Cockroach Allergy is for Real

We’re wrapping up this month’s discussion of annoying pests with the venerable cockroach. Have you ever heard of cockroach allergy? cockroach by japanachaiJust like dust mites, people can be allergic to cockroaches and they are a main source of allergens in densely populated areas. Twenty-three to sixty percent of urban residents with asthma test as sensitive to the cockroach allergen.

Cockroach allergy was first reported in 1943. Skin rashes appeared immediately after the insects crawled over patients’ skin. How gross is that? The first allergy skin challenge test to confirm cockroach allergy in a patient was in 1959.

How do Cockroaches Cause Allergy?

roach crawling downJust like dust mites, cockroaches contain proteins in their bodies that are easily misidentified by the immune system as an enemy invader. When you inhale this protein, your body thinks it is a germ and kicks your immune system into high gear.

The bad news is that when cockroaches die, they create in the environment even more of the allergy causing protein. That’s because the protein is released as their wicked cockroach bodies break down and crumble.

Cockroach Allergy Symptomsroach crawling up

Cockroach allergy symptoms can be similar to dust mite allergy symptoms, except they don’t only occur and night and in the morning. Coughing, wheezing, skin rash, and a runny nose can all be symptoms of cockroach allergy. As stated earlier, cockroach allergy frequently contributes to asthma.

Control the Cockroaches!

roach crawling downThe best way to control your cockroach allergy is to control the cockroaches. Integrated pest management practices will reduce cockroach populations with the least amount of poison. In addition, The American College of Asthma, Allergies, and Immunology suggests that you:

  • Keep food and garbage in containers with tight lids. Never leave food out anywhere.
  • Clean up food crumbs and spilled liquids immediately.
  • Wash dirty dishes right away, never leave them out.
  • Don’t leave out pet food, except when the pet is eating.
  • Keep counters, sinks, stove, tables, and floors clean and clear of clutter.
  • Clean the kitchen floor after meals. Mop the floor at least once a week.
  • Repair leaky faucets, drain pipes, and other moisture problems.
  • Get rid of cardboard boxes and newspapers, where cockroaches may hide.
  • Plug up small spaces around the house, such as cracks between the wall and floor, where cockroaches can enter.

Control the Allergens

allergen wash removes cockroach allergyIf you find that cockroaches have invaded, once you get the invasion under control you can attack the allergens they left behind. Almost every product that we sell that controls dust mite allergen will work on cockroach allergen as well. This means that if you find cockroaches in a box of stored clothing, you can wash the clothing with Allergen Wash and the cockroach allergen will be washed away.

If you have had cockroaches crawling on your floors or furniture, you ADMS Anti Allergen Spray removes cockroach allergycan lightly spray with ADMS Anti Allergen Spray. It will safely denature the cockroach protein and is safe for your furniture and fabric surfaces. All it takes is a light mist. If you have had a serious cockroach invasion, you might need to make two treatments.

Unfortunately cockroaches are probably here to stay. In the end, it will probably just be sharks, cockroaches, and dust mites roaming the planet and seas. Until then, if you think you are allergic to cockroaches, talk to your doctor about it. They can perform skin or blood tests and suggest medications to get symptoms under control until you can control the little buggers.

Til Next Time!


cockroaches courtesy japanachai@freedigitalphotos



Have You Heard the News About Sick Bed Syndrome?

The Allergy Store has been telling people for years about the health problems associated with dust mites.  Turns out there might be more to worry about in your mattress, pillows, and bed linens than just dust mites.

What is Sick Bed Syndrome?

Dr. Lisa Ackerly, home health hygienist, described Sick Bed Syndrome to the Daily Mail  as a condition where the bed becomes a breeding

sick bed syndrome attacks while you sleep
Dust Mites in Your Bed?

ground not only for dust mites, but disease causing bacteria and viruses.

She explains  because people spend a lot of time in their beds, with many choosing to sleep naked, mattresses can become a breeding ground for micro-organisms, that trigger a range of nasty illnesses.   You can read the entire article about Sick Bed Syndrome here.

Raw Facts on Sleeping in the Nude

bacteria, viruses, mold, dust mites contribute to sick bed syndromeEven though it is common, sleeping in the nude can spread disease.  Dr. Ackerly explains that if you are carrying norovirus with no symptoms and sleeping in the nude, you are contaminating your linens with a virus that will survive regular washing.   That means you can continue to contaminate you and loved ones again and again and again.

Salmonella (food poisoning) can also be shed onto the bed sheets if you sleep in the nude.

