When most people think of allergy and asthma triggers, they likely think of pollen, dust and animal dander. Hulett Environmental Services however, warns that cockroaches can also pose a threat to those that suffer from allergies and asthma. The saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches 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 U.S. have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens. And, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 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 the winter 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 and increasing their exposure to these indoor allergens. Hulett Environmental Services encourage homeowners to take proactive steps to prevent cockroach infestations this winter to help keep their families healthy and safe.
To help prevent infestations, we recommend that homeowners seal cracks around the outside of their home, vacuum frequently and keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs that can attract the pests. Extra attention should be paid 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 you have an infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional who will be able to recommend a course of treatment. To learn more about cockroaches and the health threats they pose, please visit www.bugs.com
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Hulett Environmental Services shares tips to eliminate indoor allergens this spring
Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, an ideal time to educate the public about triggers, prevention and treatment measures for asthma and allergic diseases. In recognition of this important observation, Hulett Environmental Services reminds people that a few simple pest prevention measures can go a long way in combating allergies and asthma this spring.
Common household pests, such as cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause allergy flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. In addition, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.
Hulett Environmental Services recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:
- Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
- Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
- Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
- Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
- If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
- Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
- If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.
For more information on pests, please visit www.bugs.com
Hulett Environmental Services recommends the following steps to pest proof your home:
- Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of your home including areas where utilities and pipes enter your home. Frequent vacuuming can help to eliminate tiny pests that other pests feed on.
- Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
- Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
- Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking insects.
- Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off of the ground.
- Repair fascia and soffits and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
- A licensed and qualified pest control professional is your best resource to ensure these steps are completed properly.