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Reactions to roaches

Sorry that this is an icky question.😝

As mentioned in my other posts, my building has roaches and every apartment must be exterminated every month. Question: does anyone know where the dead roaches go if they don't die in a visible area? I am asking because, while I am midly allergic to them, I am wondering about all the dead ones that wind up in my apartment that are out of sight and inaccessible. In other words, do they just crawl back into the crooks and nannies of the apartment, die and eventually disintergrate? To me, that would be a perfect storm for allergic/asthmatic attacks; the dead roaches remain in the apartment, are inaccessible, disintergrate, all that winds up in your apartment's air and just keeps getting worse and worse.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks as ever.

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Comments 31

  • Kathy P

    I don't know the answer, but that was one thought I had when you firstposted – what about all the dead roaches? Can you ask the exterminator?

  • Kathy P

    Google is letting me down! I tried looking for clean up after exterminator treatment, but can only find about washing/cleaning well. Nothing about where they go to die.

    But I did find this article about . It doesn't sound like they followed that in your case.

  • Paularose

    Kathy thank you so much for both of your responses. Your first one is exactly what I had planned to do after I posted the post. I'm calling the company that does the extermination in my apartment building and I have a list of all the questions for them. Top of the list is what happens to the roaches when they die and scurry back to where you can't see them or get to them. I'll take a look at that article you put in your second reply. I know this probably getting boring for everybody but again thank you so much for all your responses answers concern Etc!

  • K8sMom2002

    Paularose, whenever I've asked a question thinking I was probably the only person in the world with that question, lots of times people have come up to me and said, "Hey, I'm glad you asked that because I wondered the same thing!"

    Let us know what the exterminator says! Another thing you could do is to reach out to an entomologist at a college or university. 

    When I think about New York and colleges, I think Cornell (though I'm sure there are lots of other great colleges and universities in the city.) Here's a link to .

  • Paularose

    Never thought to ask a college entomologist! Very good suggestion congratulations! Will do.

  • K8sMom2002

    @Paularose, were you ever able to find an entomologist or an exterminator to help answer your questions? I'm surely hoping that you've made some progress on this ordeal!

  • Paularose

    I've been running around like a chicken without a head so I haven't been able to look into finding an entomologist at one of my local colleges yet. But I did call the company that is exterminating my building. I made an appointment for him to come specifically only to answer all my questions about roaches and their ugly little offspring. I spent some of the day today putting a lot of boric acid into the cracks and crevices where I won't be able to get at them too well. But that will be one of the questions I asked the exterminator – does it really work. The boric acid suggestion and I forgot who made it is excellent and I know this sounds conceited but it's only because it's what my mother did and my mother was brilliant as well as being a biochemist. So right now it's been down for a couple hours and hopefully I don't wake up tomorrow the way I did after the first extermination. As ever many many thanks.

  • K8sMom2002

    @Paularose, what did the exterminator have to say? I'm hoping that he could answer a lot of your questions! And I'm hoping, too, that the boric acid helped and didn't hurt. 

    I'm always amazed at people who are good at chemistry. I didn't have a good high school class in it, so I steered clear of it in college. And now I wish I hadn't. 

    And nope, not conceited at all to think of your mom being brilliant — I think that's sweet! Too many times, even with parents who were obviously talented and gifted at what they do, we adult children don't appreciate them.

    I know the older I get, the smarter I realize my mom was.

  • LK

    What's the old saying?  

    Too soon old.  Too late smart. 

    Fits me!!

  • Paularose

    Sorry for the delay in responding to all your questions. The exterminator was really not that helpful. He told me that the roaches love to live in the area between the building's brickwork and the interior walls. Just what I wanted to hear! Basically he said that the live roaches feast off of the dead roaches. Theoretically the ones having a roach buffet will eventually die because they are eating the poisoned dead roaches. But what I also seemed to get out of what he was trying to tell me was that this is a never-ending situation; there are always going to be new roaches coming in and dead roaches dying. My concern is that in a four and a half room apartment there are just too many nooks, crannies and crevices where they can just go to their final resting place and I cannot get to them at all to get rid of them. And apparently according to my blood work from the allergist I am off the charts allergic to roaches which I never knew. So this is another perfect storm.

