The Health Impact of Cockroaches

A species of cockroach Periplaneta japonica discovered for the first time in United States and identified in Manhattan can not only survive in the warm indoors but also in freezing temperatures of the outdoor.

This is a result of the high reproductive rates of the roaches that will spread diseases and cause allergies that will trigger asthma. There are about 4,000 different named species of cockroaches in the world.

The saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain allergen proteins that are known to trigger allergies and increase the intensity of asthma symptoms, especially in children. They can spread 33 kinds of bacteria, 6 kinds of parasitic worms and 7 other human pathogens. They pick all kinds of germs on the spines of their legs from bathroom floors, rodent nesting areas and sewage.

In a recent study of 937 children of seven cities, allergens from common cockroaches caused more serious reactions in children with asthma than the dust mite, dog and cat allergens.

There are a number of pesticides used widely to control and kill the cockroaches. However, care must be taken to avoid residential exposure to pesticides as these chemicals are hazardous for health. Many of these pesticides trigger asthma attacks and cause developmental disabilities.

Pesticide sprays should not be used to control a pest problem. Baits and boric acid are safer and more preferable forms of treatment and also limit the level of human exposure to pesticides.

People can extenuate cockroach problems and protect their health, home and family in following a few measures.

  • Don’t allow dirty dishes to accumulate in the sink for a long time.
  • Remove garbage from the home on a routine basis and vacuum regularly.
  • Store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving food open.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in walls, floors and openings to prevent pest entryways. Also, check for seal gaps around plumbing, wall outlets, and switch plates.

Following these preventive measures will not only prevent the entry of cockroaches but also lead to a hygienic and healthy life.

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