Wednesday, February 6, 2008

News Release: Cockroaches Worsen Asthma Symptoms

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — May has been named national Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), and Combat® brand pest control is doing its part to help spread the message. Although it might seem like an unlikely connection, studies show that there is a definite link between the cockroach allergen and the exacerbation and even causation of asthma.

“During the past few years, research has shown that cockroach allergens play a big part in the daily lives of asthma sufferers all over the country,” said Dr. Gretchen Phillips, an MD with Fairview Hospitals, and a medical show radio host based in Minneapolis.

The link between cockroaches and asthma has been proven in scientific research dating back to the 1970s. Between 78 and 98 percent of urban homes have cockroaches, and 23 to 60 percent of urban residents are allergic to the cockroach allergen, according to the AAFA. The cockroach allergen is so pervasive in homes around the country, most doctors require patients with persistent asthma to be tested for cockroach allergies, in addition to other environmental factors, such as dust mites, mold and pets.

In the United States alone, more than 23 million people suffer from the chronic respiratory disease, including 6.5 million children.

Around 63 percent of all U.S. households have a detectable level of the cockroach allergen in the home, according to a 2005 study by The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

“Asthma kills. Even in 2008, people die from asthma,” Phillips said. “I always tell my patients that it is easier to prevent problems than to recover from them.”

Using Combat baits and roach-killing gels will help to kill the entire cockroach nest and ultimately improve the air quality. In addition to eliminating the problem, there are a few additional steps to help prevent cockroach infestations:

  • Eliminate clutter, such as stacks of clothes or newspapers, which are perfect nesting areas for cockroaches.

  • Keep food in tightly sealed plastic or glass containers, do not leave dirty dishes in the sink, vacuum regularly and don’t leave out pet food and water.

  • Keep the inside of your home clean and do not leave out food or crumbs, which are attractive to ants and roaches.

  • Seal the cracks and crevices in the walls of your home (including around water pipes and electrical outlets).
Combat was recently featured by the Healthy House Institute, an online resource that provides consumers with information to make their homes healthier. The HHI does not endorse specific products. Visit for more information.

To learn more about pest prevention and control strategies, visit Combat® products retail from $2.49 to $14.99 and are available at most major retailers.

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