Cockroach Allergens Continue To Be a Major Trigger of Asthma, Especially in ChildrenNPMA Staff
Friday, February 11, 2011
In recent years, several large-scale studies funded by the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have
reinforced the dangerous connection between cockroaches and asthma
in children. NIEHS reported that one in five children in the United
States have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens, which can
cause or increase the severity of asthma symptoms. These allergens
are most commonly introduced into homes through cockroach saliva,
droppings and the decomposing bodies of these pests.
"The presence of cockroaches in the home poses a
severe risk to health, especially as an asthma trigger in
children," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs
for NPMA. "Homeowners should feel confident in contacting a
licensed pest professional as their services have shown to be most
effective in reducing cockroach populations. The professional
treatment of cockroach infestations will ultimately reduce the
number of allergens that can exacerbate a child's asthma."
Homeowners must be vigilant in preventing such infestations,
especially during the summer months. Cockroaches are most active
when temperatures reach 70 degrees or above and these pests thrive
in warm, dark and moist places.
NPMA offers homeowners these tips to protect their families and
properties from cockroach
- Keep food sealed and stored properly, particularly in
- Clean kitchens daily, where crumbs and trash are more likely to
- Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed
- Seal cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for
utilities and pipes.
- Keep basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Contact a qualified pest professional to treat any
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