Cockroaches Affect Asthma

About Cockroaches

Droppings or body parts of cockroaches can be asthma triggers.

Cockroaches are commonly found in crowded cities and the southern United States. Certain proteins, called allergens, are found in cockroach feces and saliva and can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals. Cockroach allergens likely play a significant role in asthma in many inner-city areas.

Actions You Can Take

An important key to pest management is to free your home of places for pests to hide and to keep them from food and water. Pesticides are toxic for people as well as pests; try to use pest management methods that present the least risk. Some of these methods are:

  • Try using poison baits, boric acid, or traps first before using pesticidal sprays.
  • Make sure trash in your home is properly stored in containers with lids that close securely, and remove trash daily.
  • Take piles of boxes, newspapers, and other items where cockroaches may hide out of your home.
  • Fix plumbing leaks and other moisture problems.
  • Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean and clear of clutter.
  • Wash dishes as soon as you are done using them.
  • Clean all food crumbs or spilled liquids right away.
  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Do not leave out food or garbage.
  • If sprays are used:
    -Limit the spray to the infested area.
    -Do not spray where you prepare or store food, or where young children play, crawl, or sleep.
    -Carefully follow instructions on the label.
    -Make sure there is plenty of fresh air when you spray, and keep the person with asthma out of the room while spraying.
  • After spraying, the room should be thoroughly aired out.