What is cockroach allergy?
Cockroach allergy is an allergic reaction to cockroaches and the particles it leaves behind.
People with an allergic reaction to cockroaches don’t just get their allergy triggered by coming into contact with these insects.
Their allergies can be triggered even by the feces that the roaches leave behind or even when the person’s skin grazes the surface where a cockroach crawled on.
Anything that comes from a cockroach (saliva, shed body parts, eggs) can serve as an allergen and could cause a person to develop a rash or trigger his asthma.
Symptoms of cockroach allergy
According to allergists the symptoms that cockroach allergy causes can be:
- Shortness of breath
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose, mouth or throat
- Ear infection
- Sinus infection
- Postnasal drip (mucus that slides behind your nose and down to your throat)
- Chest tightness and/or even pain
- Poor sleep caused by coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath
Due to the capability of cockroaches to hide in the smallest of cracks in your ceilings, walls and floors they may be able to leave residue and every other allergen all throughout the house.
Also, the droppings that cockroaches leave behind, called frass, can become airborne when someone starts sweeping the floors or vacuuming the carpet.
These airborne cockroach particles can enter a person’s body through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and lungs, which will then trigger an allergic reaction.
How to diagnose cockroach allergy
If you suspect that you are allergic to cockroaches then consult your physician right away.
Before she proceeds with any tests your physician will first interview you about your symptoms and how it began.
If she thinks that you may be allergic to roaches she will then conduct either a skin prick test or an IgE blood test.
With the skin prick test your physician will take an allergen from a roach and prick your skin with it to see if it will develop a rash or any sign of allergic reaction in 15 minutes or less.
Skin tests are very reliable in determining if a person is allergic to something.
The other test is called IgE blood test wherein your physician will draw blood from your arm and determine if you’re allergic to roaches by mixing it with an allergen from the insect.
The IgE blood test is also reliable although it may take a couple of days before a result comes out.
How to avoid allergic reactions
One of the worsts household pests you can encounter is the cockroach. They can multiply quickly and hundreds of them could be living inside your house.
According to experts, people often see a cockroach roaming around their house because there are already hundreds (around 800+) cramming inside every crack in walls, ceilings and the floor.
So it’s quite daunting to avoid these critters since they’re also resilient and capable of surviving through the harshest of environments.
Scientists even believe that cockroaches can survive a nuclear holocaust.
So how do you avoid these pesky pests? Follow these tips:
Seal all your food containers tightly
Experts say that roaches will go somewhere else if they can’t find food in a certain place. So make sure that all your food is tightly packed and stored in the fridge and away from these insects and they just might pack and go somewhere else.
Clean all surfaces in your house especially the kitchen and dining room
Cockroaches also hate clean surfaces so best to clean all the cupboards and counter tops in the kitchen and dining room.
Mop the floors as well and make sure that no crumbs or food particles get left behind on your dining table or the kitchen floor, otherwise these roaches will find them in an instant.
Seal your garbage cans
Roaches are not meticulous when it comes to finding food. They’ll even eat trash if they find some so make sure that all your trash cans are sealed tight.
Clean your closets regularly
Clothes may not be a roach’s choice of food but it doesn’t mean that they won’t go through your closet for something to nibble on.
Roaches like the dark and since closets often don’t have light they could take a trip or two there.
So make it a habit to take out all your clothes every other weekend, or even every weekend if you can, and clean all the corners of your closet and make sure that there aren’t any cracks that a cockroach can squeeze through.
Make sure your pipes don’t have leaks
Roaches like the dark and damp places so oftentimes you’ll find them underneath your sink or inside your bathroom walls.
Make sure that your pipes do not have leaks since these insects will deem them an invitation to settle in.
Minimize your clutter
Roaches are known to eat paper and sometimes even wood if they can’t find any food.
So de-clutter your whole home by stashing away important papers and throw away newspapers you’ve already read.
Keep your pet’s bowl clean
If you have a pet dog or cat always keep their food bowls clean because roaches will home in on these if they even have just a smudge of pet food in it.
Have a professional exterminator go through your house
Get professional help to exterminate these insects because using a spray insecticide every now and then won’t completely kill all of these pests.
Professional exterminators know where to find these insects and they have the proper gear to get rid of all of them so let the experts kill these roaches.