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Founder Friday: Insect Allergies


Did you know that people can have allergies other than food, dog, cat, and seasonal allergies? I only discovered this fact later on in life. As someone who grew up with food allergies, I never knew there were allergies outside of food, dust, and, of course, dog and cat allergies.

It was not until I had children who both had a host of food and environmental allergies when I was then able to learn more through hands-on experiences and curiosity that I started hearing of people being allergic to pollen, bees, and so on.

There is one allergen that truly surprised me to learn that people can be allergic to, are you ready for this, drumroll please, cockroaches. Yes, you read that right: COCKROACHES.

Once I became a mom, I started studying health, food, and triggers, so much more. I educated myself, learned all I could (and still learning), and became so exposed to a wealth of information that it provided me with ways to learn how to care for ourselves better to achieve our optimal health and not to be afraid to ask questions. I also learned to get allergy tested for foods and things outside the obvious.

Now that seasons are changing and some of us may be cooped inside a bit more during these winter months, pay close attention if you’re breathing oddly, wheezing, have constant sinus infections, skin rash, or are having asthma symptoms. It may be a reaction to cockroaches lurking somewhere in the vicinity as they can harbor anywhere, yes, even in your beautiful palatial pad. If you ever see one, know that maybe 700 or more are not too far, although unseen. Cockroaches live in hot and cold temperatures. Even in damp climates too!

Many believe cockroaches only affect those living in lower socioeconomic areas. I’m here to tell you from first-hand experiences, it’s not true. While they may be more prevalent in those areas, unfortunately, they are not limited to.

I have lived all over the world in some of the nicest neighborhoods, homes, and apartments and visited some too and sometimes, peekaboo–cockroaches! Now granted, I did see them way more during my college days in Atlanta (they are very popular in the south) and while living in one of our apartments when I was a little. 

Since becoming educated in allergies and raising children with them, I figured out years later that when I was little, one of my sibling’s asthma conditions may have been triggered by cockroaches. We used to always see them in our kitchen when we opened a cabinet (gross I know, we hated it–they run so fast when the light comes on).

The minute we moved, no more asthma for her! I’m not making this up. My sibling had no food allergies at all, but had asthma, and then one day, no more asthma of any kind.

It is believed that these insects carry the trigger on them through their saliva and fecal. Now while I have not seen one in a very very long time–years, at least–I still stay alert.

What can you do?

  • Educate yourself more in this area, they can become an airborne allergy for some as well.
  • See an allergist and get tested to see if you are allergic to cockroaches. It may sound odd to you, but some doctors specialize in allergy tests for this. It helps to know why something’s never been resolved with your health, so get to the root of it and scratch some things off your list.
  •  Take trash outside daily.
  • Always keep the kitchen and the sink. Leaving dishes in the sink overnight can attract them.
  • Check under kitchen and bathroom sinks for leaks and repair any loose pipes ASAP.
  •  Check your closets for any unsealed areas.
  •  Check the basement, if you smell dampness or have any water issues, address them immediately.
  •  Have them exterminated (go outside while this is done) or call and ask the pest expert the best and safest way for your situation on how to handle the issue. Avoid inhaling the chemical from the exterminator and open windows for ventilation.

If you or anyone in the home already suffers from asthma, regardless of age, be extra careful and aware of what you use so it does not exasperate any asthma challenges. Spraying while at home may trigger bronchial issues so take caution.

This is a nécessité.

Have you ever heard of cockroach allergy or had an allergic reaction to cockroaches or know someone that has?

Please tell us your experience below I want to hear from you. I love to stay in touch, judgment-free.

Certified Holistic Health Coach

Certified in Gut Health

Author of The Thriving Child, Shut Up and Cook!

Erica Reid, Founder of nécessité
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