Cockroaches and Respiratory System Risks


Within any home or business, pests like insects can cause a whole variety of issues. These often primarily show up as issues of convenience and damage – pests can infiltrate numerous areas of your home and many can damage your structures.

At A-1 Exterminators, however, we’re well aware that this is far from the only issue many people have with pests. For those who struggle with allergies, asthma or other respiratory symptoms, or even for those who haven’t in the past, pests can be a major source of exacerbation of these kinds of symptoms. One pest in particular that we help address during our residential pest control services is the cockroach – let’s look at how this pest impacts those with respiratory symptoms, and why pest control for cockroaches is vital as a result.

Cockroaches and Respiratory Issues

Along with dust mites, which are similar in some ways, cockroaches carry a specific protein that’s found in their urine, their feces and even their shedding of skins. This protein is known to trigger asthma, allergies and other respiratory conditions, whether they were or weren’t previously present.

It’s important to note that this can happen even if you never directly see or contact a cockroach. Any cross-contamination that puts humans into contact with this protein could be enough to touch off reactions, and given that cockroach infestations tend to spread across the entire home or building, this means there won’t be many safe areas.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the primary signs or symptoms that cockroaches are present and causing respiratory issues include:

  • Congestion, coughing or sneezing
  • Rashes and itchiness
  • Watery eyes
  • Asthma attacks or heightened wheezing
  • Runny nose or itchy throat
  • Ear or sinus infection

Differentiating From Other Allergies

As you’re reading the above list of symptoms, you’ve perhaps noticed that it’s very similar to the symptoms you’d find for standard allergy or asthma conditions. So how do you tell whether the symptoms you or someone else in your home are experiencing might be due to cockroaches or another cause?

There’s no perfect guideline here, but one telltale sign is often the seasonality or frequency of the issue. Allergies tend to be most severe during the spring and fall – are you or someone else in your home experiencing them at high levels even during summer and winter as well? In addition, are you noticing symptoms are heavily exacerbated when you’re in the home, but are less severe or even not present at all when you are elsewhere? This latter situation is often a strong sign that it’s something in your home causing the issue, whether it’s cockroaches or another source.

For more on how cockroaches can impact respiratory conditions, or to learn about any of our pest control or exterminator services, speak to the staff at A-1 Exterminators today.

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