Can pests impact your allergies and asthma

Abell Pest Control

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.

Mouse prevention
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.

Cockroach prevention
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.

About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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