Cockroaches and Allergies: An Uncommonly Unpleasant Duo

Feb 26, 2016, 09:50 AM by Fred Speer

Oriental Cockroach

When most people think of allergy and asthma triggers, they likely think of freshly cut grass, plant pollen, dust, or animal dander. The Clark Man, however, warns that cockroaches can also pose a threat to those that suffer from allergies and asthma. Cockroach saliva, droppings, and cast-off exoskeletons contain proteins 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, 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, which increases exposure to these indoor allergens.

The Clark Man encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to prevent cockroach infestations that can help keep their families healthy and safe. To help prevent infestations, the Clark Man recommends that people take the following steps:

  • Seal cracks around the outside of the home – along the foundation, around doors, windows, and dryer vents, etc. – to deny cockroaches and other pests access
  • 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 suspect cockroaches may lurk in your living space, call or text the Clark Man at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an email to One of our residential pest management experts will follow up to answer any questions you may have. 

Clark to the Rescue

Speaking of unwanted cockroaches, the Clark Man recently was called out the Sacramento International Airport to help eradicate a pesky cockroach infestation that temporarily shut down two of the airport’s eating facilities. You can watch video coverage of the report here ( and see how we are protecting customers from pests across California and Nevada.

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