As it is, we shed skin cells constantly in our bed, by sleeping in the nude more of those cells make to our sheets, mattresses and pillows than if they were captured by nightclothes.

Combating Sick Bed Syndrome

Hopefully you are not reading about this in bed at 3 am. If you are, we’ve probably ruined any chance you had of getting a good night’s sleep.  Sorry.  But there are some practical things you can do to combat sick bed syndrome.

Lower Humidity.  Lower the humidity and lower the molds and dust mites in your bedroom.

Vacuum Frequently.  Dr. Ackerly recommends frequent “hoovering” (you have to love those British terms) of the bedroom.  To those of us in the US, that means to vacuum often.  She also recommends that you have a hard surface floor in the bedroom.

Disinfect Linens.  Frequent hot water washing is recommended. combat sick bed syndrome with vital oxideSheets, pillow cases, and blankets should be removed from the bed and laundered in 140°F water.  To combat bacteria and viruses, add Vital Oxide disinfecting agent to the wash.  If you are allergic to dust mites, De-Mite Laundry Additive will get rid of the little buggers in cold or warm water.

Do a Separate Load.  Wash bed linens separately to prevent transfer of any contamination from linens to clothing.  she recommends that if you send your linens out to a commercial laundry, that you inquire about the use of disinfecting agents and the temperature of the water they use for washing. Some companies wash with cooler water to reduce risk of damaging fabrics.

Protect your Bed.  Use zippered mattress covers to zip up your get your allergy zippered mattress covers protect against sick bed syndromemattress and keep out dust mites, molds, and pollen.  Zippered pillow covers are also available to protect your pillows.

Expose Duvets.  Dr. Ackerly also recommends that you “air” out your duvets on a regular basis.  By exposing them to sunlight, you reduce moisture (see step 1) making them much healthier for sleeping.  If you don’t have the “alpine” air she mentions, you can still hang outside on a sunny day.

Sick bed syndrome can be avoided and the bonus is that many of the same steps that you take to prevent sick bed syndrome will also help you relieve your allergy symptoms.  Now there is some allergy news to cheer about.

Til Next Time



Controlling Allergies Made Easy

Controlling Allergies Made Easy

Allergy control is a very common issue, as more than 50 million people in the U.S. alone are regularly diagnosed with allergies. They are the single biggest cause of doctor’s visits and more prescriptions are written for allergy related medications than for any other kind of medication. With the economy still in a fragile state, spending that kind of money on a regular basis is becoming a real hardship for many.

That’s why preventing allergies by controlling their source is such a vital step. By spending just a few dollars on various allergy control products , you can avoid spending thousands on doctors and medications. It’s a pretty good trade off, especially when it also means that you’ll be able to live allergy free and enjoy your environment instead of having it make you miserable.

Allergies are the result of a malfunction of the immune system that causes the body to respond to harmless proteins as if they were a threat. Once they are identified as a threat, the body begins to produce histamines, resulting in a range of symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes and stuffy nose. It can be a miserable way to live and therefore allergy control can be an important step in improving quality of life for the allergy sufferer.

The most common sources of allergens are certain food products, dust mites, pet dander and pollen. Food products generally cause an adverse reaction when eaten and these types of allergies can be controlled simply by avoiding the food in question. For airborne allergens, it may be necessary to rely on allergy control products to help minimize problems.

There are a number of products available to help with allergy control, including AllerDust spray and De-Mite laundry additive. Products like these work to remove allergens from fiber-rich surfaces. Furniture, carpets, draperies and bedding are the biggest culprits when it comes to the spread of allergens. A quick spray with an anti-allergy product can neutralize the effect of any allergens present.

Using allergy control products in the laundry is another way that you can eliminate dust mites and dander to keep these allergens from spreading. Simply do your laundry as you normally would and add in an allergy fighting additive or laundry detergent  and your clothes and sheets will come out looking and smelling fresh and 100% free of allergens.

Carpets and draperies should be vacuumed once a week to prevent the build-up of allergens and bedclothes should be stripped and washed once a week as well. If you can stay one step ahead when it comes to allergy control, you’ll be much better off in the long run. You’ll feel better and you’ll see the difference in your pocket book as your medical expenses are greatly diminished.

Allergies are something most of us deal with on a regular basis, but they don’t have to take over your life. With just a few small steps and a couple of dollars, you’ll be able to breathe easier knowing your home is allergen free. Don’t take chances with your health, take the smart approach and say goodbye to your allergies for good!

Till next time