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Common Household Pests

Which Ones Cause Allergy and Asthma Attacks?

The first day of Spring marks the start of hayfever season in New Zealand, but according to leading pest control company Flick Anticimex there are worse springtime allergy triggers than grass or pollen – and they’re hiding inside our own homes.

Research shows that cockroaches, one of the most common household pests, carry allergens that can cause skin rashes, chronic stuffy nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, and even acute asthma attacks.

Cockroach allergens spread to humans via faeces, urine and decomposing bodies which become part of the household dust.

“Common advice for people suffering from hayfever allergy is to stay indoors and close your windows so pollen can’t come inside. But this can actually make pest-related allergies worse if you have cockroaches inside,” says Gary Stephenson, National Pest Technical Manager at Flick Anticimex.

Symptoms of cockroach allergy include a stuffy nose that won’t go away, a persistent skin rash, and year-round asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath.

“If you suspect you or your child may be suffering from cockroach allergy, it is important to see your doctor. They will be able to test for cockroach allergy, as well as other common allergens. If cockroach allergy is diagnosed, it is vital to keep your home free from roaches,” says Gary Stephenson.

And just like September marks the start of hay fever season, the warmer weather also means increased cockroach infestations. Flick Anticimex strongly advises hiring a qualified pest control company to inspect your home, identify areas where cockroaches are present, and recommend the most effective treatment plan.

“DIY pest control products do not provide a complete and effective treatment. DIY products may kill some of the cockroaches you see but for every visible cockroach, there are many more hiding in the cracks, crevices and cavities of your home, in your kitchen, down drains, in your roof and underneath your floor. Professional pest control technicians know cockroach lifecycles and habits, including harbourage and breeding sites. They also know exactly how and where to treat, resulting in complete eradication of pests in your home with ongoing protection,” says Gary Stephenson.

Your cockroach treatment will depend on the level of infestation and the type of cockroach. Although there are around 4,500 species of cockroaches worldwide, there are only a small number that are commonly found in New Zealand homes. Flick Anticimex uses a combination of new generation products and technologies, including bait gels, traps and eco-friendly pesticide formulations in order to eliminate cockroach infestations.

The pest control company has provided the following tips to prevent cockroaches from invading your home:

  • Do not leave dirty dishes in your sink overnight
  • Keep all food in the refrigerator or in containers
  • Regularly remove garbage from your home, especially your kitchen
  • Keep pet food in well sealed containers
  • Keep outdoor entertaining areas and barbeques free of food scraps and residues
  • Install tight fitting fly screens and draft excluders on door bottoms to seal up gaps
  • Clean out gutters regularly and repair leaking taps
  • Keep lawns cut short and gardens maintained (sweep up leaf litter and keep weeds down)
  • Book a yearly pest inspection with a reputable pest controller 

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