In an earlier post, we looked at bed bugs (the real vampires) and discovered that I wasn’t the only person that is afraid of dust mites. Continuing our creepy crawly theme, this post is going to look at dust mites, dust mite allergy, and dust mite allergy control.
Dust Mites are the Unseen Enemy
If you are afraid of bed bugs, then you can face a fear you can actually see. Bed bugs are visible. Dust mites are so incredibly small that you can’t see them without a microscope. But photos of the buggers are enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies.
There isn’t a medical term for fear of dust mites. Doctors lump the fear of dust mites into amathophobia, which is a fear of dust.
Some people get so creeped out by the thought of millions of these microscopic creatures crawling in the bed and pillow they actually imagine the feeling of insects crawling on their bodies. Just the thought makes my skin crawl. But I know that you can’t see dust mites and you can’t feel them. That’s only slightly reassuring.
Dust Mites Aren’t Vampires
At least dust mites don’t suck your blood like bed bugs. Of course, that is little comfort when you can’t sleep because of sneezing, wheezing, coughing, or a stuffy or runny nose.
Dust mites and their feces (now how gross is that) contain proteins that cause an allergic reaction in people that are sensitive. That dust that you may fear is loaded with tiny particles of dead dust mites and their poop. When you breathe these particles in, your immune system gets grossed out right along with you. Not really.
What really happens is that your immune system doesn’t identify the proteins found in those dust mite particles properly. It sees them as germs and initiates full-scale germ warfare. That is why the symptoms of allergies and colds are similar. Your body thinks it is sick, but it is not. It is just having an attack of dust mite allergy.
Never Fear – Dust Mite Allergy Control is Near
You can try hypnotism, meditation, and therapy to get over your fear of dust. Controlling dust mite allergy is much easier. It’s all about controlling your environment. You may find that when your environment is under control and your allergy symptoms are manageable your fear of dust mites just naturally goes away. Here’s what you can do to get started:
Dust Mite Covers. The number one thing you can do to control dust mite allergies is to cover your mattress, box spring, and pillows with dust mite covers. Just like bed bug covers; dust mite-proof covers are zippered and made of special fabrics. These cover all sides, zip up, and but an effective barrier between you and those nasty dust mites in your bed.
Vacuum. It’s best to have hard surface floors. Carpets and rugs collect more than dirt; they collect dust mites as well. Frequently vacuum with a sealed HEPA vacuum and damp mop hard surface floors.
Wash Frequently. Even though you zip everything up in dust mite covers, allergens will collect on your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets. An effective part of your dust mite allergy control program is stripping sheets, pillowcases, and blankets off the bed every 7 days and washing them in 140°F water. If you can’t get your water this hot at home (and most people can’t) just add some De-Mite Laundry Additive to your detergent and wash in cold water. Those creepy dust mites will be washed away.
Let the Sun Shine. I know your mother told you to make your bed as soon as you arise, but leaving the bed unmade for a few hours may actually help your allergies. By exposing sheets and blankets to air and sunshine, moisture will evaporate. Dust mites don’t like dry environments and leaving your bed sheets exposed will help keep things dry. Just remember to make the bed before your Mom comes over.
Are you afraid of dust mites, bed bugs, or other insects (like spiders?). Leave a comment, we’d love to know what creeps you out.
Til next time!