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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Fall Bedding…Time to Get Your Bed Ready for Snuggle Season

 

Snuggle Time

Fall is in full force now.  It’s a great time to start thinking about changing out your summer bedding.  Even if you don’t live in an area with significant changes in temperature, it is still a good time to freshen up your bedding, especially if you have dust or dust mite allergies.

Your first line of defense is your zippered dust mite covers that you have on your pillows, mattress and boxs prings.  If you didn’t take the cover off your mattress in the Spring and wash it, now is a great time to do that chore.  A great snuggle season starts with bedding that is freshly laundered. Be sure to wash in either hot water or add some De-Mite if you are washing in cold.  Wash with the zippers in the open position and be sure the cover is totally dry before you put it back on the bed.  If you didn’t wash your mattress cover last Spring and haven’t done it recently, there is no time like this weekend to get that done!

You are probably washing your dust mite pillow covers every 2 months or so.  If you haven’t washed them in the last two months, throw them in the load with your mattress cover.  Also, try to make it a habit to wash those pillow covers at least every 6 to 8 weeks.  The oil from your hair and head can come through your pillowcase case and make the zippered cover look really dingy.

It’s also time to start thinking about warmer blankets and quilts.  If your Fall bedding includes a blanket or quilt that was not stored in a closed container, then before you put it on your bed, toss the item in your dryer and set to the fluff setting for 20 minutes.  Do not use any heat!  The tumble action of the dryer will help shake loose any dust that might have collected while it was in storage.

If your quilt/comforter isn’t protected with a dust mite proof zippered duvet cover, then you should think about using one.  The zippered cover will provide complete protection against any allergens embedded in the comforter and also help to keep the duvet/comforter itself clean. If you don’t use a zippered cover, then you can always spray your duvet, quilt or comforter or other bedding with ADMS Anti-Allergen Dust Mite Spray.  Just give it a light mist on both sides and make sure it is dry before you put it back on the bed.

If you change to jersey or flannel sheets in the fall months, make sure that your Spring/Summer sheets are washed in De-Mite or Allergen Wash before you store them.  If you didn’t wash your sheets in either of these solutions, then make sure you do wash them before you put them on the bed.  You want to start fresh.

Now if you are going to take your summer quilt/blanket/comforter and get it ready for storage, make sure it is clean first.  If it is washable, wash it and make sure it is completely dry.  If it wool or silk that is not washable, take advantage of these last sunny days and expose your wool or silk to the sunshine.  The ultraviolet light will freshen the silk and reactivate the lanolin in the wool.

If you have large plastic storage bags or tubs, they are great for protecting your summer bedding until you need it again next year.  If bugs are a problem, I recommend the use of cedar chips and cedar oil versus toxic mothballs to repel pests.

If you have allergies and are thinking about adding a new quilt or comforter to your Fall bedding collection, then I recommend wool over down or synthetic fibers.  The lanolin in wool naturally repels dust mites and also provides some antibacterial protection.

I have used both wool and silk comforters on my bed.  I prefer the wool over the silk, my hubby likes the silk better.  The compromise is silk in the warmer months and wool in the cooler months (yes we do have what we think are “cool” nights here in South Florida during the winter).

I know people really like down but it causes problems.  Not only is it a dust mite heaven, but even if you cover your down quilt with a dust mite proof cover, the protection won’t last forever.  Eventually, the quills on the down will penetrate the microweave and your cover will loose its effectiveness.

Some people like to vacuum their mattresses a few times a year.  It really isn’t necessary, but if it makes you feel more protected, then by all means, use this time of year as an excuse to do it.

Till next time

Cheryl

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Dust Mite Facts and Fiction

If you are allergic to dust mites it is easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information (both true and false) in literature and on the internet. Just as you have to get rid of the clutter in your bedroom, we are going to cut through the dust mite clutter and sort it into dust mite facts and dust mite fictions.

dust mite facts Dust Mite Facts

  •  Dust mites are blind
  • They have 8 legs and are related to spiders
  • Dust mites have two gripping suckers at the end of each leg
  • Dust mites are covered by a hard cuticle that must be shed as it grows
  • There are two major species of dust mites (dermatophagoides farinae – commonly known as the North American mite and dermatophagoides pteronyssinus – the European dust mite)
  • Dust mites float in water
  • A female dermatophagoides far. will lay 1 egg a day for about 30 days.
  • The adult dust mite has about 19 to 30 days to reproduce depending on the relative humidity and the temperature of the environment.
  • The allergen causing protein is in the gut of the mite and is expelled in its feces.
  • Dust mites cannot be seen with the unaided eye. They are microscopic.
  • Dust mite body parts and feces are the major component of house dust.
  • Dust mites will eat the skin of other mammals if human skin is not available.
  • Dust mites love humidity
Dust Mite Fictions
  •  Dust mites bite
  • Dust mites are a sign of a dirty house
  • Acaracides are effective in killing dust mites
  • You can see dust mites on your bed
  • Dust mites live in your heating and ac vents
  • Only humans are allergic to dust mites
  • Dust mite colonies live in our clothing
  • Dust mites can be totally removed from a mattress by vacuuming
  • You can outgrow dust mite allergy
  • Dust mites cause mange in dogs and cats
  • Dust mites are killed by sunlight (just like vampires)
  • Dust mites drink your sweat while you sleep

It is important to know the dust mite facts because this knowledge is what will help you in your dust mite battle. If you know the allergen is in the feces and body and that mites float then you know you need to take special steps when washing your bedding. This is why we suggest the use of De-Mite Laundry Additive or Allersearch Allergen Wash in the wash cycle instead of relying on the heat of the dryer to remove allergens.

Another practical application from the dust mite facts is that dust mites will eat the skin from your pets. That means you need to keep your pet’s bedding washed as well as yours.

If you see some type of small insect on your sheets, you know from the dust mite facts that this is not a dust mite. You also know that calling an exterminator is a waste of money for removing dust mites from your home.

Hope this helps clear the air.

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