Pests and Allergies?

- National Pest Management Association
Sunday, May 4, 2014

The more I learn about pests, the less I like them! As if rodents and cockroaches aren’t gross enough to look at, and as if it’s not bad enough that they can transmit things like salmonella, E. coli, and Hantavirus, now there’s additional data to validate their role in negatively impacting those with asthma and allergies. Geez!  The latest information comes from a recent survey the National Pest Management Association did with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The study was conducted with almost 500 allergists. Here’s what they said:

  • 76 percent said, aside from dust mites, cockroaches are the most problematic household pest for patients suffering from asthma or allergies. More than half surveyed (57 percent) rank rodents as the second most problematic, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) rank stinging insects as third.
  • 95 percent regularly advise their patients to reduce their exposure to pest allergens in their homes.
  • 90 percent would recommend that a patient with a pest problem consult with a pest management professional.
  • 97 percent of allergists indicated a pest free home is important in preventing asthma and allergy symptoms.

So, for allergy and asthma sufferers, it doesn’t look like an apple a day will keep the doctor away. But, a pest free home will! Further, the federal government has said that a pest free home is one of the primary components of a healthy home. Keeping bugs at bay may sound like an easy task but according to AAFA, 63 percent of U.S. homes have detectable levels of cockroach allergens, a number that increases dramatically in urban environments.

All these numbers serve as excellent reminders of the importance of seasonal pest proofing and good sanitation practices to make our homes unwelcoming to pests. Pest prevention begins with common sense and taking the time to make smart choices. If you don’t already have a relationship with a pest management professional, this information from medical professionals may be just the encouragement you need to seek guidance from a company in your area. Remember, professionals aren’t just there when there’s a problem – they can help prevent pests in the first place!  


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