Cockroaches are an insect that can be found just about everywhere, and if they’re in your home, they can cause allergy symptoms. Cockroaches are around all year, so there is no allergy season for them. You could have allergy symptoms year-round if you’re allergic to them and they’re present in your home, place of work, or any other area you frequent.
If you have cockroach allergies, you’ll need to keep your home extra clean to get rid of the pests, take allergy medications, or use allergy treatments. Fortunately, Wyndly can help.
Schedule your allergy consultation with Wyndly today if you’re ready to find lifelong relief from your allergies, and read on to learn more about cockroach allergies.
What Is a Cockroach Allergy?
Everyone is familiar with the unwelcome house guests known as cockroaches. These insects are certainly some of the last bugs you want to see indoors, and it’s even worse if you have a cockroach allergy.
If you have a cockroach allergy, you’re technically not allergic to the bug itself. Rather, your immune system reacts to proteins in their droppings, saliva, and shed body parts that are kicked up in the air. Your body perceives these substances as threats and releases antibodies and chemicals to fight them. This causes your allergy symptoms to flare up.
Cockroach allergies have symptoms that are shared with many other indoor and seasonal allergies.
If you have cockroach allergies, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Red eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Facial pressure
- Aggravated symptoms if you have asthma
The frequency and severity of your cockroach allergies can vary based on the presence of cockroaches in your home and other areas you frequent, like your workplace.
Where Are Cockroaches Found?
Cockroaches can be found in every state, but they do prefer environments that get warmer or more humid. They prefer to live in buildings, and they prefer the dark, often scattering when exposed to light. You can rid your home of roaches, but this isn’t always easy. Plus, you can be exposed in places where you have no control over the level of cleanliness. That’s why it’s best to address your cockroach allergies with the right treatments or remedies.
Can You Be Allergic to Cockroach Droppings or Saliva?
Yes, this is actually what cockroach allergies are usually attributed to, along with the parts of their body that they shed. The proteins in these substances trigger an allergic reaction when you breathe them in or are exposed to them.
Testing and Diagnosis
While you might see cockroaches in your home and assume that’s the cause of your allergies, there are seasonal allergies and other indoor allergies to consider. This can make it difficult to determine if cockroaches are the actual source of your allergy symptoms. You can find out for sure by taking an allergy test. Wyndly makes it convenient to find out if you have a cockroach allergy with an at-home test. Order your at-home test from Wyndly today.
Let’s look at how different allergy testing options work.
Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office
Skin prick testing requires you to go to the doctor to find out your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, and they’ll administer a test where they prick or scrape your skin with a needle tipped with different allergens, and then they’ll observe the areas they pricked for itchiness, redness, or swelling. All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience. Instead, you can save yourself time and pain by getting an at-home test.
Modern and Efficient At-Home Method
- Order Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
- Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Just do a quick finger prick test to provide us with a blood sample and mail it back when you’re done.
- Receive your personal allergy profile. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through your personalized treatment plan.
Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what you’re allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.
Treatment and Remedies
If you’ve identified cockroaches as the source of your allergies, you can start taking steps to manage and treat your symptoms. There are several ways to get a cockroach allergy under control.
The first step you should take is to get rid of cockroaches in your home. Even if you don’t have cockroach allergies, they’re pests you generally don’t want in your home.
Here are some ways you can get rid of them and limit your cockroach exposure:
- Clean your house thoroughly: Take extra care to deep clean your house and continue to clean it frequently. Cockroaches are more common in dirty environments.
- Cover trash cans: Make sure your trash cans have lids and are tightly closed. Open trash containers can easily attract roaches.
- Seal food containers: Seal food in containers and never leave food out, as this can attract cockroaches.
- Wipe down counters and dust your kitchen: Your kitchen will likely be where the most food crumbs accumulate. Wipe down your counters and dust your kitchen often to get rid of crumbs that would attract roaches.
- Clean dirty dishes: Don’t let your dirty dishes sit in the sink. Put them in the dishwasher or wash them right away. Dirty dishes attract roaches due to food residue.
- Don’t leave pet food out: Try feeding your pets on a schedule and regularly clean their bowl so there isn’t food residue to attract cockroaches.
- Fix leaks: Be sure to fix any leaks in your house so cockroaches don’t have easy access to water.
- Seal cracks: If there are easy access points for roaches in your home, make sure to seal them up.
- Use cockroach traps: Use traps to trap cockroaches and dispose of them. Generally, it’s not recommended to use sprays, because these can aggravate your allergy symptoms, especially if you have asthma.
- Use an exterminator: If you can’t seem to rid your home of cockroaches on your own, you may need to enlist the services of an exterminator to eliminate the problem.
If limiting your exposure to cockroaches and ridding your home of them isn’t helping with your symptoms, you may want to try allergy medications to help. Here are a few options:
Over-the-counter medications: OTC allergy medications are common and easily accessible. They’re effective at relieving a variety of common allergy symptoms. Here are some OTC choices that might work for you:
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by inhibiting the production of histamine. This is effective for relieving most common allergy symptoms.
- Eye drops: If allergens get in your eyes, you can flush them out with eye drops. This is ideal if your allergy symptoms include itchy and watery eyes.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays reduce inflammation and swelling in your nasal passages. If you have a runny or stuffy nose, you may want to consider one of these sprays.
- Prescription medications: If OTC allergy meds aren’t working to reduce your symptoms, you may want to consider prescription options. You’ll need to discuss these medications with your doctor.
If you want to find short-term relief from your allergy symptoms, limiting your exposure and taking allergy medications can help. But if you want long-term relief from these symptoms, you’ll want to consider sublingual immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that addresses your allergies at their source. It works by introducing small doses of an allergen substance to your system with under-the-tongue drops or tablets. This teaches your immune system to ignore or tolerate these substances over time.
Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly
If you’re looking for long-term relief from your cockroach allergies, choose Wyndly. Our doctors can design a personalized treatment plan for you based on your allergy profile.
Schedule an allergy consultation with Wyndly today!
Cockroach Allergy FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about cockroach allergies.
Are my allergies from inhaling cockroaches?
Your cockroach allergies are actually from cockroach debris like body parts, droppings, and saliva. The proteins found in this debris have enzymes that trigger allergies.
When is cockroach allergy season?
Cockroaches are considered indoor allergens, which means they can be present throughout the year. You may notice your symptoms pick up in winter when you’re inside more.
Are there other indoor allergens that could cause my symptoms?
Yes! Other common indoor allergens include mold, dust mites, and pet dander. It’s also possible to be allergic to multiple indoor allergens.
Can I move somewhere that doesn’t have cockroaches?
Not unless you plan on moving to Antarctica — roach species are found in every state and nearly every continent. It’s best to treat your cockroach allergies and reduce the presence of roaches in your home instead.
Will I get roaches if I keep my house clean?
While keeping a clean house can certainly reduce the likelihood of a roach infestation, the truth is roaches will seek out any area that has food and water readily available. Even clean houses can have roaches.