Home & Family
Exterminate Health Risks from Pests
1/9/2013 1:28:57 PM

"Most people are aware of specific health risks associated with certain pests, such as the West Nile virus with mosquitoes and lyme disease with ticks,” says Robert Soileau, Manager of J&J Exterminating in Lake Charles. "But there are many other potential health problems – both minor and more serious – associated with common pests.”

Here's a closer look at the more common health risks associated with common pests:


The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reports that one-in-five children in the United States have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens, which increase the severity of asthma symptoms. These allergens are most commonly introduced in homes through cockroach saliva, droppings and the decomposing bodies of these pests. Cockroaches can also carry bacteria such as E coli and salmonella on their bodies, which can contaminate food, cooking equipment and food surfaces.


Most spider bites occur when humans unintentionally press upagainst spiders and receive a defensive bite. The venom of most spiders in Southwest Louisiana is not harmful to humans. Very often, the person receiving the bite may not even notice it, or it may resemble a mosquito bite with a little swelling and itching. However, you should be aware of three poisonous spiders in our region: the brown recluse, the black widow and the brown widow. The venom of these species is very harmful and potentially deadly to humans, so it's important to be on the lookout for these spiders, and to seek medical attention immediately if you think you may have been bitten by one.


Rodents can enter a home through almost any opening or crack, even those that you may consider too small. Rodents pose a significant health risk because they serve as vectors, carrying bacteria such as salmonella, on their bodies and contaminating food sources, kitchen surfaces and equipment. Rodent droppings, often the first clue that you have an unwanted resident, can cause allergic reactions in human beings, as well as disease, including the potentially deadly Hantavirus.


The increased reports of West Nile Virus this year, combined with a warmer than normal fall season, have helped people realize that mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but potentially a major health threat. In addition, to the potential for West Nile Virus, mosquitoes can also cause itchy, unsightly marks as well as severe allergic reactions.


Lyme disease, which is transmitted by ticks, has emerged as a major health risk in recent years. It is critical to be vigilant of ticks, especially if you are in wooded areas. Symptoms of Lyme disease include a "bull's eye” rash around the bite, flu-like symptoms and extreme fatigue.


Ants are social insects, meaning if you spot one, there are many more to follow. Some, such as fire ants, can be dangerous to humans and pets, causing a nasty sting and possible allergic reaction. This reaction can be severe for some people.

Stinging Insects

Stinging pests send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. These pests often use stinging as a way to protect their colonies or larvae from human beings who attempt to remedy an infestation on their own. This aggressiveness, combined with being disturbed, often means that these pests tend to sting repeatedly, which adds to the potential for greater skin irritation or a serious allergic reaction.


Fleas aren't just a problem for pets. These pests feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body – including humans. Their bites cause itchy, unsightly marks and may cause an allergic reaction. Fleas tend to travel with mammals on the move, which can include not only people and their pets, but also rodents.

"If you are experiencing problems with any of the pests above, or if you just want to be proactive to make sure your home is not a potential site for an infestation, a pest control professional can provide a level of expertise and extermination technology to provide the best protection for your home,” says Soileau. "Year-round preventive pest control can help you protect your family from the health risk of pests.”

For more information about pest control, call J&J Exterminating at 474-7377 or visit www.jjext.com.

Look for J&J Exterminating at booth #39 at the Home Show.




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