Children More Susceptible to Allergic, Asthmatic Reactions
They’re creepy crawlers that make most of us go “eeww!” However, cockroaches pose a much greater risk to our health than simple disgust at a sighting, in particular for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. In fact, cockroaches are known to spread 33 kinds of bacteria and more than a dozen other disease-causing organisms, including E. coli and salmonella. And now, as the height of the cold-weather season sets in and we (and cockroaches) spend more times indoors, the risk increases.
“Cockroaches are one of the most common indoor pests and many people are sensitive to the allergens that come with them,” said Scott Svenheim, an Associate Certified Entomologist at Truly Nolen. “They’re found in the cleanest of homes in all types of neighborhoods, particularly in crowded cities with a lot of older buildings.”
For those who are sensitive to cockroach allergens, the proteins found in their saliva increases the likelihood of an allergic reaction. The body and droppings of cockroaches also contain allergenic proteins. Recent studies suggest that exposure to cockroach allergen can increase the severity of asthma symptoms, and one in five children in the U.S. have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens, according to The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Truly Nolen encourages everyone to take proactive steps to prevent cockroach infestations during the winter to help keep families healthy and safe:
- Keep food and garbage in closed, tight-lidded containers.
- Never leave food out in the kitchen.
- Eliminate water sources that attract pests, such as leaky faucets and drain pipes.
- Do not leave out pet food or dirty food bowls.
- Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms – especially under appliances and sinks due to food and moisture found in and around plumbing fixtures.
- Mop the kitchen floor and wash countertops at least once a week.
- Plug up crevices around the house through which cockroaches can enter.
Limit the spread of food around the house and especially keep it out of bedrooms.