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Healthy Homes and Pests

Infestations of pests are particularly harmful to residents. Cockroach and rodent allergens in homes can cause asthma or trigger asthma attacks.  However, pesticide-based treatment of pest infestations can exacerbate health problems, since pesticide residues in homes pose the risk of neurological damage and cancer.

Code enforcement activities can help to ensure safe and effective pest elimination and pest control management.  Two recent pieces of legislation were enacted in California that impact code enforcement with regard to pest infestations, enforcement authority, and effective strategies for eliminating and managing pests in residential properties.

California Breathing’s Healthy Homes Program has developed a Pests and Pest Management factsheet where recommended steps for tenants, property owners and building managers are also outlined. Pests and Pest Management factsheet

Pest Infestations in California

Data on the burden of pest infestations in California households is not available statewide. Data from code enforcement or housing programs are collected and maintained locally and vary by jurisdiction.