Cockroaches can cause reactions that range form Rhinitis (hayfever)
to life threatening asthma. There are many different species of cockroaches. The major
allergic part of the cockroach is the body. Smaller concentrations of allergens are seen
in waste product particles and in eggs. Patients who develop an allergy to cockroaches
often are exposed to large quantities of cockroaches for prolonged periods of time.
Cockroaches can be everywhere but they prefer warm, moist air - the way many homes are in
It is very difficult to exterminate cockroaches. Random spraying for
cockroaches is not effective as the roaches simply run away and return later. Roaches
usually live in warm places that are not easy to spray, such as behind cabinets, between
walls and under floors. The entire building should be sprayed at the same time by a
professional exterminator if possible. If this is not possible patients should attempt to
have their apartment sprayed at the same time as their neighbors (upstairs and downstairs,
too). The patient should not be around for up to 2 days when their home is sprayed.
Sometimes boric acid can be sprinkled on the floor to help kill the cockroaches.