Afraid of Dust Mites? We’ve Got You Covered

bed bug and dust mite pictureIn 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 mite picturedust 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:

zippered covers for dust mitesDust 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.

sunshine by stuart miles
courtesy Stuart Miles@freedigital photos

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!


What Are The Best Dust Mite Covers?

We are asked this question several times a week by our customers. I know my first response is usually the  best dust mite covers for you are the dust mite covers you will use. the best dust mite covers are the cover you will use

The reason I say that is because we find people who will got to the expense and effort to buy some dust mite covers and then don’t use them or quit after a short period of time. Just like an air cleaner, you need to keep using them all the time. If not you just wasted your money. So, the first quality that makes it the best dust mite cover is that it will  stay on your bed.

Understand there are mattress covers and there are allergy mattress covers. What is the difference you ask?

A regular mattress cover is designed to protect the mattress from soil and the oils from your skin that can come through the sheets.  In most cases they go on the mattress like a fitted sheet is on the bed to  protect the mattress from you. The dust mite cover is there to protect you from all the allergens that collect in your mattress.

We carry several different styles of covers that not only protect you from dust mite allergens but bedbugs as well.

Are the Best Dust Mite Covers Plastic?

The membrane style mattress cover may be made of cotton, polyester or some sort of cotton/poly blend. The fabric is fused to very sheer layer of urethane that make the fabric allergen-proof and water-proof. This type of cover is great for children’s beds.

Sometimes, people will even put a vinyl cover on the mattress to give water-proof protection.  While this will protect the mattress it is not so great for the person trying to sleep on the mattress. Vinyl makes noise when the sleeper moves or shifts and because water vapor can build up under the cover it makes for hot sleeping.  So unless you need the protection of vinyl, the best dust mite covers that are waterproof are not plastic but membrane-coated.

Do Microweaves Make the Best Dust Mite Covers?

The non-membrane mattress covers are made from special barrier cloth fabrics.  These fabrics can be all cotton (AllergyCare Cotton), all polyester (Pristine Luxury), a blend of cotton and polyester (Allersoft Blend).  The fibers used to make the fabric are so tightly woven that normal household allergens cannot penetrate the allergy mattress cover.  Allergens, such as molds, dust mites, dust mite feces, pollens, and animal allergen coated fur and dander are trapped under the cover.

When you are shopping for your your covers, ask about the average (or mean) pore size.This is the amount of space (measured in microns) that exists between the fibers in the weave. For best protection, find covers with a pore size of 8 microns or less.  The smaller the pore size, the better the protection.

The smallest pore sizes will be found in mattress covers that are made of all polyester. This is because polyester is a strong fiber and can withstand tight weaving.  However, allergy mattress covers that are made from all polyester may feel a slick and might not be as cool as cotton.

Dust mite covers that are made with 100% cotton will have a larger pore size, because cotton is not as strong as polyester and cannot be woven as tightly without the fiber breaking, but will be soft and cool. All cotton covers might not last as many years as the all polyester cover. For those that only want organic products , we do have dust mite covers made with 100% organic cotton.

The Best Dust Mite Covers Have a Zipper

No matter the fabric you pick, make sure it is made with a heavy duty zipper. In some instances (such as adjustable beds or during travel) a zippered mattress cover is not practical and a fitted mattress cover is the only option.

Remember that a good quality mattress cover is an investment that will protect both you and your mattress from allergens for years to come.

Wishing you the best of health

AllergyStore – Helping our customers since 1989
800 771-2246

Must Have Allergy Control Products

After taking an extended trip, I have come to the conclusion that:

  •  There really is no place like home
  •  There really are some must-have allergy control products.  These are the allergy control products I just can’t do without.
Must-Have Allergy Control Product #1 Allergen Wash

I was fortunate that one of the stops on my multi-state trip was my mother’s home.  I knew I could depend on her to have a bottle of Allergen Wash.  Not only could I wash out all the dust, dirt, and grime but I could get rid of the allergens also.

You might not think of allergens in the laundry, but on this extended road trip, I didn’t get many opportunities to do laundry and I knew that my clothing was collecting pollens because some of it was damp (did I mention that this trip included spending an afternoon hauling the contents of a Budget moving truck up a flight of stairs in 100-degree weather?) it was ripe for molds and dust mites.  It was great to see Mom and it was great to see her washer and dryer and that bottle of Allergen Wash.

Must-Have Allergy Control Product #2 Allergy Bedding

It was also nice to sleep on a bed that was completely protected in zippered dust mite-proof mattress covers and pillow covers.  Of the many places I slept on this trip, only two of them were places where the beds were completely covered.

It makes such a difference in how I feel in the morning when I get up.  Covers = Cheryl which is a bright ray of sunshine.  No Covers = Cheryl that can’t see straight, can’t think straight, and is a growly, crabby bear.  I don’t try to hide it…I know how I am!

Must-Have Allergy Control Product #3 – ADMS Spray

This brings me to the third allergy control product I can’t live without……my bottle of ADMS Spray.

The ADMS Spray is a lifesaver when you are going to be staying where you can’t control your environment.

As I have written before, a quick spray on the air conditioner, bedding, and carpeting and most hotel rooms can have a drastic reduction in the level of allergens waiting to greet you.  I didn’t have a room that gave me problems on the entire trip!

It is certainly good to see the countryside, but it is even better to be home.  In your own bed.  In your own bedroom that has no carpeting.  With your Austin Air HealthMate humming you softly to sleep.

Til Next Time