11 Tips Proven to Reduce Dust Mites in Your Bedroom

Do you wake up in the morning and feel like you never went to sleep? Got a stopped up nose and puffy eyes?  That’s what you get for sleeping with dust mites and sleeping with dust mites is just a bad idea.

Reduce Dust Mites
Meet a Dust Mite

Whether they are dead or alive, sleeping with dust mites is a bad idea. The dead ones can make you just as sick as the living ones. It’s the feces and body parts from the dust mites that are the allergens.

Just killing the mites won’t remove the allergen although reducing populations is always a good thing.

Reduce your dust mite populations and associated allergens by making some changes to your bedroom and your cleaning routine. Even if you can’t do everything,  just do a few of these things to reduce the number of dust mites in the bedroom.

11 Tips to Reduce Dust Mites

#1 Wash you bedding

Wash all bed linens once a week in hot water that is 140°F or hotter. Unfortunately most of the hot water in your home is 105°F to 107°F. Good news is that there are very effective products that make up for your lack of temperature.

#2 Cover your bedding

Cover your mattress, pillows and box springs with zippered allergy proof covers. Higher quality ones will last you for years so don’t waste money on cheap ones. The cheap ones won’t last but a year or two.

#3 Let the sun shine

Hang your comforters, bedspreads and blankets outside in the sunlight (especially if you have wool or silk). The sun will kill the mites. The downside to this tip is that bedding may pick up pollen, not good if you have seasonal allergies.

#4 Fluff

Toss comforters, bedspreads and blankets in the dryer for 15 minutes on the fluff setting every 2 to 3 weeks. It will knock out some dust without fading your colors.

#5 Deep Freeze

Freeze stuffed toys overnight and toss them in the dryer in the morning.  Freezing kills the mites and tumbling in the dryer loosens the allergens.

#6 Keep it dry

Keep the humidity below 40%.

#7 Steam is your friend

Steam clean chairs, sofas, couches and carpets. Steam clean carpets and rugs on a regular basis. Make sure that the company or equipment you use has a good extraction system. Trading mold for dust mites is a bad thing.

#8 Get hard

Get rid of carpeting if you can. Hard surfaces like tile and wood don’t hold allergens and are easier to clean.

#9 Replace

Replace your pillows every six to eight months unless they are protected with a zippered dust mite proof pillow cover.

#10 Rise and Shine

Clean early in the day.  All the dust you stir up will have a change to settle before bedtime. Don’t forget to clean the ceiling fan.

#11 Get rid of it

Last but not least – get rid of the excess clutter and dust catchers in the bedroom. Do you really need 12 pillows on the bed? We have not had curtains in our bedroom for 20 years. I still remember the day we took them down. What a dust cloud that caused!

Till next time!

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Start Spring Gardening Not Sneezing

Just because you suffer from seasonal allergies does not mean you cannot enjoy spring gardening and have a beautiful garden and yard. With some careful planning now, you can enjoy a spring and summer full of color without itchy, watery eyes and a runny or stuffy nose.

Gardening with AllergiesgardeningSeasonal allergies start in the spring with certain varieties of trees and continues on through the summer with grasses. The one thing that the allergy-causing plants have in common is that their pollen is spread through the air. If you keep this in mind, you can plan a spring and summer garden that is full of color but not air-borne pollen.

One way to bring color to your yard without pollen is to select plants that have multi-colored leaves. There are many varieties of coleus that sport colors ranging from pinks, to yellows, to reds along with splashes of green and white. Scarlett, Pastel, Pineapple and Coral Sunrise coleus are beautiful mixed with common impatiens.

Weigela will make a shrub with flowers that attract bees and hummingbirds. Because weigela relies on bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to spread its pollen, it is perfect for the low pollen garden. In general, any plant that attracts bees or butterflies will not cause a problem with your allergies.

This also means you can have hibiscus shrubs, buddleia, hydrangeas and roses in the yard and create an Eden for the pollinators without adding to your pollen problems. All of these plants rely on bees and butterflies to move pollen from one plant to another. 

All of your garden vegetables will be pollen allergy friendly. This includes the brassicas (cabbages, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) the nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes) and cucurbits (squashes, cucumbers, and melons). These plants all self-pollinate or utilize bees and other insects for pollination. This means that they do not produce air-borne pollen and makes them allergy friendly in the garden.

