Pests and Allergies: What You Need to Know

May 19, 2017, 08:19 AM by Fred Speer
More than 50 million Americans have some type of allergies, and the rate is climbing. And more than 24 million Americans are afflicted with asthma, including 6 million children under the age of 18.

What do you allergies and asthma have to do with pest control? The Clark Man is glad you asked.

May – usually peak season for allergy sufferers – is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. And when most people think of these two conditions, they are likely to think of such commonly known causes as fresh-cut grass, plant pollen, dust, or animal dander.

The Clark Man wants to let you know that pests – especially cockroaches – can pose a threat to anyone who suffers from allergies and asthma.

Cockroach saliva and droppings, along with the decomposing bodies and cast-off skins of these unwelcome pests, contain proteins that are known to trigger allergies and increase the severity of asthma symptoms.

Children are especially at risk for suffering allergic and asthmatic reactions to cockroach infestations. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reports that one in five children in the United States have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens.

And, according to the National Pest Management Association, cockroaches spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, along with six parasitic worms and more than seven other types of human pathogens.

The threat for accumulated cockroach allergens is elevated in cooler and inclement weather, because not only is there a greater chance for cockroaches to invade homes in search of warmth, but families are also spending more time indoors and increasing their exposure to these indoor allergens.

The Clark Man encourages that people take proactive steps to prevent cockroach infestations, to help keep their families healthy and safe.

To help prevent infestations, the Clark Man recommends performing the following actions:

  • Seal cracks around the outside of your home (e.g., along the foundation, around doors and windows, and dryer vents) to deny cockroaches and other pests access to your home
  • Vacuum carpets, rugs and furniture frequently to remove potential threats
  • Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs that can attract pests
  • Empty garbage cans regularly and dispose of the bags properly
  • Remove sources of excess moisture (leaky faucets and pipes) in your home that could attract cockroaches

Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms – especially under appliances and sinks – as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations, due to the presence of food products and moisture in plumbing fixtures.

If you have questions about cockroaches, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at

Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

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