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Roach Allergies


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Hello,
I keep a colony of B. dubia, however I have developed quite an allergy to them. Nothing dangerous, but enough to cause me to get rid of them. I am looking for another species to try in the hopes that it does not cause the same reaction. In my research I have found that the vast majority of accounts of people being allergic to roaches have been with dubias and hissers. I have seen mixed accounts as to whether people can be allergic to specific species of roaches, or if the allergy is likely to all roaches (or even all insects) in general. Most of the posts I see are of people who are going to try a new species to see if they cause the same reaction, but they never seem to update the post... 

So my question to you is: Has anyone that has an allergy to one species of roach (lets say dubias for example) successfully kept another species without developing an allergic reaction? 

I just got rid of my dubia colony, and have a small colony of B. discoidalis being shipped to me. I plan to keep them on a slightly moistened substrate, and with a clean up crew of Alphitobius diaperinus (Buffalo beetles) in the hopes that any allergens will be greatly reduced. Any advise would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

-Jake

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I don't have full-blown allergic reactions to my roaches (yet), but I have noticed that the dubia tend to be one of the most pungent of my roaches, and the smell is slightly irritating to my nose and throat. I don't have this with any other species, so it's possible that you'll have better luck with other species. I personally adore my B. discoidalis. They're some of my favorites. They do have a very slight smell if you really disrupt them, but nothing like B. giganteus or E. posticus. I might also recommend hissers (I personally love G. oblongonota), as their commensalist mites have been shown to reduce human allergies to the roaches (http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/roachmite.htm).

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Generally, it takes a lot of exposure for a non-pre-existing allergy to develop. I'd suggest wearing a mask to clean the cage- I think they make masks specifically to block out allergens while mowing grass, something like that would work. If your system isn't being constantly flooded by the roach particles, it's less likely to decide that the particles are a threat.

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20 minutes ago, Ratmosphere said:

Does this same principle stand for giant burrowing cockroaches? Wouldn't want to purchase them if I could be/can get allergic to them.

The roaches that most people are really allergic to are hissers and some of the feeder and pests species, I really don't think you are going to get allergic to your rhino roaches. I'm allergic to my hissers but I don't get any reactions to most of my other roaches. :)

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I don't have allergies to my roaches but I keep P. nivea and it is always so noticeable to me when the substrate starts to dry out. There is a heaviness to the air versus when the soil is nice and moist and the tank has a refreshed, it just rained sort of scent. I do think keeping the soil moist will help keep the frass particles at bay. I would suggest adding springtails to your clean up crew as they will keep mold from forming in the humid environment.

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13 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

The roaches that most people are really allergic to are hissers and some of the feeder and pests species, I really don't think you are going to get allergic to your rhino roaches. I'm allergic to my hissers but I don't get any reactions to most of my other roaches. :)

Hisserdude is allergic to Hissers...ironic, no?

 

CHEERS!

 

Nick

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I'm allergic to hissers to but I keep them. There are two kinds of allergies from what I can tell from personal experience.

The first is tactile the sharp hooks especially of heavy body roaches like hissers can cause itchy skin reactions. I normally only get that reaction handling hissers or if I handle my bigger roaches along time. Not my pepper roaches though maybe cause they live on dirt...that one is a mystery to me. 

The second is if the dust from the bin of my hissers gets in or near my eyes they swell and itch like crazy...it's super bad. That ones pretty straight forward. Also none of my other roaches have that kind of effect.

I have never had any respitory issues from roaches but if I did they would be out of the house the next day. I really like breathing having itchy eyes or hands for an hour every few months is no big deal compared to breathing issues. 

On a side note the first time I had an eye reaction was after I hadn't cleaned their bin for like 8 months...I know it was super lazy of me. Cleaning every 2 months makes it better. I feel I'm personally allergic to their Frass so keeping it at manageable levels keeps allergy levels down to.

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13 minutes ago, lovebugfarm said:

Not my pepper roaches though maybe cause they live on dirt...that one is a mystery to me.

That's odd, my peppered roaches are actually the only roaches that I get reactions from when handling. When their spikes prick the skin on the back of my hand(or arm) it gets very itchy and I get sort of a red mosquito bite-looking mark.

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I think if you only itch when the hooks are in your skin, it's not an allergy so much as your nerves going "DUDE WHAT THE HECK" and objecting. If there's a visible reaction afterwards, that would definitely be an allergy, and probably something to avoid as much as possible so it doesn't get worse.

You could probably wear swim goggles to keep the offending dust out of your eyes while cleaning. They make big goggles that are fairly comfortable to wear. 

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15 hours ago, All About Insects said:

That's odd, my peppered roaches are actually the only roaches that I get reactions from when handling. When their spikes prick the skin on the back of my hand(or arm) it gets very itchy and I get sort of a red mosquito bite-looking mark.

That's exactly what happens when I hold my hissers, and sometimes my Blaberus too. 

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1 hour ago, Hisserdude said:

That's exactly what happens when I hold my hissers, and sometimes my Blaberus too. 

Interesting, well at least it's not that bad, just have to keep them of the back of ours hands and arms.:)

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