Controlling cockroaches to prevent asthma symptoms

Exposure to cockroaches may increase asthma symptoms. Cockroaches are a problem in many homes, especially in inner-city areas and the southern part of the United States. Here are some steps you can take to remove cockroaches from your home:

  • Do not leave food lying around the house.
  • Do not leave garbage in open containers.
  • Use poison baits and traps.

Be careful when using chemicals to eliminate cockroaches. Chemicals can irritate the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs. So chemicals are not the first choice for controlling cockroaches in the home. If you use chemicals, open the windows and doors during use and until all odor is gone. A person with asthma needs to stay out of the house until the odor of the chemical is gone.

Last Updated: March 20, 2009

Author: Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Harold S. Nelson, MD - Allergy and Immunology

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