Finding an unsightly cockroach in your home is definitely a worrying situation. Many people understandably find these insects disgusting and do their best to prevent them from settling down in their homes. However, cockroaches are more than just an unsightly bug – they can also trigger respiratory problems such as asthma and cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. The National Pest Management Association reports that 63% of homes in the United States contain cockroach allergens.


Not many people are aware of this unfortunate consequence of cockroaches, but it has been well-documented. Allergens are produced from their body parts and saliva that can easily become airborne and contaminate your living space, much in the same way that dust mites can stir up allergies by being kicked up in the air. If you suffer from asthma and respiratory problems, a cockroach infestation or even just a few of these bugs can cause allergic reactions. Cockroaches don’t need to be present for there to be cockroach allergen in your home. One in five homes with no history of cockroach infestation has a significant level of allergen in dust and fabrics. Even dead cockroaches can cause allergic reactions. 

Cockroach allergy warning signs

Typical cockroach allergy warning signs can include worsening asthma with no discernible cause. Skin rashes, congestion, and sinus and ear infections are also possible symptoms of a cockroach allergy that has been triggered. Not only do cockroach allergens trigger asthma and allergies, but researchers are also exploring evidence that early exposure to cockroach allergen can actually cause asthma to develop in preschool-aged children. This is obviously very concerning, especially for people with asthma and respiratory problems. Luckily, there are steps you can take to lessen the risk of cockroaches appearing in your space.

How do I keep cockroaches away from my home?

Pests need food, water, and shelter to survive. One of the best ways to keep cockroaches away is to keep your home clean, especially the sinks, floors, and kitchen area. Uncovered trash, food scraps, or pet food are attractive to cockroaches, so it is best to take your trash out often and not leave edible substances uncovered. It is also wise to avoid clutter in rooms and common spaces that these bugs could hide in. However, this is not always enough.

If you do find any cockroaches in your house and dispose of them, there is still the risk of their allergen particles resting in your carpet or in their body part fragments hidden around the house. If you suspect that you have a cockroach infestation, especially if you or a loved one are experiencing flare-ups in asthma or potential allergic reactions to cockroaches, it is important to call a professional in pest control to deal with the issue.

Professionals will be able to properly cleanse the household of any cockroaches or potential remains. They can also advise you about how to avoid any more recurrences in the future. Cockroaches are not just a hygiene issue. They pose serious risks to health and safety, and an infestation should be treated by a certified professional.