Prevent Asthma And Allergies Triggered By Pests This SpringNPMA Staff
Monday, May 6, 2013
FAIRFAX, VA – Every year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of
America (AAFA) designates May as
National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, a peak season for
allergy and asthma symptoms. The National Pest Management
Association (NPMA) reminds people
that many pest-related asthma and allergy symptoms can be avoided
by practicing simple pest prevention and treatment measures.
Many common household pests, such as cockroaches and stinging
insects, are known to trigger asthma and allergies. Cockroach
droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain potent
allergen proteins that cause allergic reactions and exacerbate
asthma symptoms, especially in children. In addition, certain
species of stinging insects, such as yellowjackets, wasps, bees and
fire ants, can cause serious reactions in people whose immune
systems overreact to the venom. Symptoms can range from itching and
hives to shortness of breath to anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal
severe allergic reaction.
"While many homeowners know that maintaining a pest-free home
has many health benefits, they may not realize that their
preventive measures can also keep them safe from the threat of
asthma and allergies,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of
public affairs, NPMA. “A hidden cockroach problem could be
triggering symptoms for asthma and allergy sufferers. And, as
people spend more time outdoors, stinging insects become a bigger
The NPMA recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes
against pests that cause asthma and allergies:
- Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors
and counters daily.
- Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed
- Seal cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for
utilities and pipes and in screen doors and windows.
- Keep basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as
tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of
breath, call 911.
- If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an
epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
- If you suspect an infestation or notice a hive or nest on your
property, contact a
licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.
For more information on pests, 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.