    I did finally get off an email to the Cornell Department of Entomology. They had a contact email so I wrote a letter to the woman and hopefully she will respond. If and when she does respond I will certainly let everybody know what she says.

    As I always want to sign my replies, thank you all so much!

  • Kathy P

    Glad you were able to get that info….and eeewwww! On the other hand, I wonder how much allergen exposure you are getting if they are between the walls. I guess the critical areas are things like outlets and whatever gap there is at the wall and floorboards.

  • LK

    Wow!  Never realized that about roaches.  Interesting yet, as Kathy said, eeewwww!  At least you have more information about those insects.  Will be interested in what the Cornell Department of Entomology has to say.

    Hope you are doing better in spite of everything! 

  • Paularose

    Yep, now no more information about roaches than I ever wanted to know in my entire life! Such as you can cut a roach in half and it still lives. You can cut a roaches head off and it's still lives. Very very depressing. Thank you both for your concern. I am doing better but still every time I walk into the kitchen immediately my eyes begin to water and my chest starts to tighten up so I know there are probably a gazillion roaches laying dead where I just can't see them. I literally cannot wait to go to the Cornell Weill Allergy & Asthma Clinic. If they don't know the answers to everything then I don't know who would. The medications my allergist prescribed do nothing other than put me to sleep. Even the two different inhalers are of no use. Sigh….

  • LK

    PaulaRose,  I am so sorry you are having to deal with all that! I know how impossible some situations seem when you are in the middle of them, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.  Will keep praying that your doctors, old or new, will find something to help you for the near term and that all your diligence looking for a housing solution will pay off.  Sending gentle hugs!! 

  • Paularose

    Dear Lisa.

    Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate the virtual hugs. Just so long as you don't send kind bugs!😊

    Paula

  • LK

    Paula,

    Love that you still have your sense of humor!    You'll make it!

    Lisa

  • K8sMom2002

    Paula, love the sense of humor, too! No kind bugs for you — unless they'll kindly pick up their gear and move OUT.

    I hope you get some more info from the Cornell folks, both the bug folks and the asthma and allergy folks. 

  • Megan Roberts

    YIKES paularose — both due to the intensity of your reaction to roaches and,  you know, just the creepy thought of them being around you in your safe home environment! Ugh, that just sucks. I have heard that roach allergies are a huge cause of childhood asthma for kids that live in cities especially. Just did a google search and it seems like their saliva, waste and bodies (dead or alive!) cause your allergies to them. And their bodies will over time turn into dust which can then be inhaled. 

    On the plus side you have some answers to what is going on with your body, and some good leads on how to tackle this newest problem. Since 60% of people with asthma who live in cities also have a , and the little monsters tend to live everywhere, hopefully there are strategies in place for dealing with pests in a way that doesn't also cause asthma flares that the folks at Cornell can help you with.

    Hugs and hang in there — and of course keep that fabulous sense of humor 

  • K8sMom2002

    @Paularose, when will you make the trip to the Cornell Weill Allergy and Asthma Clinic? I sure hope they can come up with a game plan … and did you ever figure out how to get rid of the gel or what it was made of?

  • Paularose

    Cynthia, I did finally get to the Cornell Allergy Center. I saw the doctor and I briefly told him what happened and he immediately said that it was a reaction to the gel that was laid down. And he did say the gas given off by the gel could remain in the apartment for quite some time. Honestly at this point I don't know what the **** is going on. If I am so allergic to roaches why didn't I react until the day of the extermination. If it's the gel that I am allergic to would it still be in my apartment two and a half months later and affecting me? I guess it's going to be just a daily process of trying to tamp down my remaining symptoms. But on the plus side he did write a letter that I can show to the board saying that I cannot have any further exterminations in my apartment due to my chemical sensitivity. And I don't think the board can move to evict me just because I can no longer have any exterminations based on my doctor's recommendations. What I'm also trying to do is find out if the Cornell doctor would look at the the chemical makeup of some hypoallergenic exterminating gels and let me know if I would react badly to them. I did find one company who does say they use something and they would be happy to send me a fact sheet on it. But I have to see if the doctor is willing to do this.

