While outdoor allergens are prominent during the warmer months, pests within the home can be a major trigger for allergen sufferers year-round. Keeping dust mites, rodents and cockroach activity under control in a home will decrease the likelihood of these allergens triggering an allergic response. Although dust mites are not commonly treated by pest control professionals, they are one of the most common allergen based pests. Roughly 20 million Americans have a dust-mite allergy.
Here are a few tips for reducing potential allergen triggers from common pests:
- Decrease moisture – Dust mites, cockroaches, and rodents are more likely to thrive where they have an available water source. Repairing leaking pipes, dehumidifying in moist environments, and ensuring proper drainage of moisture away from the foundation of the home are all important aspects of allergen control.
- Consistent cleaning – Vacuuming, dusting, and general cleaning not only assist in reducing allergens, it also serves as the perfect time to monitor for pest activity.
- Take the trash out nightly and store it in sealed bins.
- Seal gaps/cracks on the interior and exterior of the home to prevent pest entry. Pay close attention to penetrations created by plumbing and utilities. Check weather stripping, window screens and door sweeps for damage. Repair or replace as needed to prevent entry.
- Wash linens frequently – Dust mites are notoriously found in mattresses and pillows. Covers are available to protect these surfaces.
- Have your furnace and ventilation ducts cleaned on a regular basis. Dust mites, pet dander, dust, pollen, pest droppings, and other triggers may collect in these areas.
If you suspect you may have a pest problem in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional for assistance.