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  • Writer's pictureDave Kuikstra

Asthma and Cockroaches

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

Q. My child was just diagnosed with asthma. My pediatrician suggested that we have a pest control person come out and spray for cockroaches. I don’t see the connection. Belinda V., North Wales, PA

A. It surprises most people to learn that cockroaches can easily aggravate asthma in children—more than pet dander or dust mites. The cockroach’s saliva, waste, and shed exoskeleton are the culprits. Your pediatrician is correct in recommending you have your home treated. That will eliminate the current problem. Then, you should follow up by regularly cleaning all surfaces and vacuuming frequently, sealing food containers tightly, and getting rid of any piles of paper, cardboard, or other refuse where cockroaches hide. Scheduled pest treatment throughout the year is a good idea.

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