With Spring only a few weeks away, now is a good time to start preparing for allergy season. And what’s one of the major causes of allergies and asthma? PESTS! Don’t suffer through the beautiful spring season this year. Here are some tips to keep your home pest and allergen-free.

Pest prevention measures can be very effective at combating allergies and asthma. Common household pests, like cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Roach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. And stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.

The first step to a pest and allergen-free home: practice good sanitation.

In addition, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:

  • Exclude pests by sealing cracks and gaps on the outside of the home. Pay special attention to utility pipe entry points.
  • Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
  • Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
  • If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional to safely remove the threat.