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Can Household Pests Trigger Allergies?

While many people are familiar with allergies to stinging insects, like bees and wasps, most don’t know that countless insects, rodents, and other common critters can trigger allergic reactions. In fact, if you’ve been feeling extra sneezy this spring, it might not be seasonal allergies: your home could have some of these typical household pests.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches aren’t just unsanitary—they can also leave a variety of allergens around your home. Cockroach saliva, waste, and discarded skins can trigger a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, congestion, skin rashes, and sinus and ear infections.

According to the National Pest Management Association, 63 percent of American homes contain cockroach allergens like the ones listed above. In urban areas, that number increases to 78 to 98 percent.

Termites

Once outdoor temperatures start warming up each spring, termites begin swarming in search of mates and new places to start colonies. Subterranean termites will build their colonies underground before expanding outward, often into nearby homes. On top of receiving damage from a termite infestation, you might also find that these pests trigger allergic reactions in your family members.

Even though they look similar to ants, termites are actually a family of cockroaches, as proven by an extensive genetic analysis conducted by entomologist Paul Eggleton and his colleagues at the Natural History Museum in London. In that regard, it’s not surprising that that termite skins and waste can cause similar reactions to a cockroach allergy, like rashes, congestion, and wheezing.

Mice

These little fellows might look cute, but along with hosting some dangerous diseases and parasites, these rodents can cause a wide array of allergic reactions and aggravate asthma. Interestingly, rodent allergies have been recognized for a long time as an occupational disease for laboratory technicians, scientists, and other laboratory animal workers. When mice infest a home, its occupants may start to experience allergic symptoms as well.

Just how common are mouse allergens like dander, saliva, urine, and droppings? Studies show that they can be found in most U.S. homes, and greater concentrations tend to be in Northeastern and Midwestern urban homes. If your home has zero mouse allergens, it would be the exception, rather than the rule.

At Pestex Inc, we put your family’s health and safety first when tackling your home’s pest control challenges. Call our Boston pest control experts today at (617) 544-2566 to request a free inspection and estimate or contact us online.

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