Winter Pests May Lead To Asthma Attacks

January 13, 2017

In a recent report by WebMD, a significant link has been shown between children's asthma attacks while at school.. and mice. It's no surprise that during the colder winter months, mammal pests tend to infiltrate buildings for warmth. Homes are not the only places at risk for these tiny intruders, office buildings, retail spaces, and even schools make suitably warm homes from now until the spring.

Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, an allergy specialist at Boston Children's Hospital, led the study. Though they identified schools as a contributing factor to the issue, Dr. Phipatanakul points out home environments can also be detrimental. Allergens from rodents easily infiltrate the air, which can lead to sudden asthma attacks when spread through a ventilation system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 6 million children in United States schools have asthma. "We've seen a lot of studies looking at the home environment," said Dr. Chantal Spencer, a pediatric pulmonologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City. "But since kids spend so much time at school, it's important to study allergen exposures there, too."

Dr. Spencer was quick to point out that rodents are not the sole contributor to the issue. "Asthma is a multi-factorial disease, and it's difficult to pinpoint one allergen exposure as the problem; other indoor allergens might be important in other regions."

Active pest management, including treatment and removal of pests, as well as sealing cracks and other entryways into the building has been shown to help control the problem. When combined with indoor air purifiers and regular maintenance of the ventilation system, symptoms of schoolchildren can be greatly reduced.

During the study, Dr. Phipatanakul's team collected dust samples from the schools where more mouse allergens were found when compared to other indoor environments. The goal was not to "alarm parents," as Dr. Phipatanakul said, but to bring awareness to the problem. Taking an active role at home and at work is the best way to help prevent allergy attacks during the winter. Whether you or a loved one suffers from asthma, keeping your home environment safe is a priority. Call Safari Termite & Pest Control for a winter treatment to eliminate all unwanted visitors.