Rodents, mold and cockroaches can all trigger asthma, but so too can the pesticides and cleaning products used to deal with them. Nontoxic pest control and greener cleaning help protect air quality – inside and outside your home – and help prevent the occurrence of asthma and asthma attacks.
For rodents, physical exclusion is the key
- Closing cracks and holes to the outside of your house, storing food in tightly sealed containers and cleaning up crumbs and clutter are the keys to preventing rodents.
- After that, snap traps can be effective if checked and emptied regularly.
- If poison baits are used, avoid pellets and the powders they produce.
- Instead use bait in block form in tamper-proof enclosures.
Mold best managed by managing moisture
- Regularly check roofs, plumbing and gutters and fix leaks and remove decaying debris. Use vented fans to reduce moisture in bathrooms and kitchens and dehumidifiers elsewhere.
- Clean visible mold with regular soap, warm water and a scrub brush.
- Then remove moldy porous materials such as ceiling tiles and carpets if necessary.
- If you do use fungicides – including bleach – or cleaning products other than plain soap, be sure to ventilate well and keep asthma sufferers away when these chemicals are in the air.
Bugs best dealt with by excluding, cleaning and baiting, not spraying
- As with rodents, cleaning up and storing food in tightly sealed containers and closing up cracks and holes to the outside of your house are the keys to preventing cockroaches and other asthmagenic pests.
- As with mold control, fixing leaks and removing water sources will reduce insect pests.
- If pest control products are needed, one rule of thumb is to use traps or baits, not sprays or powders, to reduce exposure to airborne chemicals.
Watch more videos on nontoxic pest control
Learn more about asthma, pests and pesticides from the Centers For Disease Control and the Children’s Environmental Health Network.