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Can Pests Trigger Allergies and Asthma?

Posted on June 12th, 2014 by Panther Pest Control Team
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Asthma and allergies occur as a result of the body reacting to substances that are commonly found in the air that we breath. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, sore eyes, itchy throat and a runny nose.

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Image by: William Brawley

Asthma is also an allergic condition that often includes some of these symptoms. When you suffer from an asthma attack your lungs tighten and make breathing very difficult. It is helpful for families of allergy sufferers to be able to recognise the symptoms and triggers to asthma and reduce and remove them for the relief of their loved ones. For this reason we’re writing this article to give some pointers on pests to be wary of and look to eradicate.

Can Bed Bugs Cause Allergies?

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Image by: J Seattle

You may not realise it but bed bugs are becoming an increasing problem in UK homes, due to increased travel. They are particularly prevalent in multi occupancy buildings such as hostels, hotels, holiday camps and blocks of flats. They are hard to detect in their early stages but once they are in adult form they are about the size of a match head. They are blood sucking parasites and feed on the blood of their victims, usually at night.

When a bed bug bites you it can be mistaken for an allergic reaction as it results in an itchy bump. The majority of people do not suffer from bed bug allergies though. However there are some unfortunate individuals that do exhibit bed bugs allergy symptoms that in extreme cases can result in anaphylaxis (a very severe allergic response that can be life threatening). Symptoms can include swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure and asthma.

Can Cockroaches Cause Asthma?

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Image by: Wmjas

Cockroaches have long whippy antennae and move in a jerky way. They don’t survive very well outside in the UK but thrive in boiler rooms and heating ducts of large buildings such as hospitals, restaurant kitchens and bakeries and blocks of flats. You’ll find them where it is humid such as ovens, sinks and pipework.

They carry harmful bacteria that can be transmitted to humans when they come out after dark to forage for food. On their journey they contaminate food, preparation surfaces and utensils. Cockroaches are know to cause an allergic reaction in some people and make asthma sufferers symptoms worse. The allergens that come from cockroaches and cause asthma symptoms to worsen are called frass. These particles are quite heavy but are made airborne by the action of sweeping and vacuuming. These particles then get up the nose and into the eyes and lungs causing an allergic reaction.

Can Dust Mites Cause Allergies?

Dust mites are really tiny and look like spiders. They make their homes in beds, carpets and soft furnishings. They are in nearly every home across the UK and throughout the world but because of their size you are unlikely to come across them. They like conditions that are warm and humid best of all.

A dust mite feeds off dead skin flakes and their droppings and dead body parts trigger an allergic reaction in some people. If you have a high level of dust mites in your home you are more likely to develop an allergic reaction to them. Dust mites allergy symptoms can be reduced by allergen impermeable bed coverings, regularly washing bed linen at high temperatures, replacing carpets with tiles or wooden flooring, getting someone else to clean your home and using a dehumidifier.

Other Pests That Can Trigger an Allergic Reaction

There are many other unwelcome pests that venture into your home that can be treated and removed with pest control services. These include rats, mice and other rodents. These visitors leave their droppings and body parts that are a health risk as well as increasing allergy and asthma symptoms. Add to that the problem of wasps and other stinging insects making their nests in your home and you come to realise that vigilance is necessary and prompt action required when needed.