Pest infestations can affect our lives in so many ways, damaging property, being a nuisance, and being a health hazard. Unfortunately, many of these pests can also trigger allergies, which cause uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening reactions.
Some of these pests and their corresponding allergic reactions include:
- Cockroaches: People allergic to cockroaches frequently react by having asthma attacks. Other common symptoms are runny nose, sneezing, itching in the eyes, cough, or skin rash. The allergen can be found in almost all parts of the cockroach, including dead bodies, saliva, and waste.
- Rats: Rats carry allergens on their dead skin cells, saliva, urine, and droppings. These are easily transmissible when rats run around with urine on their feet or saliva on their fur. Allergic reactions to rats may include stuffy nose, itchy eyes, cough, rashes, or difficulty breathing.
- Bedbugs: Most people become itchy upon getting bitten by bedbugs. Although rare, those with allergies may suffer more severe itching and swelling that develops into hives or blisters, when bitten by bedbugs.
- Mosquitoes: Almost everyone develops itchiness when bitten by mosquitoes. But some have more severe allergies, which may lead to the formation of lesions, bruises, inflammation of the lymph system, or hives.
In rare but very serious cases, these allergies may trigger anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the throat constricts and swells up.
Ways to protect against pest allergens
Tackling a pest problem is challenging, but it becomes all the more important when you or someone you are living with is allergic to a household pest. Here are some ways you can help to protect you and your family from pest allergens:
1. Keep the home clean
Most pests are attracted to dirt and grime, so a messy and dirty home is highly attractive to pests. Regular cleaning and washing will also help to get rid of droppings by pests that are already in your home.
Make sure to wash high-risk areas frequently, especially bedding materials (to remove bedbugs), and areas where food is handled and stored. Where possible, use soap and warm or hot water to thoroughly sterilise the items and area.
2. Ensure proper ventilation
A well-aerated home has the advantage of being less attractive for pests to stay in — most pests like humid and warm spots. When there is adequate airflow, it also promotes the flushing out of airborne allergens so that they don’t remain in your home for long.
Don’t forget to also air out the dark, tucked away corners of the home, keeping the humidity levels there low so they don’t become homes for pests.
3. Choose non-allergenic furnishings
If allergies are a problem, it’s worthwhile to invest in non-allergenic bedding materials. It is also a wise choice to opt for non-carpeted flooring, as carpets are notorious for trapping dirt and being home to bedbugs and dust mites.
4. Consult a pest control professional
To be doubly sure about your pest control efforts, you can rope in a pest control company to help you inspect your home regularly and advice you on how to properly keep your home pest- and allergens-free. In the case of any infestations, they can also perform remediation strategies for you, such as by employing bedbug control methods.
Having an allergy to pests makes it all the more important to keep one’s home free of pests. Make these tips your way of life to enjoy a more peaceful life without being severely impacted by allergens.