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Can Pests Exacerbate Asthma?

If you have a family member or you yourself suffers with asthma, you know the common things that can aggravate it: pet dander, pollen, dust, and cigarette smoke, just to name a few. But are you aware that there are pests that can also cause flare-ups of asthma?

There are two very common pests that are asthma-aggravating culprits. Here they are and some things you can do to prevent them:

Rats & Mice: Allergens from these rodents usually show up in their droppings, their urine, and their dander. And because they can squeeze through the tiniest of holes, these pests can travel just about anywhere in your home, but research shows they are usually found in kitchens. There are higher levels of urinary proteins on the floors in kitchens – and those can lead to asthma and even being on an allergic reaction. Of course, they are drawn to crumbs and spills, but they could be in your walls, your HVAC system, and your insulation, too. They don’t just aggravate asthma. Mice and rats are vectors for a lot of different viruses and diseases including Tularemia, leptospirosis, hantavirus, Salmonella, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV). Knowing all this, the best thing to do if you think you have rats or mice in your home is to call a professional as soon as possible so you can get in front of the health problems these pests can bring with them.

Some ways you can help prevent rodents from making your home theirs are:

  • Using airtight containers for food and not having open boxes in your pantry
  • Keeping vents, pipes, windows, and doors sealed
  • Making sure your garbage cans seal tightly and have locks on them (this will also deter bears and raccoons)
  • Getting a cat! But let’s face it, if you have asthma, you probably don’t want to do that.

Cockroaches: Cockroaches (and other pests) shed their exoskeletons. While those and their feces break down, they become airborne. When those particles get breathed in, it can aggravate asthma. There are also some proteins in cockroach droppings that can cause allergic or asthmatic reactions. Even though cockroaches are usually in the city, they will go wherever they can find the 3 basics: food, shelter, and water. But in urban areas, cockroaches play a serious role in asthma.

Make your home less hospitable to these pests by:

  • Cleaning up crumbs and spills right away and not leaving dirty dishes in the sink
  • Using airtight containers for food storage to prevent both cockroaches and rodents
  • Making sure even the smallest of openings or cracks inside cabinets are sealed
  • Vacuuming carpets often and steam cleaning them regularly
  • Decreasing clutter. While clutter doesn’t attract them, it can provide plenty of hiding places, so keep your home free of clutter.
  • Bringing in a professional pest control company to take care of an infestation first and then help employ some strategies to also keep them out

Waltham Pest Services can help with both cockroaches and rodents – all while dealing with many other household pests. Pest control is a team sport, so if you do the simple techniques listed above and have a professional technician at your home for routine service, you can win against these pests. Being an asthmatic is hard enough. Contact Waltham Pest Services to help keep the pests that aggravate asthma out of your home and breathe easy.

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