Asthma is a long-term condition that causes inflammation of the airway contacted to the lungs. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, and even an itchy neck, throat, and ears. Approximately 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, and it is the most common chronic disease seen in children.
Asthma attacks are usually started by exposure to certain substances called triggers. Triggers are either allergens or lung irritants. Airborne allergens are substances such as pollen, animal dander, cigarette smoke, aerosols, or mold that cause an allergic reaction. Beyond the airborne allergens, pests have also been noted as an asthma trigger after many studies and recent years, and research is underway to determine whether or not some pests may even cause asthma to develop. The notable of the pests that could trigger asthma includes:
In fact, the single major factor contributing to asthma in urban-dwelling children in the northeastern United States has been found to be due to cockroach allergens.
Cockroaches will shed their skins, leave behind feces, and when they die their bodies turn into dust, all of which can trigger an asthma attack. Rodents, such as rats and mice, can also trigger asthma. These rodents shed hair and produce waste products that may trigger an attack if someone with asthma breathes them in. Awareness of asthma triggers is extremely important as it can help you take steps to reduce them, and ultimately prevent asthma symptoms or attacks.
To safely control these asthma triggering pests, it is important to hire a professional which will implement methods of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). With IPM, a professional will start the inspection by inquiring on, “Why is this pest here?” A key factor is remembering the three things pests need to live – food, water, and shelter. If these three factors are eliminated, then it will eliminate their ability to survive. After inspecting the property, a professional will find and remove the conditions that is allowing the pest to enter and live. This approach solves pest problems rather than just treating the symptoms, and it reduces the need to use pesticides repeatedly.
Below are a few tips in which problems with these asthma and allergy inducing pests can be prevented.
- Do not leave food containers open – put all food in sealed plastic or glass containers
- Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink or in any room
- Do not leave pet food and water dishes out overnight
- Pick up garbage, wipe up food crumbs, and clean liquid spills around the trash can and kitchen floor daily
- Sweep and mop often
- Use trash bags that resist breaking, as well as a trash can with a lid to keep pests out
- Use plastic tubs for storage instead of cardboard boxes
- Check for plumbing leaks and moisture problems – fix any problems right away
- Seal cracks and openings around doors, windows, and foundation
- If the problem still exists, call 877-DEAD-BUG to hire the professionals!