||Information for patients with allergy and related
in the Southwest
Environment and allergic disease
Indoor Allergens - House Dust Mites and Cockroaches
House dust mites
- These are microscopic creatures found in house dust: excreta and dead bodies of mites
are important, highly allergenic triggers for asthma.
- They feed on human skin scales and live in mattresses, pillows, bedding and bedroom
- They are found in lower numbers in upholstered furniture of living rooms.
- The most common species in the southwest is Dermatophagoides farinae (picture). Dermatophagoides
pteronyssinus is less common in the southwest of USA but is the most prevalent
species elsewhere including the UK and Europe .
- Evaporative cooling can increase indoor humidity to over 70%, and favor mite
- Cockroaches are found universally, but are less of a problem in southwestern cities, as
compared with inner urban areas of large cities elsewhere. Allergy to
cockroach may trigger asthma.
- The German Cockroach (Blatella germanica) and the Brown-banded
Cockroach (Supella longipalpa) are the most common types seen in houses in
Southern Arizona. The very large American Cockroach is uncommon inside homes.
- Cockroaches often breed in bathroom and kitchen drains. They are less common in
houses in which kitchens and utensils are kept clean, food is properly contained, garbage
is taken out daily, and food is consumed only in clean dining areas. Eating in
bedrooms increases risk of cockroach allergy.
Additional information on limiting exposure to avoidable allergens
in the home to reduce symptoms of asthma and allergic rhinitis (see Limiting Exposure to Allergens in the Home).
Further Reading on house dust, mites and cockroaches:
pamphlet on indoor allergens.
Ohio State University Fact Sheet
on house dust mites
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Cockroach Control
Manual. 2nd edition, 2006.
Pictures of German cockroaches
Pictures of American cockroaches
Disclaimer: This site is for educational
purposes only. Any information that you have found in this web site is not
intended to replace medical care or advice given to you by your own physicians. You should
consider consulting your local medical library and other web sites for additional
Comments and suggestions welcome! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Content Owner: Michael J. Schumacher, MB, FRACP, The
University of Arizona