N.S. asks from Monroe, MI on June 17, 2010
Babys and Roaches
I have a nine month old boy. we live in a house that is infested with cockroaches. I heard that it is bad for childrent to be in a that type of environment. my baby has had bronchitis once and now has an upper resperitory infection that I believe has turned into bronchitis again. also there is black mold in the bathroom and two dogs the house is horrible. I would like to move but we just cant afford it right now is there anything I can do to fix his problems until we move? the poeple I live with are far from clean they would rathe complain about wo is doing what chore than do something there self. please help I cant see my baby be sick and have respiratory problems for the rest of his life!!!!
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D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on June 17, 2010
I believe from what I have seen on tv, that it is the dropping from roaches that cause respiratory problems. If I were you, I would sure as HELL find another place to live. Black mold is serious stuff and costs much, much $$$$ to have it mitigated and safe again. Is it black mold or just garden variety mold & mildew?
If I were you and could absolutely not leave, I would make it MY job to make sure every part of that house is cleaned and sanitized every single day for the health of my child. Is it fair? No. But what' more important?
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D.H. answers from Indianapolis on June 17, 2010
I believe fuel oil in caps under the legs of the crib will help keep the roaches away some.........but you are in a very bad situation.
If it was me, I would call the health department and report the landlord......there are laws about mold being in a house........the mold could be causing the babies infections along with the roaches.............isn't there ANYONE else you know that you could live with? Family, other friends, someone?
If this house is owned by the people you live with, and you pay them money to live there, I would check to see if you can find a hotel or motel that allows people to live there a month at a time and see if you can swing that........I would also talk to someone about getting into funded housing......they base it on your income and what you can afford......anything to get the heck out of there.
Good Luck and let us know how things go. Take Care......hope your baby is ok.
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S.B. answers from Redding on June 17, 2010
Are you renting? Are the people you live with your landlords or are you just sharing the home?
You can talk to your landlord about the problem.
I think you should consult an exterminator.
I watch the guy on A&E and he uses something that is harmless to people and animals but it kills bugs. It's derived from the oils in the chrysanthemum flower.
We moved into a new house and I found some roaches. We called an exterminator, but they were field roaches and not the infesting kind. We had property with an orchard and they were basically the same as a beetle or something getting in the house. We just sat off a bug bomb and that did the trick. I only found like 4 and was freaking out.
If you have the type of roaches that get into your food and will even get into the refrigerator, etc....you need to get help with getting rid of them.
Maybe you can find some of that stuff online that I was talking about. Or, talk to your landlords. After my divorce, I moved into a really nice house and within a week, we had ants everywhere....even in our beds. The landlord paid for extermination. (He knew there was an ant problem before and never disclosed it so he took care of it right away).
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D.F. answers from St. Louis on June 17, 2010
Do these people you live with own the home or rent? If they rent then call the landlord it's his job to take care of all these problems if he dosn't then call your local code inforcment. If they own it, well you need to get out ASAP roaches carry more diesease's than you can imagine. The black mold not only effects ones lungs but also brain development and can cause behavior problems. GET OUT go to your local Family Service Agent apply for help/aid. Maybe you have a friend or can find another young mother in the same position as you and can split the rent somewhere. You have options, but first you have to look. Think of this what if DFS comes in that house if it's as bad as you say they could end up taking your child out/away from those conditions. Good luck and stay positive.
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J.B. answers from Atlanta on June 17, 2010
OK -you MUST deal with the mold and the roach issue! It's unhealthy and unsafe for everyone there! You need to call the landlord of the place and have them come remove the mold immediately -that's what is causing the upper respiratory infections in your child. Also -an exterminator needs to come out and deal with the cockroaches. Even if you have to stay in a motel for a week while they take care of all of that, you need to. If you are living with people that nasty, really take a look around and try to see if there is any alternative for a place to live -section 8, subsidized apartments, etc. You AND your child are going to continue to be sick if you're living in filth. If the landlord won't do anything about it, there are county and city housing boards that you can complain to. Again -if there is ANY way at all you can move, please do so!
And yes, roaches also cause respiratory issues like others have said -that combined with the mold is a nightmare!
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A.C. answers from Cincinnati on June 17, 2010
It sounds like your son probably has allergies. Dog, mold, and roach-poo are all common allergens, and mold in particular has been known to cause other allergies. I had NO allergies until I moved into an apartment with mold, and now I'm allergic to dogs, dust, dust mites, tree pollen, grass, and I could keep going, but you get the idea. You need to get your son to an allergist, and make sure you describe the living conditions to him/her so that you can get the best medical advice possible about how to handle these problems. Talk to the allergist especially about getting rid of the roaches and MOST IMPORTANTLY, the MOLD. Please do it NOW because this is already affecting his health, and though I don't like to be a doomsayer, it really could affect him for the rest of his life. It has for me. Good luck.
