Could Household Pests Be The Reason Behind Your Allergy And Asthma Symptoms?

The National Pest Management Association shares tips for keeping a pest-free home during Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month

FAIRFAX, VA (May 8, 2017) — As the days get warmer and more time is spent outdoors, many people are complaining about allergy and asthma symptoms, but it’s a common myth that these issues are only associated with being outside. During Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is sharing information about pest-proofing your home from household pests — cockroaches, rodents and dust mites — that just might be the reason for all that stuffiness and sneezing.

“Common pest allergy and asthma symptoms include itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness or pressure — similar to symptoms experienced from seasonal allergies and plant pollens,” Jorge Parada, MD, medical advisor for NPMA, reports. In fact, about 20 million Americans have a dust mite allergy and 63 percent of American homes contain allergens from cockroaches, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

“While most people associate allergy and asthma with being outside in the spring or summer, these symptoms can be triggered indoors all year long,” said Dr. Parada. “It’s important to identify and reduce exposure to specific triggers both inside and outside of the home. Why not start with adding pest-proofing your home to your spring cleaning list?”

The NPMA suggests taking measures to allergy-proof the home this spring:

  • Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps in walls and floors using a silicone-based caulk.
  • Maintain the humidity level in the house at about 50 percent by properly ventilating basements and crawl spaces.
  • Vacuum at least once a week and dust hard surfaces frequently using a dust rag or damp cloth.
  • Wipe surfaces daily and dispose of garbage regularly in a sealed trash bin.
  • Encase pillows and mattresses in allergen-proof covers to control dust mites.

If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional. For more information on pest prevention tips, visit


About the National Pest Management Association

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. For more information, visit