Single Component Intervention for Cockroach Control Reduces Cockroach Exposure and Asthma Morbidity in Children
Saturday, March 4, 2017: 2:15 PM
Rooms B405-B406 (Georgia World Congress Center, Building B)
Felicia A. Rabito, PhD MPH, , ,

Exposure to cockroaches is an important asthma trigger and reducing exposure is a recommended asthma management strategy. The impact of reducing cockroaches on clinical outcomes is not known.  We tested the efficacy of insecticidal baiting to reduce cockroach exposure and improve asthma outcomes.  


One hundred and two children ages 5-17 years with moderate to severe asthma were enrolled in a 12-month randomized controlled trial testing the use of insecticidal bait on cockroach counts and asthma morbidity. For binary outcomes a logistic regression model was applied. For continuous outcomes, a semi-parametric model was applied. Homes were visited six times and asthma symptoms were assessed every 2 months. 


After adjustment, intervention homes had significantly fewer cockroaches than control homes (mean change in cockroaches trapped 13.14, 95% CI: 6.88, 19.39, p < 0.01). Children in control homes had more asthma symptoms and unscheduled healthcare utilization in the previous 2 weeks (1.82, 95% CI: 0.14, 3.50, p = 0.03; 1.17, 95% CI: 0.11, 2.24, p = 0.03, respectively) and a higher proportion of children with FEV1 < 80% predicted (OR 5.74, 95% CI: 1.60, 20.57, p = 0.01) compared to children living in intervention homes.


Previous research has demonstrated improvement in asthma health outcomes using multifaceted interventions. The strategic placement of insecticidal bait which is inexpensive, has low toxicity, and is widely available resulted in sustained cockroach elimination over 12 months and was associated with improve asthma outcomes.  This single intervention may be an alternative to multifaceted interventions currently recommended to improve asthma morbidity.