Dust mite mattress covers are without a doubt, the first line of defense against dust mites.
Dust mites by themselves pose no threat to people. They are microscopic creatures that don’t bite, they are not parasites and don’t invade our bodies.
In other words, the dust mites themselves are not a problem. The problem is a protein that is found in dust mite fecal matter, decomposed body parts from dead dust mites and partially digested dust particles.
Dust Mites And Your Mattress
Do you keep your home scrupulously clean and you’re sure you have no dust mites? Think again. Dust mites can be found in every house. Even the cleanest of homes have dust mites. Bed mattresses and pillows are one of the most common places to find dust mites. In fact, if your mattress is several years old, it could be the home of literally hundreds of thousands of dust mites. Dust mites are part of your life, like it or not, and there is no way to totally get rid of them.
Dust Mite Allergens
A dust mite is capable of living for 10 weeks. During this time, it will produce about 2000 fecal particles, plus a larger number of partially digested dust particles. And when it dies, it tends to break up into body parts.
All of these particles and body parts contain allergens in that will can a reaction in anyone with a dust mite allergy. Depending on the person, these allergens can cause an allergy attack or an asthma attack. It has been estimated that dust mites may be a factor in as much as 50% to 80% of asthmatics.
Dust mites just love mattresses. They thrive in warm, moist environments and your mattress offers both these qualities. Dust mites don’t drink water. They obtain moisture from the air around them – for example, the humidity from your nighttime sweat or saliva.
If you or someone in your family has asthma or is allergic to dust mites, the first thing you need to do is buy a dust mite mattress cover and dust mite pillow covers. These covers are dust-proof (allergen impermeable) and sealed with zippers. You will need to wipe off your dust mite mattress covers with a damp cloth once a week or vacuum it using a hard-edged attachment. An alternative to dust mite mattress covers is to replace the mattress with one made of natural latex or with an air mattress. This is because dust mites cannot infest either of these types of mattresses.
Covering your mattresses with dust mite mattress covers is tip #1 in controlling dust mites because when you sleep, you are closest to the mites and the dust mite allergens they produce. If you enclose your mattress and pillows in a dust mite proof cover, you virtually eliminate the mites there. You can also find – online – dust mite-proof fitted sheets. If you cover your mattress with one of these sheets, you help prevent human skin scales from accumulating on the surface of the mattress which cuts down on the food dust mites need to survive. But this is only half the battle.
Wash Your Bedding In Hot Water
Dust mite fecal particles and body parts can come in contact with you and trigger an allergic reaction while you sleep. This is why it’s important to cover your mattress with a dust mite mattress cover.
However, dust mites will also invade your sheets, pillowcases, blankets and other forms of bedding, complete with the allergens they produce.
To rid yourself of them, you will need to wash your bedding every week in water that is at least 130 degrees F. Unfortunately, many homes do not have water this hot. You will need to find out how hot your water is. If it’s not 130 degrees F., there are two things you can do to kill the mites. First, you can take your bedding to a laundromat that has water that’s this hot. Another option is to wash the bedding in the hottest water available and then dry it for 30 minutes with your dryer on hot cycle.
Dust Mites In Carpeting
Dust mites move around via dust bunnies or air currents you stir up as you move around the house. Many of them will end up in your carpeting or rugs. You can control them by vacuuming regularly and thoroughly with a vacuum that has a double-layer micro filter bag or a HEPA filter. And when you vacuum, be sure to go over the same area multiple times to make sure you’re vacuuming up as many of the dust mites as possible. Some people say they vacuum the same area as many as 20 times but you may not find it necessary to do this. However, it might not be a bad idea to go over the same area four or five times. Once a week, you should also thoroughly vacuum mattresses, pillowcases and the base of your bed. And if you are the one with the dust mite allergy, be sure to wear a mask when you vacuum.
You can control dust mites and dust mite allergies. But you will need to invest some money for dust mite mattress covers and dust mite pillow covers and you will have to be religious about your dusting and vacuuming. But the money and effort you put into dust mite control can pay off big in fewer allergic symptoms or asthma attacks.