches Trigger Asthma and Allergies?

Cockroach allergens can stick to heavier household particles that cause them to move around homes and offices. The dust and droppings also land in bedding, pillows, curtains, and dust-trapping upholstery. 

As the remnants land in common areas, the people living and working there inhale dust mites and cockroach allergens. Research shows that preschool-aged children who have excessive exposure to cockroach allergens are likely to develop chronic asthma. 

Cockroaches move into buildings to find food and water sources. Since schools have both, commercial pest control options that include cockroach prevention cleaning products can help. Annually, cockroach allergies have caused over 14 million lost school days.

Cockroach Allergies

Close-up of two cockroaches on a white wall above a dirty air vent

While many allergic diseases are seasonal, people with asthma and cockroach allergies can have symptoms all year. In response, the immune system releases an antibody called IgE to remove the allergen.  

The symptoms of a cockroach allergy are similar to mold and dust mite allergy symptoms. People allergic to cockroaches will respond with:

  • Runny noses
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Hives
  • Coughing

Allergy symptoms differ from viral symptoms, as they don’t come with fevers, body aches, and tiredness. When they trigger an asthma attack, the most common symptom is wheezing and difficulty taking a deep breath. 

If you know you have a cockroach allergy, the best method is to limit exposure and have professional home pest control so you don’t have roaches infesting your house. Most allergic reactions happen indoors, as the allergens are diffused outdoors. If you suspect you have a cockroach allergy, it’s helpful to see an allergist to determine the true cause. 

Treating cockroach allergies is similar to treating other environmental and animal allergies. You can treat reactions with over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays with corticosteroids. Allergists can prescribe medications like inhalers, shots, and pills to reduce symptoms. 

How Am I Exposed to Cockroach Allergens?

Cockroaches are masters of hiding, so if you don’t see them, your home might still have them. They may be hiding under appliances or in basements and cabinets.

Cockroaches create their nests in places they can hide, especially in basements and crawl spaces. They like to hide in piles of paper, cardboard, and old clothing. If you see one roach, you might have hundreds more hiding nearby, especially in kitchen and bathroom cabinets. 

Once cockroaches get into your home, the allergens begin to move through your HVAC system. Dust blows through your vents before settling, especially on fabrics and carpeting. 

Guide to Eliminating Cockroach Allergens in Columbia Homes

A blue-gloved hand holding a cockroach by the antennae in front of a wooden background

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to limit cockroach allergens in your home. Try the following steps:

  • Routinely clean any places in your home where cockroach allergens collect.
  • If you have pets, rinse out and clean their food and water bowls daily.
  • Consider removing carpeting in your home.
  • Don’t let any dirty dishes accumulate in your sink.
  • Regularly wipe down countertops and sweep the kitchen floors.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier to keep humidity low.
  • Immediately store food in airtight containers after meals.
  • Invest in garbage cans with tight-sealing lids.
  • Ensure general cleanliness both inside and outside your home.
  • Check for and repair leaky pipes or unclogged gutters.
  • Look for entry points in baseboards, windows, or doors, and seal them. 

If you or your family are still struggling with cockroach allergies after taking these measures, consider contacting Phenom Pest Protection. We can free your home of cockroaches and any other pests you’re dealing with. Contact us today to get started.


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