Common Cold or Pest Allergens?
This time of year, it’s easy to attribute sniffles and sneezes to allergies, asthma or the common cold. But, what if your symptoms are actually caused by pest allergens like cockroach or rodent dander?
Check out the following to see if the culprit behind your symptoms is really a cold… or an allergic reaction to pests.
The Source of Pest Allergen Symptoms
Encountering pest allergens, whether from cockroaches, dust mites, and even rodents, can lead to allergic reactions that can compromise your respiratory system. Not surprisingly, the youngest among us (including those still in utero) are at a higher risk of developing symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and even skincare issues like eczema.
But, no matter the age, pest allergens can affect anyone, which is why pest management in your home is so critical -- especially if you live in or near an urban center.
According to the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, “Many urban areas in the United States have cockroach and rodent infestations. Not only are they annoying and stressful, they also carry pathogenic organisms that get transferred to food and surfaces through waste products and bits of shed skin.”
Of course, pests like cockroaches are not restricted to the urban sprawl and can show up just about anywhere. The same goes for rodents. If you haven’t seen signs of either on or around your home, how can you tell if you’re susceptible to these kinds of pest allergens?
To start, consider your symptoms…
Common Symptoms of Pest Allergens
Research presented by WebMD reveals that cockroaches, in particular, can cause any of the following reactions:
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in chest
- Ear/sinus infections
- Itchy, watery eyes and nose
- Skin rash
Given the similarity between some of the above symptoms and those associated with the common cold, it’s easy to see how the two could be confused.
Get Some Relief, Get Rid of the Pest Problem
There are some easy things you can do to mitigate the amount of pest allergens in your home. The most critical, of course, is getting rid of the pests causing them. But, you can also protect your home with proper maintenance, which includes:
- Regularly-scheduled cleaning of your home, particularly the kitchen
- Keeping children’s toys as dust-free as possible
- Determining pet-specific spaces and no-pet zones in your home to better protect tough-to-clean surfaces like upholstery and carpets
- Practicing proper food storage, including pet food
- Checking for cracks and crevices around the perimeter of your property where pests might gain entry
- Securing trash and recycling receptacles with proper fitting lids
No matter what, if you’re suffering from cold and flu-like symptoms, you should always check with your doctor for an actual diagnosis, rather than assume that pests are the problem.
If pests are to blame, reach out to your pest management professional at JP Pest Services for the right remedy and some much-needed relief.