The sight of a cockroach in the home is enough to send a chill through almost any homeowner. But did you know that cockroaches -- even dead ones -- also cause an allergic reaction in roughly half of the population? If you spot these pests in your home, hire an exterminator ASAP to help eliminate the problem. Avoid using over-the-counter chemicals and sprays, many of which can exacerbate allergy problems. Once the bugs are gone, take steps to keep them from coming back. Keep food stored properly, and never take it in the bedroom. Eliminate standing water everywhere in and around the house, and seal gaps in your home's exterior walls with caulk. Don't forget to caulk the gaps around doors and windows.
Even if you don't have cockroaches, microscopic arachnids known as dust mites may be hiding in your home. While most homes have millions of these pests, you can minimize or eliminate your dust-mite count by getting rid of areas where dust can collect, especially in the bedroom. Switch from soft carpets (which are a haven for dust mites) to hard-surface flooring materials that are easy to clean. Swap curtains and drapes for blinds or shades, which are a breeze to keep dust-free. Finally, store dust-magnets like doll collections or piles of stuffed animals far away from the bedroom.