A.S. answers from Detroit on June 22, 2010
http://www.householdmoldguide.com/black-mold-symptoms - "Black mold is an extremely toxic type of mold. Black mold appears as a powdery or downy-like substance on everything from walls, food, carpeting, showers, wood, fabrics (including clothing), and baseboards, to name a few. Black mold wreaks the worst havoc when it gets into the heating and air conditioning systems. There are a variety of household mold symptoms that could appear from black mold if you have been exposed to this toxic type of fungi.
At first, symptoms indicating black mold poisoning can mimic flu or cold symptoms, such as a cough, red and watery eyes, and runny nose. However, if left untreated, our bodies can absorb high levels of what are called mycotoxins, which are toxic to human beings and animals. Molecular compounds called mycotoxins are sometimes produced by black mold. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, black mold may be present in your home or workplace.
Black Mold Symptoms
· Respiratory difficulties – hard to breathe, itchy nose, frequent drainage from the nose, asthma-like symptoms
· Skin irritation – hives or rashes on the skin
· Red eyes
· Intense headaches for seemingly no reason
· Consistent cough
· Feelings of nausea and dizziness
· Difficulty recalling details or general fogginess resulting in lack of concentration
· Lethargic behavior
· Blood pressure levels are irregular
Prolonged exposure to black mold has even been known to cause bleeding in the lungs, internal pain of the organs, urinary tract infections, and in some severe cases, infertility. Research has shown that both elderly people and infants are especially sensitive to the presence of mold in a home. It is vital that a physician checks you if you are experiencing any of these symptoms for no apparent reason.
A home that has mold and is primarily closed up can be an especially dangerous environment, causing black mold poisoning more quickly due to no fresh air entering the space. Black mold can hide behind walls and not actually be seen for several months before it is discovered. If you happen to notice stains on walls that appear in colors of yellow, black, green, or even brown, and the walls are damp, you may already have mold in the process of growing on or behind the walls. Black mold could be a result of a water leak or consistently high levels of moisture in an area such as a basement, enclosed shower, or even an office.
Trust your nose! If you seem to notice a musty or mildew smell in your home or office, mold may be in the early stages. Keep your eyes open for more noticeable signs of the mold. Look in corners of rooms, around the baseboards, and around ceiling areas for stains or what appears to be dirt (and may actually be mold).
Some people are very sensitive to mold and may experience respiratory problems before they ever see visible signs of mold. If symptoms are experienced inside a house or office, but not outside of those areas, there may be mold present. For some people, an allergic reaction to black mold can mimic asthma.
Black mold symptoms are an indication that you have black mold poisoning. It is vital a physician examines you as soon as possible. He will be able to determine if your household mold symptoms are a result of mold or something else in the environment."
http://www.afhh.org/hhe/hhe_cockroaches.htm - "Cockroaches in homes are a health hazard to many children and families because of the risks cockroach antigens pose to asthma sufferers. Traditionally, cockroaches were controlled because they are offensive, leave behind an awful smell, and cause gastrointestinal and respiratory illness. However, research shows that cockroach debris (old shells, saliva, body parts, and droppings) triggers asthma attacks in people who are sensitized to cockroach antigen (proteins found in the debris). In homes where several allergens are present, including dust mites, mold, furry pets, tobacco smoke, and certain chemicals, children may experience severe and frequent asthma attacks from high airborne concentrations of these allergens.
Any home with food or moisture can have cockroaches. Kitchens and bathrooms typically have the highest number of cockroaches due to the presence of food products and moisture from plumbing fixtures. Apartment buildings often have the worst infestations. The goal is to keep cockroaches out of the home and to eliminate existing pests. Reaching this goal is not always easy, especially in multi-unit housing that is already infested. For most apartment buildings, the landlord must take a building-wide approach to controlling these pests. Moreover, a coordinated effort by the landlord and all tenants is required to eliminate cockroaches.
Integrated pest management techniques that control cockroaches through moisture control and other interventions can also help to minimize exposure to other environmental hazards, including lead and mold. Moisture from leaky roofs, plumbing fixtures, spills, damp areas in the kitchen and bathroom, and other sources should be minimized, along with access to food, accumulation of trash, and holes and cracks in the walls. Safe and effective pest management techniques must be utilized, as some chemicals used to treat pests are toxic, may exacerbate asthma symptoms, and are not successful at ridding homes of cockroaches.
Because children spend more time indoors, allergens found in homes and other buildings pose a significant health risk for asthma sufferers. With asthma rates growing at a startling rate, the hazard posed by the presence of any cockroaches must be addressed. "
I've had issues with Black Mold before. Where I work. I was sick for days with only a FEW HOURS of exposure without knowledge. I simply looked up my symptoms and BAM! There it was... My answer... Black Mold. It is EXTREMELY serious!
K.M. answers from Detroit on June 18, 2010
clean it urself or move that inviroment is not good for the baby nor u why would u even consider staying there. i rather be in a shelter or my car.