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Children, Pests, and Asthma: What You Need to Know

The Bug Doctor: Adam Villareal, owner and president of Insight Pest Solutions, entomology nerd, and family man. To help demystify the world of bugs, the Bug Doctor answers your questions during our weekly “Ask the Bug Dr.” blog feature. You can submit your bug and pest control inquiries for him on our Facebook page, by tweeting @insightpest, or commenting below.

Pest induced Asthma is significant enough that both the EPA and CDC have published information on the subject.

Certain people are born with the tendency to have allergic responses. Others may acquire the response as they grow older.

A person’s body’s tendency towards allergic reactions is just part of the issue in asthma though. The other issue involves being exposed to substances that can elicit an allergic reaction.

Some things that we breathe in stimulate allergic responses, while others do not. For instance, pet dander and ragweed pollen may set off an allergic reactions in many people, while vehicle exhaust and smog do not. To have an allergic reaction, what a person breathes in needs to be of the right size and shape and made up of materials known by our “allergic” immune system.

So that’s where certain pests come into play when we talk about asthma in children. It just so happens that excrement and debris from dead decomposing cockroach bodies are of just the right size to be lifted into the air, breathed into the lungs and onto the bronchial tubes, and then recognized by the immune system of some people as an indication to have an allergic reaction response. This allergic reaction is asthma.

German cockroach. Photo credit: Alex Wild

For the most part when dealing with a cockroach infestation it is best to rely on a professional pest service to eliminate the infestation.

So what can you the consumer do? That is a great question!

Consumers should pay special attention to cleaning and make it a priority during and after eliminating the presence of cockroaches. This is a must to remove the presence of any allergens left that can be asthma triggers.

Where pests are triggering or contributing to asthma having a professional pest control service coupled with frequent and thorough cleaning and sanitation can leave you are your loved ones breathing easy.

Photo credit: Donnie Ray Jones

Was this information helpful?  Please comment below and share your experiences. We would love to hear from you. For more expert pest control tips, check out our guide.

Do you have a question about bugs or pest control? We’d love to help. Let us know on our Facebook page, in the comment section below, or by tweeting @insightpest. You may see the Bug Doctor’s answer to your question in a future post.

Posted in: Ask the Bug Doctor

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