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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 Oct;120(4):849-55. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Cockroach allergen reduction by cockroach control alone in low-income urban homes: a randomized control trial.

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  • 1Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.



We previously reported significant reductions in cockroach allergen concentrations in urban homes by reducing cockroach infestations.


To determine the effectiveness of pest control performed by professional entomologists, compared with commercial companies, in reducing cockroach allergen.


This 3-arm randomized controlled trial enrolled 60 cockroach-infested homes in North Carolina. Homes were randomly assigned to a control group or 1 of 2 treatment groups. Treatment 1 had insecticide baits placed by entomologists from North Carolina State University. Treatment 2 received pest control from a randomly assigned commercial company. Vacuumed dust sampling and cockroach trapping were conducted at 0, 6, and 12 months. Dust samples were analyzed by ELISA.


In treatment 1 homes, there were significant reductions in geometric mean trap counts compared with control and treatment 2 homes at 12 months. Relative to control, significant 12-month reductions in Bla g 1 were evident in treatment 1 homes at all sampled sites, except bedroom floor. From baseline to month 12, geometric mean Bla g 1 concentrations (U/g) decreased from 64.2 to 5.6 in kitchen, 10.6 to 1.1 in living room, 10.7 to 1.9 on bedroom floor, and 3.6 to 2.3 in bed. Treatment 2 homes showed no significant 12-month allergen reductions versus control.


Reductions in Bla g 1 in cockroach-infested homes can be achieved by reducing infestations; however, the magnitude of allergen reduction is dependent on the thoroughness and effectiveness of cockroach eradication efforts.


Elimination of cockroaches is an effective method for reducing exposure to cockroach allergen.

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