Dust Mites: Tiny Roommates That Live in Your Mattress

You might have heard of being aware of dust mites making a community in your beddings and mattresses. Either you have an idea about dust mites or you just plain heard it on TV— just thinking of these dust mites living in your pillow by the millions that feed on your dead skin and hair is enough to make you sick literally and figuratively.

If you only have a shallow understanding about dust mites then this article will surely help you with all the things that you need to know about them. What dust mites really are and how to deal with them effectively will all be discussed below for additional information.

What is a Dust Mite?

Dust mites are a tiny eight-legged creature which is virtually impossible to see with the naked eye. They are microscopic bugs that feed on flakes of shed human skin and are therefore prevalent wherever humans live. Technically speaking, dust mites bring no harm to people. They do not bring diseases— however, they can cause allergic reactions especially to those people that are asthmatic.

For such tiny creatures which you can’t even see, dust mites can surely stir up a lot of trouble. Dust mites are a major cause of asthma and allergies especially in vulnerable individuals mainly the children and elderly. If you are one of these people, you may feel as if you have an endless cold or even asthma.

“Dust mites’ harmful allergen comes from their fecal pellets and body fragments. Dust mites are roughly present in four out of five homes in the United States and have detectable levels of dust mite allergen in at least one bed.” The American Lung Associations stated.

Where do Dust Mites Live?

One mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites and nearly 100,000 mites can live in one square yard of carpet. Beds are their prime habitat and a typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. As for their living conditions, mites prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it.

A fast fact about a dust mite is that a single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings each day with each of it containing a protein to which many people are allergic to. In 2005, the University of Manchester found out that up to 16 species of fungi can be found in a single pillow. They tested feather and synthetic pillows in a range of ages, finding thousands of spores of fungus per gram of pillow; more than is found on an average used toothbrush.

How to Get Rid of Dust Mites?

Of course, you will want to get rid of these icky tiny creatures making your bed as a habitat. Remember that they prefer temperatures of about 70 F or higher and humidity of 70% to 80% which means they can’t survive in colder or drier places. As for cleaning your beddings, wash your pillowcases and sheets at high temperature. As for the pillows, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag and placed in the freezer for at least 48 hours to kill the dust mites.

For your mattress, you could try the baking soda and vacuum method. However, it would only work for a mattress with a fabric surface such as the spring coil mattress and note that you should not try this directly on a latex or memory foam core. Additionally, using pure steam can dissolve dirt and grime, while removing germs and bacteria from the surfaces that you’re cleaning which is also a great way to kill dust mites and bed bugs.

Better Option:

There is a better and much more effective option, which is to simply purchase a mattress that is resistant to dust mites. Technically, the latex mattress is the only mattress that is naturally resistant to dust mites. Since it is made from the sap of the rubber tree, it is naturally resistant to dust mites as it is an inhospitable environment for them to thrive in.

The mattress industry is a wide market thus, research is necessary to aid you in a much cleaner bed space and a healthy environment to sleep in. To know more about dust mite resistant mattresses, you could visit sites or read up some articles mainly targeting this kind of topic such as the Counting Sheep Research.

Takeaway

In order to secure you and your family’s health and well-being, it is really necessary to properly clean every nook and cranny of your house— especially inside your bedroom wherein you spend most of your time inside other than in any areas of your house. Dust mites might be harmless, however, it raises risks for allergy which later on could turn into complications.

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