ASTHMA FACT SHEET:
What pests can affect people with asthma?
Cockroaches, mice and rats produce allergens that can affect people with asthma.
Cockroaches, a common trigger, can cause an asthma attack for people with asthma who are allergic to cockroaches. Cockroaches can also cause the development of asthma in young children, when at least one parent has asthma and/or allergies. Mice and rats can cause asthma attacks for people with asthma who are allergic to them.
Where are pests found indoors?
Pests need food, water and shelter to live, just like people. Pests usually live in dark and/or damp areas. Pests are commonly found under sinks, stoves and refrigerators; in cardboard boxes, and walls. Homes and other buildings may have others areas where pests can be found like attics, basements, and tunnels.
How can problems with pests be prevented?
- Pests are reduced when the home or building is clean and dry
- Use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program instead of chemicals to get rid of pests.
- Do not leave food containers open. Put food in sealed plastic or glass containers.
- Do not leave dirty dishes in any sink or room.
- Do not leave pet food and water dishes out overnight.
- Pick-up garbage, food crumbs and clean liquid spills around the trash can and kitchen floor daily. Sweep and mop often.
- Take out the trash daily. Do not allow trash to overflow.
- Use trash bags that resist breaking and a trash can with a lid to seal out pests.
- Check for plumbing leaks and moisture problems. Fix any problems right away.
- Use plastic tubs for storage instead of cardboard boxes.
- Seal cracks and openings around doors, windows and foundation.
- Use monitor (sticky) traps or baits. Pellet or granular baits are not recommended.
- Do not use pesticides to prevent pests.
- If the above measures are not working to prevent pests, use low-impact pesticides.