What You Should Know About Bed Bugs & Dust Mites (without making you feel itchy!)
You’ve probably heard horror stories about bed bugs or dust mites, but do really know what they are? And more importantly how you can protect against them? Sometimes these two bed critters get mixed up and while both can be harmful to you, one is definitely more of a concern than the other.
Bed Bugs and Dust Mites
Let’s start by establishing some basic facts – there are many extremely tiny, often invisible creatures with which you share your homes harmoniously. This is true of the dust mite. You share your house with millions of these minute insects and you will rarely notice their presence. The only time the dust mite becomes a problem is its association to common allergens and asthma. Bedbugs on the other hand are definitely not so insignificant. They are visible to the naked eye and are responsible for biting and feeding while you are asleep. Below we’ll look at each in more detail and suggest how to best protect yourself and your home from both bed bugs and dust mites.
The common dust mites found in your home are also known as household dust mites and are actually microscopic arachnids (a close relation of spiders). They live in your carpets, upholstered furniture and mattresses. It is estimated that an average two million or more dust mites make your mattress their home. Whilst there they enjoy a diet of shed skin and other micro waste and live in a humid environment (around 70% or more), making your mattress a perfect home base. They measure only 0.03 mm typically.
What Dust Mites Cause…
The allergens produced by dust mites are found in their waste and decaying body parts. They are released into the air commonly when the area is disturbed, for example when you vacuum, dust, sit, or even roll over in bed. When you inhale the dust mite allergens 99 times our a 100 you will not notice and your body will deal with any nasties while you continue your day. However in some cases allergic reactions can initiated. This can happen where there is a high build of dust mites (in unclean/undusted areas for example). Reactions can vary but include nasal congestion, cough or eczema. These allergens can also be responsible for asthma attack for those that suffer with asthma. Children and senior adults are commonly the most vulnerable, but anyone can be affected by dust mites.
How to Reduce the Dust Mites in your Home
Basically less dust in your home means less dust mites. If you keep your house clean and concentrate on the places where you are the most, (your living room carpets, your sofa and your bed) you will greatly reduce the number in your home. Vacuuming regularly with a HEPA filter helps, but you’ll want to pay special attention to your bedding. Always wash you bedding in hot water, you can even use an anti-allergen detergent. Next consider covers for mattresses and pillows designed to stop contact with the dust mites, locking the allergens inside. Additionally, you might consider silk bedding, which is 100 percent natural, non-synthetic, hypoallergenic, and a natural repellant to dust mites. Outside the bedroom, you’ll also want to reduce humidity all over the house, and if you can, exchange carpets for hardwoods, tile, or vinyl, and upholstered furniture for vinyl or leather.
Bed bugs are parasites, typically nocturnal, reddish brown in colour, visible to the naked eye. Without being dramatic these insect feed on your blood. Though an infestation of these pesky creatures can happen anywhere, today they are found most commonly in apartments and hotels, where messiness allows them to easily hide. Unfortunately, one of their favourite hiding places are mattresses. If your unlucky to be bitten by one you will know in a short amount of time. They leave small red, itching, and painful bites, which are nasty but normally do not cause allergic reactions. They do multiply quickly and are hard to alleviate.
How to Eradicate the Bed Bugs in your Home
Again the best response is prevention. Use a mattress protector as well as duvet and pillow protectors which seal them and keep the bugs out completely. Always washing your bedding at high temperatures also helps prevent infestation.
If you do find an infestation these bugs do perish under extremely high temperatures using either steam sprays or chemicals. They can be quite stubborn to completely eradicate and you may need professional help to completely rid yourself of these creatures.
Should you have questions on the proper bedding to prevent dust mite allergic reactions and bed bug infestation, call us on 01706 220020 and let us guide you to helpful solutions to protect your home from troublesome dust mites and bed bugs.
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