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Certain proteins found in cockroach saliva and feces contain the allergens that cause cockroach allergy. These creatures are common, even in the cleanest of crowded urban areas and older dwellings. Preventive measures to eliminate cockroaches (and reduce cockroach allergy) include: not leaving out pet food; keeping garbage in closed, tight-lidded containers; and cleaning the kitchen floor and countertops weekly.

Cockroach Allergy: An Overview

Cockroaches are one of the most common and allergenic of indoor pests. They are commonly found in crowded cities and in the southern United States. Certain proteins in cockroach feces and saliva can also be found in house dust.
Recent cockroach allergy research studies have found a strong association between the presence of cockroaches and increases in the severity of asthma symptoms in individuals who are sensitive to cockroach allergens.
These pests are common, even in the cleanest of crowded urban areas and older dwellings. They are found in all types of neighborhoods.
The proteins found in cockroach saliva are particularly allergenic, but the bodies and droppings of cockroaches also contain allergenic proteins.

Preventive Strategies for Cockroach Allergy

Methods of preventing cockroach allergy can include:
  • Keep food and garbage in closed, tight-lidded containers. Never leave food out in the kitchen.
  • Do not leave out pet food or dirty food bowls.
  • Eliminate water sources that attract these pests, such as leaky faucets and drain pipes.
  • Mop the kitchen floor and wash countertops at least once a week.
  • Plug up crevices around the house through which cockroaches can enter.
  • Limit the spread of food around the house, and especially keep food out of bedrooms.
  • Use bait stations and other environmentally safe pesticides to reduce cockroach infestation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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