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 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


Tackling Allergies at Work Is Easier Than You Think

For most of you, a great deal of your day is spent at work. You work approximately 8-12 hours each day.  If you have allergies, it can be a less than hospitable environment.

Most of you suffering from asthma and allergies can be allergic to the following; the mites in the carpet or drapes in the office, the indoor fumes and odors such as smoke, cleaning products, plastic, synthetics, various electronics, or mold and mildew.  You have control over your environment at home, how can you control allergies at work?

In most cases when you tell your boss you are having problems they will say there is nothing they can do. Trust me, they are not going to pull up the carpet or change cleaning companies. We have had customers tell us their boss thought they were just crazy.

You may need to take on the cleaning duties for your work space yourself. It might be a pain, but at least you will know it has been done.

Essentials for Allergies at Work

If you’re suffering at work and need immediate and long term relief, I recommend the following:

ADMS – Because you can’t rip up the carpet or tear down the drapes, I recommend spraying ADMS Anti-Allergen Spray on them. This spray is a heavy-duty anti allergen control spray proven effective against dust mites.  The active ingredients work by instantly deactivating the allergen Der p1 and Der f1 found in dust mite droppings. Treating the carpet and drapes at the office once a month will definitely help to get rid of mites and will make you feel so much better.

AllerDust – A cleaning aid that will effectively remove allergens scattered around the office. Even though the cleaning crew may dust cleaning with allerdust helps allergies at workyou office you really need to do it every so often. Apply Allersearch AllerDust to your dust rag or duster, as you dust it will attract more dust and cause it to stick to your duster.

GS75 Antimicrobial Surface Spray – A mold and mildew remover that works wonders. GS75 spray kills virus, bacteria, mold as well as mildew on impact so it won’t take very long to feel relief. I also suggest you use GS75 disinfectant spray during cold and flu season. Spray every thing people touch in your office.

Air Cleaners for Allergies at Work

If you work in a cube farm, you can’t control all of the air in the area.  But you can control the air in your immediate area.  If you have an office, you have a better chance of keeping the air in your office clean.

Austin Air Healthmate Air Cleaners –  The Austin Air HealthMate is very effective in removing dirt, dust, pollen, mold spores and other allergens as well as smoke, chemical fumes, smog and noxious gases. Once this machine is on and running, it will filter out the smallest of particles and provide exceptionally good clean air. The Austin is also made of steel so the cleaning crew can’t hurt it (I’ve used mine as a printer stand before).

These are my personal recommendations on how to get your work environment allergy and asthma free. Since I work here it is easy for me to do these things.

The great thing is that these products can be written off as office expenditures so talk to your employer and see what they say. Your health is very important therefore, taking the necessary precautions isn’t something you should do but need to do.

Remind them a healthy employee is a productive employee.

Wishing you all the best,
Tiffany Daniel