The wonderful season of spring brings with it glorious warm weather, beautiful flowers and the unavoidable seasonal allergies. While dealing with the sneezing, watery eyes and itchy nose is bad enough, did you know that a number of pests can make asthma, and therefore allergies, worse?
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, more than 26 million Americans experience the symptoms of asthma, often associated or connected to allergies. While outdoor triggers include grass, tree and weed pollen, the indoor triggers may be caused by pests. Indoor allergens include dust, mold and pet dander and while there are many ways to keep these triggers out of your home, all the cleaning in the world may not be able to prevent the unwelcome pest from finding its way inside.
The ugly culprits
There are several household pets that are known to leave behind allergens that can then trigger asthma attacks in some people. In a public service announcement from a joint campaign between the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the National Pest Management Association, it was reported that both mice and cockroaches are huge asthma triggers. It was reported that 82 percent of homes across the nation have allergens left behind by mice, which isn't good news for anyone who experiences allergy and asthma symptoms. Furthermore, cockroaches are found in up to 98 percent of urban homes, according to the NMPA and more than one-fourth of Americans are allergic to the German cockroach.
So how can you eliminate your risk of allergens left behind by pests? The best way is to practice home pest control to prevent them in the first place.
The two most useful methods of mouse prevention are sanitization practices and construction that is mouse-proof, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Because they can survive with little food or water, in very small spaces, even the cleanest homes are at risk of mice invasions. This also means that homes that have poor sanitation have a very high chance of attracting many mice. All stored food items should be sealed extremely well and small spaces that mice may find inviting should be sealed.
The IDPH stated that the best practice for preventing mice is to "build them out," meaning that anywhere that food is stored should be made mouse-proof. All openings, holes, cracks and crevices should be closed.
Sanitation practices for preventing cockroaches are similar to those of preventing mice. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health advised keeping stored food in insect-proof containers or sealed glass jars, ensuring that all trash cans are sealed shut and that leaks are free of moisture. Cooking fat attracts the German cockroach, according to the source, so a thorough wipe-down of all kitchen utensils and appliances is strongly suggested. Any shrubs or plants near the house, fire wood piles close to the home or any other hiding place for cockroaches should be removed.
To prevent cockroach allergens specifically, consistent and regular vacuuming can be practiced to clean up cockroach skin and egg capsules that have been shed.
You probably already know that most people are repulsed by the simple sight of cockroaches. If you are personally dealing with a cockroach infestation, the feelings of disgust are probably even more intense. Unfortunately, the cold winter weather tends to be one of the reasons this pest ends up in your home in the first place, according to Any Pest. While you may know that you don't want to share your home with cockroaches this winter, there are a number of interesting facts about this pest that you've probably never heard.
Because of the high amount of traffic and the versatility of the facilities, pests are naturally attracted to long-term care institutions. Many nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other care facilities include on-site kitchens and cafeterias as well as private rooms and common spaces. All of these places are susceptible to attracting pests because of the presence of food, water and viable habitats.
During the summer months, some people love to go camping with family and friends. Yet this fun trip can be ruined with a few unwanted visitors, most notably different types of bugs. Crawling spiders, hungry mosquitoes and buzzing flies can become annoying quickly. How can you avoid these pests when you're outdoors? Consider these tips to keep bugs out of your campsite.
Carpenter ants can chew through the strongest studs and stringers in a house as they hollow the wooden beams out for nesting. The resulting damage can weaken the home's structural support and require expensive repairs. Professional pest control workers can remove a colony of ants, but the best practice for homeowners is to learn the best ways to keep out an ant colony and prevent the problem before it begins.
As the weather cools, you'll probably see fewer pests than you did during the warmer months, but that doesn't mean they're all gone just yet. Some insects can actually come out in full force during the autumn, while others might seek refuge in your warm home. Here are some key tips to keep in mind as fall gets underway:
As the middle of summer approaches, you need to be vigilant about keeping your garden free of pests. Many insects breed during the summertime, which means they're on the lookout for great places to lay their eggs. For many bugs, that means near a source of food. In fact, some species of insects will lay their eggs inside budding vegetables and fruit so their larvae have something to eat as soon as they hatch. That's why you have to keep harmful bugs out without damaging the bugs that could help you, such as bumble bees.
You might have noticed that, with the exception of the kitchen, you find more pests in your bathroom than in the rest of your home. This is because insects and rodents see the bathroom as a convenient watering hole. Pests love leaky pipes and standing water because these offer them a hydrating oasis in the otherwise dry biome that is your house or apartment. And if your bathroom develops mold, all the better for pests, who may eat fungus or use it to lay their eggs.