Cockroaches are a potent source of allergen. The cockroach allergen comes from the body parts of the cockroach and not the feces, as is the case with dust mites. Cockroach allergen was first found after many patients in the inner city came to public hospital emergency rooms with asthmatic flare-ups. They were found to have positive allergy tests to cockroach. On the other
hand, positive tests for cockroach are rare in the suburbs.
Avoidance and reducing exposure to cockroaches is the best way to help avoid these allergic reactions. Cleaning of all areas around food and garbage and enclosure of all food and waste is important to keep away the cockroaches. Special glues and bait may be useful to get rid of cockroaches. There are many commercially available chemicals to kill these insects. Unfortunately, cockroach antigen may remain in homes for years after the last cockroach is gone.
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