Pests Cause Allergies and Asthma

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Unwanted critters like roaches, rats and mice can creep into your space, leaving allergen particles behind, and when these are inhaled, your immune system can overreact, leading to sneezing and wheezing—all those reactions symptomatic of allergies and asthma. Insects and rodents not only can help set off an asthma attack, they can even introduce the disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 25 million people (including more than 7 million children) suffer from asthma, a chronic, often life-threatening illness. Eliminating allergen-carrying pests in your vicinity can keep those numbers at bay, and may even help prevent them from increasing.

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 yellow jackets, 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.

The National Pest Management Association 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 containers.
  • 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 your local pest control professional to safely remove the threat.
  • No matter the type of pest problem you have, a DIY or band aid approach will not eliminate the root of the problem. Contact your local Clifton Park pest professional to determine the underlying pest problem that needs to be addressed before the problem spreads. A trained professional will be able to inspect your home, identify the infestation and determine a plan to treat the problem most effectively.
  • If you suspect you have an infestation, your first step should always be to call a qualified and licensed pest professional. They have the tools and know-how to properly identify your pest problem and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. They can also recommend DIY pest prevention steps to prevent future problems like the ones above.

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