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Stories: Allergic reactions to roaches

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by elportoed, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. elportoed

    elportoed Arachnobaron Active Member

    I know there are some people who have kept several species for years and have no reactions at all to them.

    But I have been reading up on how people have developed allergic reactions to their pet and feeder roaches. Dubias seem to be on the top of the list, but I'm not sure if it's because they are commonly kept specie, hence more reports. I also heard a few stories about the lobsters, and hissers.

    I'm really curious to hear more about the species that cause the reactions and what are the symptoms. Basically your personal account of this will be very helpful.
  2. When I had dubia a sniff of their enclosure gave me a peculiar stinging sensation (not really a smell) in my nose and sinuses that I have come to attribute to allergies. I kind of feel the same way when I sniff something I'm allergic to, like juniper.

    However, I can't say I experienced the other symptoms of allergies, so it could just be an irritating gas rather than an actual allergic reaction.

    Lobsters and lateralis? Well, they just smell bad if you don't take good care of them (which I tend not to). Never linked their stink with any sensation I attribute to allergies.

    edit: a side note, I always kept my lobsters on a substrate whereas my dubia I kept with no substrate. Maybe that affects things. Lateralis I have kept both ways and never been allergic, but I do recognize the smell of dead roaches from across the house every now and again.
  3. elportoed

    elportoed Arachnobaron Active Member

    That's rather mild reactions. I felt that too earlier on, but I think may be my mind was playing tricks on me, knowing they're roaches and all.

    I had rashes on my arms once, but went away, and no repeat. It happend when I cleaned out the garage and the roach bin on the same day. So I'm not quite sure what caused it.

    Anyone else with rashes, hives, watery eyes, coughing, trouble breathing, etc, bad enough that you have to get rid of the roaches???
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  4. Matt K

    Matt K Arachnoangel

    Being truly allergic to roaches is very rare. Most people develope allergies to the dust, mites, or food products of the roaches. Roach allergies do occur though. I know of only one person who has actual allergies to hissing roaches, and more mild reactions to other roach species. If you were interested I might be able to get thier email address for you.
  5. OldHag

    OldHag ArachnoHag Old Timer

    HISSERS!! They didnt use to bother me at all, then when I would hold them I would get a little itch. Then after a few weeks I got welts where ever the roach touched me. THEN when I would clean the cage and breath the frass I would get all plugged up and snotty and cough like I had bronchitis!!! My eyes would run and snot would come out of every oriface on my face... well, almost.
    I dont do hissers no mo...
  6. elportoed

    elportoed Arachnobaron Active Member

    From what I read, it is more like the dander or something similar that people have reactions to, including roach frass. But that's also part of keeping roaches too. So I should say "allergic reactions developed during keeping roaches".

    I actually pmed someone on the roach forum regarding her "reactions". She had to give up the roach keeping hobby altogether. She gave away all of her rare roaches.

    Like I said, I experienced some skin rashes (not the same kind when I get tarantulas ultricating hairs) but I can't pin point to what caused it. I still have roaches as feeders without any more incident. But I do take more precautions when cleaning out the colony, gloves, mask, cap, etc.

    Hissers have those sharp barbs on thier feet. I don't dare hold them without heavy gloves on. But I don't have them anymore, too much work. They are cool critters though.
  7. OldHag

    OldHag ArachnoHag Old Timer

    The barbs on other roaches dont phase me. Just hissers. BIG welts!!! Itchy, nasty welts...ugh
  8. OxDionysus

    OxDionysus Arachnobaron

    This is basically what happens to me with Dubia....:wall:
    I had to get rid of mine. I recently ordered some Lateralis and have no problems with them.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  9. KyuZo

    KyuZo Arachnoprince Old Timer

    same here, i developed an allergy for B. dubias.
  10. P.jasonius

    P.jasonius Arachnobaron

    You know I've had some problems with my sinuses but it didn't occur with roaches. The headache was so bad I couldn't see straight. It occurred with bess beetles and when I looked a little closer at the log I lifted, there was the beginnings of mold. It might be possible that most of you might have some reaction to mold that isn't yet visible and not the roaches themselves (also stated it could be some food products/substrate etc)

    Love LeilaNami
  11. James M.

    James M. Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Same thing with me. All other roaches I have no reaction at all. All hissers I owned went to the bearded dragon.
  12. equuskat

    equuskat Arachnoprince

    I had allergy testing when I was a kid which indicated that I am allergic to roaches - probably roach droppings, not sure how that works.

    My dubia and hissers make my eyes water just a little bit when I am messing around with their enclosures, but I had such bad reactions to B. lateralis that I had to get rid of my colony. My eyes would itch and I would sneeze incessantly. If I was exposed for long enough, I would wheeze and cough...which usually resulted in borrowing my mom's albuterol asthma inhaler. These reactions would only occur when I was dealing with the lateralis, and would begin almost as soon as I opened their bin.

    Bleh. Thankfully the lats have a new home.