If you suffer from allergies and/or asthma attacks, you know to avoid common allergens like ragweed, grass pollen, and even household dust. However, there’s another allergen that may be making it hard for you to breathe, one that you may not even know about: cockroaches.

No one likes roaches, but did you know that they can seriously affect your allergy symptoms? When you think of allergens that exacerbate your asthma or your hay fever during allergy season, you probably don’t think about roaches, but you really should.

You may be thinking, “But I avoid cockroaches like the plague. I shouldn’t have anything to worry about…” Well, no one in their right mind will willingly seek out and make physical contact with cockroaches, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a problem for people who suffer from allergies and/or asthma.

Airborne Toxic Cockroach Particles

When particles of dust, pollen, and other allergens are breathed in, the immune system reacts to them based on their shape, size, and chemical makeup. That’s why some people are more sensitive to these airborne allergens than others, and it explains how cockroaches can affect your allergies.



“But I don’t breathe in cockroaches! Who does that?” Well, actually, you might. While you won’t ever inhale an entire cockroach, if you’re in an environment that’s infested with roaches, you’re exposed to their excrement, debris from their shells, and debris from decaying cockroach carcasses. These particles are tiny and easily airborne, and they’re just the right shape and size to activate your body’s immune response to allergens.

An Explanation for Urban Allergies

If you live in an urban area, and you’ve been suffering from more frequent and/or more extreme asthma attacks than usual, you may want to take a look around your environment. When you turn on the light in the kitchen at night, are you likely to see a roach or two scurrying for shelter? Do you see roach carcasses in dark corners? Have you had to put out roach motels to control an infestation?

Though you may not be exposed to allergens like pollen as much in the city as you would in the country, you could still be exposed to harmful allergens quite frequently, namely roaches. Even if you have your roach infestation seemingly under control, you’re still going to have dead roaches popping up around your home for a while.

Children in urban areas who suffer from frequent asthma attacks are often suffering from an allergic reaction to cockroach particles. If you, your child, or one of your other loved ones is having a hard time breathing, it might be time to call the exterminator before you call the doctor.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to Cockroaches

As with all allergic reactions, cockroach allergies manifest in a number of symptoms with different levels of severity. Some symptoms include:

  • Dry, itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, irritated, and/or red skin
  • Persistent and/or severe asthma attacks

Taking Care of a Cockroach Allergy

You can get tested for a cockroach allergy by going to the doctor for a skin test. However, most people find that their allergic reactions and asthma attacks can be greatly decreased by removing common allergens, with or without a test to confirm a particular allergy.

You can reduce your exposure to cockroach particles by regularly sweeping, mopping, and/or vacuuming your home. Clear away roach motels when they’ve expired, and don’t let dead bugs sit out. To really take care of your roach allergy, though, you need to rid your home of roaches entirely. Call Sugarland Exterminating today to schedule a free estimate for our pest control options, (337) 233-3800.