Testing Services – Allergens
If you’re one of the 70 million Americans that suffer from allergies or allergic illnesses such as asthma or sinusitis you already know how miserable they can be.
What you may not know is that in addition to mold, dust mites and pet allergens found indoors are one of the leading causes of allergic diseases.
Dust mite allergens lurking in carpets and furniture can cause a person who has asthma to have an asthmatic attack. With continued exposure to these allergens, even those people with relatively mild allergies can develop very serious, chronic and even life threatening illnesses.
Dogs and cats secrete fluids and shed dander that contain the allergens. They collect on fur and other surfaces. The allergens will not lose their strength for a long time, sometimes for several months. They appear to be sticky and adhere to walls, clothing and other surfaces. Pet hair is not an allergen. It can collect dander, though. It also harbors other allergens like dust and pollen. Cat and dog allergens are everywhere. Pet dander is even in homes never occupied by these animals because it is carried on people’s clothing. The allergens get in the air with petting, grooming or stirring the air where the allergens have settled. Once airborne, the particles can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time.
Cockroaches can cause serious allergenic reactions, and set off asthmatic conditions that, in children, may necessitate a trip to the doctor. We offer testing for the most common two types of cockroaches in your home or business. Cockroaches like being indoors and staying warm. They are mainly nocturnal and hate light. Cockroaches carry a protein to which many people are allergic. Dead cockroaches, their feces, saliva, and body parts can cause reactions in your immune system. Allergenic reactions from cockroaches include: teary eyes, itching on the skin or rash, runny nose, scratchy throat, and coughing. More severe reactions may cause wheezing, shortness of breath, or pain in the chest. The best ways to prevent the presence of cockroaches is to: clean all food crumbs off of counters and floors, tightly seal waste canisters, do not leave out dirty dishes, do not leave food in your pet’s food dish, ensure you have no water leaks or drips, and use cockroach traps. Avoid the use of chemical sprays because those may, by themselves, cause further irritation to those suffering allergenic reactions.
Rats and mice inside a living space trigger allergenic reactions. The urine from rodents, especially from male rodents, carries a type of protein that causes immune reactions. The protein binds with very small particles, approximately 10 microns in size, allowing the allergen to become air borne and easily spread inside a house or place of business, and to enter one’s mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. The more densely populated an area is, the more likely these allergens exist. For young children, exposure to allergens is of the highest concern because their immune systems are not fully developed and prolonged exposure to allergens often leads to asthma in adulthood. Proactive and aggressive pest management is the best action to take in preventing the presence of rodents in and around your home. But, if you suspect that you or your family members are having allergenic reactions – give us a call as soon as possible. We can test to determine if the mouse/rat allergen is present. Without testing and intervention, conditions in your house and for your family will likely become worse.
Bed bugs are becoming more and more common due to greater travel habits of the American public, and the pest can cause bad immunological reactions in people. Bed bugs bite and feed on blood from your body. Their bites cause itching and skin irritations and they are considered a public health pest by governmental agencies. Because bed bugs can cause other health concerns, prevention and control of them is very important. Often, it is hard to locate bed bugs because they are very small and they are naturally stealthy, learning when and how to hide. Therefore, testing for their presence is the best way to confirm if you do or do not have bed bugs. This is an important health consideration for your family. If you suspect you may have a bed bug infestation, give us a call to schedule an inspection and testing service.
Most people with asthma or hay fever or other outdoor allergies think of their home as a haven where they can escape their allergies. Unfortunately, houses and apartment buildings harbor their own allergens (agents that cause allergy symptoms). The inside of your home actually traps allergens, making them impossible to avoid.
Allergens are any substance that can cause an allergy. An allergen is an antigen capable of stimulating a type-I hypersensitivity reaction in atopic individuals. Humans mount significant Immunoglobulin E responses only as a defense against parasitic infections, however some individuals may respond to common environmental antigenic materials, called atopy.
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~ Greg Bertaux