What Will Kill Dust Mites?

If you’ve got dust mite allergies, you don’t want dust mites. But how do you kill dust mites if they are too small to be seen or felt? There are just a few ways to kill dust mites.

freezing kills dust mites
Dust Mite Magnified

Freezing temperatures kills dust mites

Dust mites can’t stand temperatures below freezing. You can kill dust mites by placing them in freezing cold. Put pillows in the freezer overnight and any dust mites in the pillow die. Of course, your freezer wasn’t really made for storing bed linens. The chicken parts and ice cream might object.

boiling water  will kill dust mitesBoiling water kills dust mites

You can kill dust mites by boiling them in hot water.  Actually, exposure to water above 140 degrees Fahrenheit will kill mites. You could try boiling your sheets and blankets. Of course you need to find a pot large enough first.

Desiccants kill dust mites

Dust mites don’t drink water. They absorb moisture form the environment around them. It’s why they like areas that are damp. Keeps them from feeling “thirsty”. Desiccants remove humidity and moisture from the environment. Common household desiccants  are borax, calcium chloride, and silica gel.

Borax is the traditional washing additive found in 20 Mule Team Borax. Find it in the laundry aisle of the grocery store. Calcium chloride is the stuff you add to pickles to make them crunchy. Just read the label on a jar of Claussen pickles. Buy it where you find canning supplies. Ball sells it as “pickle crisp granules”. Silica gel is used by crafters to dry out flowers. You can find it at a craft shop.

Spread desiccants where you want to kill dust mites.

What really gets rid of dust mite allergies?

The problem with all this dust mite killing is it doesn’t help dust mite allergies. The allergens from dust mites are found in the body and feces. Killing dust mites doesn’t stop the allergen. It actually hastens the release of the allergen. Dead dust mites make you just as sick as living mites. It doesn’t help to kill them.

Zippered mattress covers control dust mites
Zippered mattress covers control dust mites

So what does help control dust mites?

Removing dust and dust catchers. Wipe down all hard surfaces at least every 7 days with a damp rag. This removes allergens. Keep dust catching items like knickknacks and books to a minimum.

Replace rugs and carpets where dust mites live and die with hard surface floors.

Don’t stick the pillows in the freezer or boil your sheets. Encase your pillows, mattress and boxspring in zippered dust mite proof covers.  Wash sheets every 7 days with De-Mite Laundry Additive, Allergen Wash, or 140°F water.

So forget killing dust mites, it doesn’t provide allergy relief. Instead, focus on controlling dust mite allergen in the home. You will sleep better and feel better.

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Can dust mites cause a skin rash?

Red bumps are all over your skin when you get up in the morning. Your skin is red, covered in bumps, and itches like crazy, but doesn’t look dry. Can dust mites cause a skin rash? Sure, you can get a rash from a dust mite,  but it is probably not for the reason you may think.

Allergic Dermatitis

You may think that dust mites bite, like mosquitoes or bed bugs, and that is what causes the skin rash. But that’s not the reason dust mites cause a skin rash.

The rash is a form of dermatitis caused by inhaling small bits of a protein that is produced by the tiny dust mite.  The dust mite doesn’t have teeth and they don’t chew. They secrete a protein that digests their food (they live on shed skin cells). This protein is on the inside of the body and is excreted in their feces. This protein is the source of the number one household allergen, Der f1. Dust mites are so small you can’t see them, their feces are even smaller. But their feces and parts of their dead bodies are a major component of dust in your house.

dust mites picture
Dust Mite Magnified

When you inhale this dust, your body reacts to the protein and starts to produce inflammation. The inflammation can lead to many symptoms, and allergic dermatitis is one. To stop the rash, you must stop breathing the dust mite protein. That means you must stop the dust mite.

Control the Dust Mites and Control the Rash

Dust mites want to live where it is warm, dark, moist, and there is an abundance of food. Your bed is the perfect environment for dust mites. As you sleep, you shed skin; their primary diet. So, there’s lots of food in your bed. In addition, when you lay on your bed, you provide a source of warmth and moisture to the dust mites. Lastly, the sheets and covers help keep your bed dark, even in the daytime. As you can see, the bedroom is a haven for dust mites.

zippered cover that stops dust mitesTo stop the skin rash, you must stop the mites. First, cut off their food supply and trap them where they live. Put a special dust mite proof zippered mattress encasement on the bed. The specially made cover won’t let any more food through to the bed and it won’t let any dust mites out.  Next, wash sheets every 7 days in water that is 140°F hot. That will kill the dust mites and wash them away. If you can’t get the water that hot, use special washing products like De-Mite or Allergen Wash that are made to remove dust mite allergens. Remove curtains and rugs from the bedroom or wash them once a week.  Be sure to dust weekly with damp rags.

Yes, dust mites can cause a skin rash. But it’s not because they walk on you or bite you. It’s because they produce an allergy-causing protein that you inhale. The key is learning how to prevent dust mites and their allergens from becoming a problem.

Wishing you the best of health

The Allergy Store

 

 

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Bed Bug Covers Have Your Vacation Home Covered

It’s the nightmare no vacation rental owner wants to face.  Bed bugs!  You can screen your rentals but you can’t screen out bed bugs.  It’s good to know that something as simple as bed bug covers on the beds can save you hundreds  of dollars.

How Bed Bugs Travel

picture of bed bugsJust because your vacationers brought bed bugs into your rental doesn’t mean they are dirty people.

Bed bugs can be found in the nicest most luxurious hotels.  They ride from place to place in the trunks of rental cars and in the luggage compartments of airplanes and trains.

Bed bugs can take an Uber or be transferred during a TSA luggage inspection.

Your renters might have left home bed bug free but picked up the hitchhikers along the way.

The best offense is a good defense.

Bed Bug Covers for Every Bed

The vacation rental market is competitive.  You can’t afford to lose zippered bed bug coversrental days for fumigation and replacement of the mattresses, boxsprings, and pillows.    That’s why it is important to keep a good quality bed bug cover on every bed and futon in your rental.

The Allergy Store has been selling bed bug proof mattress covers since we first opened.  Our bed bug covers cover all sides of the mattress and boxspring and zip tight to keep bed bugs out.  If your mattress has already been infested with bed bugs or dust mites, you can rest assured they will not get out.

In addition, bed bugs can not chew through the material or penetrate the fabric with their feeding tubes.  A very thin urethane membrane is heat-fused to the fabric.  This means each bed bug cover is:

  • Waterproof
  • Bed Bug Proof
  • Dust Mite Proof

Even if you are lucky enough to never have bed bugs, your mattresses will last longer.

Your guests won’t even know the covers are there unless you tell them.  And you should certainly tell them about the covers.

It’s A Selling Point!

sea-beach-holiday-vacation

When you have all of the mattresses in your vacation rental covered, let people know!

It’s a great selling point to assure your potential guests that you care enough to make sure that they sleep unmolested from bed bugs and dust mites.   List your linens and bed bug covers as an amenity.

You can set a small table tent on each bedside reminding them that you put their comfort and health first…that’s why you covered your mattresses, pillows and box springs in bed bug proof covers.

Buy your bed bug covers from The Allergy Store and we’ll help spread the word. We are developing a list of all rentals that are protected and we would love to include yours.  Just let us know in the comments below.

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

 

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