Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Dec;113(12):1795-801.

Association of housing disrepair indicators with cockroach and rodent infestations in a cohort of pregnant Latina women and their children.

Author information

Center for Children's Environmental Health Research, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-7380, USA.


Health burdens associated with poor housing and indoor pest infestations are likely to affect young children in particular, who spend most of their time indoors at home. We completed environmental assessments in 644 homes of pregnant Latina women and their children living in the Salinas Valley, California. High residential densities were common, with 39% of homes housing > 1.5 persons per room. Housing disrepair was also common: 58% of homes had peeling paint, 43% had mold, 25% had water damage, and 11% had rotting wood. Evidence of cockroaches and rodents was present in 60% and 32% of homes, respectively. Compared with representative national survey data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homes in our sample were more likely to have rodents, peeling paint, leaks under sinks, and much higher residential densities. The odds of rodent infestations in homes increased in the presence of peeling paint [odds ratio (OR) 2.1; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.5-3.1], water damage (OR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-2.7), and mold (OR 1.5; 95% CI, 1.0-2.1). The odds of cockroach infestation increased in the presence of peeling paint (OR 3.8; 95% CI, 2.7-5.6), water damage (OR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-2.9), or high residential density (OR 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.8). Homes that were less clean than average were more prone to both types of infestations. Pesticides were stored or used in 51% of households, partly to control roach and rodent infestations. These data indicate that adverse housing conditions are common in this community and increase the likelihood of pest infestations and home pesticide use. Interventions to improve housing and promote children's health and safety in this population are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center