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Under Attack: Hidden Allergy Triggers

Mold, mites, and pet dander lurk where you'd never suspect.

Allergy Attack: Those Awful Roaches

Roaches do not discriminate. They thrive in the poorest and best of neighborhoods, Weber says. "Some parts of the country simply have more, like the Southeast where roaches are a fact of life," he tells WebMD. Restaurants and schools have roaches. The pests can even enter your home via your new couch -- an item that has been warehoused.

Roaches can be very difficult to eradicate, says Weber. Roach traps and baits, as well as insect sprays, can help. But spraying should occur only when no one is at home. Before you or your child returns home after spraying, make sure that your home has been aired out for a couple of hours.

Also, it's important to clean up the area where roaches have been found. They thrive in humid and water environments, so fixing leaks helps eliminate them. Dead roaches and their feces are often the cause of allergies -- not the roaches themselves. The American Academy of Asthma and Immunology suggests sealing foods in tight-lidded containers, vacuuming and sweeping after meals, and taking out the garbage frequently to avoid roaches.

Reviewed on December 29, 2008

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