Cockroaches Linked to Increased Asthma and Allergy AttacksNPMA Staff
Monday, May 14, 2012
National Pest Management Association reminds families of health
risks associated with cockroach infestations
In recognition of National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month,
celebrated in May, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA)
is reminding people that cockroaches can trigger bug allergy and
asthma attacks, along with other pertinent diseases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an
estimated 25.7 million people, including almost 7.1 million
children, have asthma. Many of these cases are caused by one of the
most dangerous allergens - cockroaches - that may be crawling
inside your home.
"Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skin and other body parts
contain potent allergen proteins known to cause allergic reactions
and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children," said Dr.
Jorge Parada, medical spokesperson for the NPMA. "Unfortunately,
people who are exposed to these allergens during childhood are at
an increased risk for bronchial hyperresponsiveness and asthma
problems later in life."
In addition to being a culprit behind running noses, itchy eyes
and wheezing, cockroaches spread nearly 33 kinds of bacteria
including E. coli and Salmonella. They pick up germs on the spines
of their legs as they crawl through decaying matter, which may be
transferred to humans on hard surfaces and through food
The NPMA offers the following tips to prevent cockroach
- Seal cracks and holes around the outside of the home including
- Properly ventilate basements and crawl spaces to prevent
- Keep counters free of crumbs and vacuum the floors often to
reduce the accumulation of cockroach allergens.
- Keep garbage in a sealed container and dispose of it regularly
to avoid attracting pests.
- Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms - especially
under appliances and sinks - as these areas are particularly
vulnerable to cockroach infestations.
- If you find signs of a cockroach infestation, contact a licensed
pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.
For more information on cockroach pest control or finding a
local pest professional, visit www.pestworld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit
organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933
to support the pest management industry's commitment to the
protection of public health, food and property.