Many common biological contaminants found in homes and buildings can cause allergies. Exposure to dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, rats, mice and latex are some of the most common culprits.

An allergy is an exaggerated immune response to a substance. People and pets can be allergic to almost any substance. However, there are common allergens that a high percentage of allergy sufferers react to when exposed.

Allergic reactions occur after repeated exposure to a specific biological allergen. A reaction may occur immediately upon re-exposure or after multiple exposures over time. As a result, people who have noticed only mild allergic reactions, or no reactions at all in the past, may suddenly find themselves very sensitive to particular allergens.

Fortunately, when potential allergen hazards are recognized through testing the indoor environment, these allergens and potential asthma triggers can be properly dealt with.

Common indoor allergens include:

Dust Mite

Dust mites are tiny bugs that feed on human skin flakes and are found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, and fabric and fabric-covered items. They are one of the most common causes of allergies from house dust.


Cockroaches and their droppings can trigger allergies and even asthma attacks.

Cat & Dog

Allergies to pets are common and both cats and dogs can cause an allergic reaction in some people. These pet allergies are caused by exposure to proteins that can be found in pet urine, saliva and pet dander.

Mouse & Rat

Rodents and their waste can trigger allergic responses in some people.


Even people wearing latex gloves during cleaning activities could be exposing themselves to latex allergens. Latex is found in many common household products.

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