Asthma 101: The Connections Between Pests, Mold, Asthma & Aspergillosis


When a child is diagnosed with allergic asthma, the parents try to eliminate all possible triggers from the home so their child doesn't continue to have asthma attacks. This typically involves removing carpeting and draperies, dusting regularly, and keeping windows and doors closed. However, here are three other crucial steps to take that can help reduce allergens in the home that can cause an asthma attack—hire a pest control service, hire a mold removal service, and run a dehumidifier. Here's why.

Pests & Moisture

Some pests, such as cockroaches and termites, are attracted to moisture. As with all living things, these pests also need moisture in order to survive. This is why it's common to see cockroaches in the bathrooms of homes that are infested with them. In addition to keeping their bodies hydrated, termites prefer wood that has moisture in it because it is easier for them to chew and digest.

However, termites aren't known to scurry about in open view like cockroaches are, especially since they are interested in the wood that is inside the walls. Because of this, you may not be as aware of a termite infestation problem as you would be if you had cockroaches in your home.

Moisture & Mold

Obviously, anywhere there is moisture, there's a risk of mold growth. Mold, of course, is an allergen that can trigger an asthma attack in someone who is allergic to it. Mold is typically easy to identify, but only when it grows in open view, such as on the bathroom ceiling. Mold can also grow inside the walls where any cockroaches may be camped out and/or termites may be eating away at your home's structure.

Unfortunately, as the pests trample over and through the mold, they can drag mold spores to other areas of your home, including into the ducts of your home's heating and cooling system(s). If this happens, mold spores can easily be sent flying through the air throughout your home. Mold spores will then be in the air of the home, which can get breathed into the lungs.

Mold & Asthma

Simply being around mold can cause swelling in the nasal cavity. When the individual is no longer able to breathe through their nose, they will open their mouth so they are able to breathe. Breathing in air that has mold spores will cause the body to release antibodies to ward off what the body sees as foreign invaders.

This triggers the lining of the bronchial tubes in the lungs to swell, which causes the air inside the lungs to get trapped so it cannot be exhaled. With the air being trapped in the lungs, the person will be unable to breathe in any more air into their lungs. This is what an asthma attack is.

Asthma & Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis

What is crucial to understand is that asthmatics, due to their lung health being compromised, are highly susceptible to allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, which is an allergic reaction to mold... an allergic reaction that mimics asthma. Unfortunately, the medication that is used to treat asthma is not effective to treat aspergillosis. Therefore, people may not even know that they have aspergillosis instead of asthma, especially if the mold that causes it is unseen and the spores are spread through the house by pests.

This is crucial because if aspergillosis is not treated, the individual's lungs can fill with blood, which can cause suffocation and death. Fortunately, aspergillosis is treatable with medication, but surgery may be needed to remove the spores of mold from the lungs. If evidence of mold and/or pests are found in your home and an asthmatic has continuous breathing problems, have the individual tested for aspergillosis as soon as possible. Testing involves blood tests, sputum cultures, imaging, and possibly a lung biopsy.

Due to the seriousness of asthma and aspergillosis, it is a good idea to eliminate all pests and mold from your home, especially if the asthmatic in your family has ongoing health issues. Click here for more information on termite elimination.


3 August 2016

Making My New Home Safe

After marrying my sweet husband ten years ago, I moved into a fixer-upper. I immediately started making a list of remodeling projects I wold need to complete before the house would be comfortable to live in. For instance, I had to rip out the old linoleum flooring in the kitchen, mud room, and bathrooms. I also had to buy a complete set of new furniture. Only a few days after moving into this house, I also discovered my need to contact a reputable pest control specialist. The house contained huge, disgusting roaches. After a local pest control technician visiting my house, my home was free of potentially health damaging roaches. On this blog, you will discover the latest trends in the pest control industry for successfully removing roaches from a home.