Pests Can Cause Asthma and Allergic Reactions
By Chris Williams on January 13, 2011.
Q. When I swell up after a flea bite, is that an allergic reaction?
A. Some experts would say you are having an allergic reaction while others would say you are just extra sensitive. It’s a matter of degree. The reaction to a pest bite or sting is caused by saliva-like excretions or venom injected by the pest, and can vary greatly among individuals. For example, the reaction to a bed bug bite may range from a barely noticeable spot in one person to a large, swollen itchy, oozing welt in a more sensitized person. Sensitivity to a bite can vary with the type of pest, too. A person that reacts strongly to a bed bug bite may not react at all to a tick bite. Sometimes, bite or sting reactions grow more serious over time. Wasp or bee stings are the most common example. With each sting, a person may have a stronger allergic reaction than before, and with it the growing threat of anaphylactic shock that can result in death.
Even nonbiting insects and arthropods can affect human health by causing allergies and asthmatic reactions in susceptible people. Although you can’t see them, tiny particles from insect body parts, shed skins, and feces get into the air and are inhaled, causing hay fever-like symptoms or breathing problems that can lead to asthma. Children are most susceptible to asthma caused by insect infestations. There have been many studies showing that children living with large numbers of cockroaches in inner city housing have much higher levels of asthma.
Cockroaches aren’t the only pests that cause asthmatic reactions. Dust mites, bed bugs, fleas, mice, even lady beetles have all been implicated. Practically any pest present in large numbers indoors has the potential of contributing to breathing problems in individuals. You can see that it’s important to eliminate pest infestations not just because pests are a nuisance but because they can affect your health in many ways. At Colonial, we are experts in eliminating pests that can affect your family’s health. Our pest management program includes the use of special vacuums that remove pest irritants from the air so you can breathe easier