Winter Weather Increases Risk for Allergies & Asthma Attacks

Cockroaches seek shelter from the cold which could mean trouble for allergy sufferers

Most people think of pollen, dust and animal dander as common asthma and allergy triggers. However, Rose Pest Solutions, a pest management company servicing Chicagoland, warns that cockroaches can also pose a threat to allergy and asthma sufferers. The threat for cockroach allergens is elevated in the winter because there’s a greater chance for cockroaches to invade homes in search of warmth and because families spend more time inside.

Harsh temperatures threw a lot of Chicago natives into survival mode this winter. There’s no question that this steady subzero stint has made us all a bunch of hermits. It’s not much different for non-human creatures. We’re all trying to survive. Indoors is much more tolerable than outdoors in the elements. That’s why even though a lot of bugs die off in the winter, some continued to cause pesty problems to families and businesses. One in particular continues to be a nuisance as well as a health risk, no matter how cold or hot it is outside. Let’s talk cockroach prevention.

Know thy enemy

Let’s learn about the german cockroach.


  • Light brown to tan, with two dark, almost parallel stripes located on their backs, just behind their heads
  • 1/2”-5/8” long
  • Can fit through an opening as small as 3/8 inch in width
  • Feed on almost anything, including soap, glue and toothpaste
  • Good hitchhikers that often find their way into new structures via grocery bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons and secondhand furniture and appliances
  • Prefer to live in warm, humid places close to food and moisture
  • Frequently found in residential and commercial kitchen environments, and bathrooms
  • Have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens
  • Can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces

“Children are the most at risk to be affected by this often-overlooked asthma trigger,” said Mike O’Connor, Rose Exterminator Chicago branch manager. “Cockroaches spread over 33 types of bacteria, including E. coli, and studies show that about one in five children in the U.S. are sensitive to cockroach allergens.”

Cockroach Prevention Tips

The best advice for German cockroach prevention is to practice good sanitation. Roaches, like most common household pests, are attracted to food, water and shelter.

  • Removing sources of food and water will help deter these pests.
  • Be sure to keep food in sealed containers and clean up after each meal to avoid leaving crumbs.
  • Eliminate moisture from leaky pipes and drains to ensure that if pests do get in, they won’t have ideal conditions in which they can thrive.
  • Pests like roaches can enter structures through cracks and crevices around windows, doors, along foundations, ripped screens, and also through holes where utilities enter homes. Check these hotspots and make repairs as you come across them.
  • Check over firewood, groceries, and other deliveries before you bring them into your house.
  • To avoid hitchhiking pests, examine packages thoroughly before bringing them inside.
  • If you acquire used furniture, used clothing or shoes, or other second-hand accessories, inspect everything thoroughly before introducing these items into your home.
  • Vacuum often.
  • Don’t leave crumbs or sticky residue in your kitchen. Keep where you eat and prepare food spotless.

Kitchens and bathrooms are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations due to the presence of food products and moisture around sinks or appliances. If you have used over-the-counter products to try to combat cockroaches on your own and they haven’t worked, it’s time to call in a professional to solve the problem at its root source. 800-GOT-PESTS.

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