    I am just so physically and emotionally exhausted from all of this. It seems that every doctor says it's something else either I'm allergic to roaches or it's the chemicals from the gel. You would think that they all have the same training in allergies and therefore would have the same opinion as to the cause of all my problems.

    Sigh…

  • Paularose

    I have the worst case of tunnel vision on Earth. I was so focused on why I reacted so badly to the gel and having the board threaten me eight ways to Sunday that it just never occurred to me to have the exterminator remove the gel. I literally thank you from the bottom of my heart for mentioning that. I am now going to contact the board and have them see the letter from my doctor and have the exterminator arranged to come up to remove the remaining gel.

  • K8sMom2002

    So glad you got to see the doctor! And so glad you're finally getting some answers, even if it's coming in bits and pieces. You have great questions and good logic!

  • Kathy P

    I hope you can get things cleaned up quickly! I'm glad you are getting answers and the doc is supportive. 

  • Megan Roberts

    Bravo, Paularose, on your persistence. Although you may feel exhausted from this its sounds like you've made some awesome progress in figuring things out and taking steps to have the problem solved. Keep us posted on how it goes when you present the doc's note to the board. And I am really curious about what exterminator products exist that would be less harsh for those with sensitivity to chemicals. I hope the doc can help you figure that one out.

    Keep plugging along, you got this!

  • Paularose

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and encouragement. I sent off the doctor's letter to the co-op's attorney who is a real son of a *****. He refuses to respond to any of my emails so I picked up the phone and actually got him on the line. Nastiest son of a you-know-what on Earth. I got so angry at him that while he was mid-sentence I just slammed the phone down on him. But the letter regarding my chemical sensitivity and the fact that I cannot have an extermination is now in the board's hands. The lawyer is such an idiot I swear to God. In my email I wrote that I was contacting the extermination company about not coming to my apartment anymore. He sends me back a letter saying I should absolutely not under any circumstances contact the SUPERINTENDENT of the building. How this guy keeps his job at this law firm is beyond me.

    I called Cornell University's entomology department with my questions but was referred over to a different part of the University. Left a message for somebody to call me back. Also have called several big time exterminating companies about hypoallergenic Exterminating products or methods. Some say there are green products other say there aren't. So I think for the rest of the month and I will be making tons of calls to get some sort of answers.

  • LK

    PaulaRose,  I applaud you on being so thorough and persistent!    Good for you!! 

    I am so sorry you have to deal with such unhelpful, impolite and uncaring people, but your insight and thoroughness while dealing with all this are inspiring! 

    Thank you for allowing us to see you through this and learn from everything you are doing!

    Wishing you continued good luck and better breathing!! 

  • Vnes

    Reading everyone’s post has been helpful. I recently found out I am allergic to roaches and a lot of other things. It seems roaches is going to be a tough one being I live in apartments. I will continue to follow the post for more information.

  • Paularose

    Vines. You are not going to like this but I do have to tell you what the exterminator told me. He said in apartment buildings there is a crawl space between the outer brickwork and the interior walls. He went on to say that roaches absolutely adore this crawl space as it is always warm and moist. And that is how they travel throughout the building. Isn't that just delightful?(heavy sarcasm). We just can't win…

  • Vnes

    @PaulaRose 

    we cant’t win for losing. I just don’t know then. Roaches and dust mites are an III for me.  I never thought about that but it makes sense they have to be somewhere.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, hugs, hugs … I'm hoping that some of the resources that Paula has been tracking down will give people with allergies to roaches some options.