If you want a plant that not only looks god but taste good, try Opal basil. The leaves are a beautiful purple and a delight to the eye. It is slightly fragrant so it pleases the nose. The leaves are yummy in salads and Italian dishes. The plant does not produce wind-blown pollen. You are safe planting any member of the mint family. This includes the mints, the basils, the oreganos and marjorams. When these plants do go to flower, they produce waxy pollen that attracts bees. They do not produce air-borne pollen.

If you want to plant trees avoid elm and birch trees. Plant apple, pear, peach and dogwood trees for less air-borne pollen. If you want more succulent-type plants, use sedums such as golden sedum or dragon’s blood sedum. Hen and Chicks is a succulent with an interesting shape and color and will not produce pollen.

If you have mold allergies, be sure to wear a mask when turning over the soil or moving mulch, as spores might be disturbed.

With a little careful planning, have seasonal allergies does not mean you cannot have a colorful garden.

Till next time

Cheryl

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Holiday Guests Allergic to Your Pets?

Holiday Guests and Allergies

Two people have reminded me that Christmas will be upon me before I know it.  Thanks for the reminder!  Exactly who took my 2018 and will they please bring it back?  If you are expecting guests allergic to your pet, its time to take action!

Holidays are a great time.  Family and friends gather together for good conversation, good food, and good company.  But if you have pets and your guests have allergies, wheezing, sneezing, and a grab for the rescue inhaler can put a damper on the fun.

It doesn’t have to be like that!  If you do a little advance planning and work, you can invite guests allergic to your pets to safely share the holidays with you and your pets.

In this post, I am going to focus on the “day” guest.  This is a person that will be coming into your home for a few hours, but not spending the night.  I will cover overnight guests in another post to come.

There’s no time like the present

The time to start preparing is now!  The first thing you must do is understand what is the cause of pet allergy. Then you will understand how to control it.

Cats, dogs, and other furred animals secrete a protein in their saliva and urine that commonly misidentified by the immune system of a person with allergies.

Cat Grooming - Pet DanderEvery time the animals grooms itself or empties its bladder, bits of this protein stick to the skin and fur. It dries up and flakes off, either on its own accord or is shed with that bit of skin or fur.  Once it is off the animal, it becomes airborne and is inhaled by the allergic person.

The immune system of the allergic person has previously misidentified this protein upon a prior encounter with an animal.  The immune system thinks the protein is a germ. It has created a specific IgE for that protein and upon every subsequent exposure it thinks it is fighting the same germ again and again. The mast cells start producing histamine and it just goes downhill for the allergic person from there.

So, step one is complete! You now know why the animal makes the allergic person feel sick. The second step is to identify where the allergen has collected in your home and the final step is cleaning it up. 

Game plan

Look around the rooms where your guests will be hanging out.  Note upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets, and draperies.  These fiber surfaces collect these shed bits of protein and when they are disturbed, they release the allergens back into the air.

Start applying Allerpet solution for cats or dogs about 2 weeks before your guests come to visit.  Just wipe the animal down with this mild denaturing agent. It will stop the animal from adding to the allergen level that already exists in your home. Do this at least once a week.

About a week before the big visit day, start spraying all the fiber surfaces with a denaturing agent like ADMS Anti-allergen Spray.  While primarily marketed for dust mite allergy, this product works great on allergens from cats, dogs, molds, pollen, cockroaches, and all the other common household allergens.

The day before the guests arrive, vacuum all the fiber surfaces thoroughly and then spray them down one more time with ADMS.

Special Note: You don’t want to vacuum just before your guests arrive. Most vacuum cleaners will just send the settled allergens up into the air, where they will be more easily inhaled by your guest.

The morning of the big day, reapply Allerpet to the animal (as an added benefit this is a great-coat conditioner so you pet will look great for the guests!) and lightly spray down any areas where the pet sleeps.

Relax and enjoy

 

Now, go knock their socks off with your awesome culinary talents!  Whether you order in or go all out cooking, your guests will be comfortable, your pet will be shiny and you will be thankful you read this post today!

Till next time

Cheryl
The Allergy Store

Allergy elimination is about eliminating the allergy-causing substance in your home the best you can. Once you do this, you may be able to eliminate the need for all the medications and doctor visits. For additional information please click here to download your free copy of” You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living.

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