How Keeping Home Mold Away Cuts Down on Insect Allergies

When you think of allergic reactions to insects, you probably think about being allergic to stinging or biting insects. For example, if you are allergic to bee stings, a painful but relatively harmless experience can turn into an emergency room visit. These allergies make already painful and potentially dangerous stings and bites even more severe.

However, not all insect allergies require direct contact with a bug. Some household insects can cause allergic reactions because of waste, hairs, and other airborne allergens, making them more than just a nuisance, it makes them a significant health concern.

itch from insect bites and allergies


Understanding Insect Allergies

To completely understand the issue, we need to understand the dangers of insect allergies and why they are a concern for many people. Cockroaches and dust mites are perfect examples of bugs that don’t require direct contact to cause an allergic reaction.

In fact, it’s possible that these two insects are the largest cause of year-round allergies. The concern with these and other insects is that they leave waste and shed cells which are small enough to become, essentially, dust. When this airborne dust is inhaled, you have the potential for allergic reactions.

These allergic reactions are different from stings and bites. Instead, they may appear more like hay fever and other allergies caused by airborne substances. An allergic person may sneeze, have itchy eyes or nose, or an irritated mouth and throat. In some cases the symptoms may be confused with a common cold, but instead of passing after a few days, they last for weeks or even months.

red black beetle indoors on wood

How Mold in the Home Leads to Insects

As uncomfortable as it might make you, you need to realize that mold in the home, which has its own health impacts, can lead directly to pests, especially bugs. There are many insects that feed on mold, and some of these pests can lead to bug allergies.

Mold beetle is a common term used to identify a variety of bugs that feed on mold. Usually attracted to moist, damp locations, this category of species can include the hairy fungus beetle, the minute brown beetle, and the acute-angled fungus beetle.

In many cases, you will find mold beetles after rainy weather, especially in the summer, usually around late June. They can be active through September, but most species of mold beetles only live about 25 to 36 days; they can live even longer, however, if the temperatures are lower. Mold beetles usually feed on mold when they are in the larvae stage, although many continue to feed on mold throughout their lifecycle.

The foreign grain beetle, as an example, feeds on mildew and spores from fungus. This can turn into an insect infestation indoors, especially in new homes. While mold is often associated with old houses, new construction can have mold on lumber and other building supplies that have been outdoors for the past few months. The lumber in these new homes can absorb water, which will lead to mildew. This fungus will give bugs a steady food source, although the problem is usually temporary. In older houses, these beetles can grow in bathrooms and other areas of the home with lots of moisture, including kitchens and basements.

Mold mites are another common problem for houses with mold. These are tiny bugs that are usually white or tan and found in areas with significant moisture, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. Like the foreign grain beetle, these bugs also feed on mold, and where the fungus is present, populations of mold mites can increase dramatically.

Mold mites are typically harmless because they don’t bite and they don’t cause structural damage to the home like termites. However, mold mites have long setae, which are hair-like structures. The setae can be broken off, and it is so light that it will become airborne. This can lead to an allergic reaction in some people.


Controlling Mold to Prevent Insects

To keep mold beetles from infesting your home, you need to ensure that mold does not become a problem. To do that, you need to focus on four key strategies...


Cleanliness

Keeping a clean home is not only good for your comfort and happiness, it’s also essential for maintaining a mold-free house. Mold can hide in numerous nooks and crannies, and a dirty, cluttered home gives mold plenty of opportunities to make a living. Be sure to keep your home neat and clean and you’ll reduce the chance of mold becoming an issue in your house.


Less Moisture

As you likely know, moisture increases the chances of mold growth in the home. Ideally, you will want to keep the humidity levels below 50%.

Solutions to moisture, however, can be complex and, depending on the source, extremely expensive. Fortunately, not all moisture prevention is costly or time consuming. In many cases, simply monitoring pipes for leakage will help prevent excessive moisture. Make sure pipes underneath sinks and faucet connections are properly sealed. If you see any leakage, have a professional fix the problem.

In basements, you may find that water is seeping through the foundation. This may require digging up the foundations, but many times you can simply have the interior of the foundation sealed. You could also consider using a dehumidifier.


Air Cleaning

Cleaning the air of the tiny airborne dust particles will go a long way towards improving air quality and you feeling and breathing better. The key is to find a high quality HEPA filter with sufficient air flow for your area you need cleaned.

HEPA air purifiers can also help reduce overall mold in the home. By trapping and destroying mold spores, air purifiers reduce the chances of growth and the chances of bugs, helping to prevent allergic reactions among your friends and family.

For more information on air purifiers and mold prevention, contact the helpful team at Oransi today. We’ll provide the right information so you can choose a top-qualify air purifier for your home or office.


Ventilation

Another important factor for preventing moisture is ventilation. Good ventilation helps reduce humidity, which is a common part of mold growth. When possible, keep windows open so that outside air is allowed inward. You should also use fans and vents, such as kitchen and bathroom vents, to improve overall ventilation in the home.