How to Prevent Dust Mites From Getting Into Your Mattress
December 28, 20223 min read
Mattresses and Dust Mites
While you may not be aware of it, your bedding and mattress can play host to various microscopic creatures known as dust mites. These tiny critters feed on organic matter that accumulates in the fabric of your bedding and the tiny crevices of your mattress, leading to a buildup of dust that can trigger allergic reactions for those with sensitivities. Thankfully, there are ways to keep these pesky pests from making your mattress their permanent home.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny creatures that measure between 0.2 and 0.3 millimeteres in length and feed on organic material, including human skin cells shed daily. They are invisible to the naked eye, but they can significantly impact our day-to-day lives. Not only do dust mites cause allergies, but they can also lead to symptoms such as itching, redness, and other skin rashes, as well as possibly triggering asthma attacks.
Causes and Signs
Living in our homes, dust mites are difficult to identify because of their small size. However, some clear signs can indicate their presence in your bedroom and mattress. These include visible evidence such as dust mite feces (visible to the naked eye), which resemble small black grains or streaks on sheets and pillowcases; clumps of dead mites, which look like dark spots on mattresses and bedding; and the presence of shed skin particles from moulting mites. In addition to these visible clues, certain physical symptoms can also point to a dust mite infestation. These may include difficulty breathing, sneezing, coughing and watery eyes due to being exposed to allergens produced by the mites; itchiness resulting from an allergic response to the proteins present in their waste products; and even asthma attacks if they are severe enough.
Because of their small size and prolific ability to reproduce—a single female dust mite can lay up to 100 eggs at once—it can be very difficult to eliminate them entirely.
There are some measures you can take. You can keep humidity levels low (under 50%), vacuum regularly using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, wash bedding weekly at 60°C or higher if possible, and use allergen-proof covers for mattresses and pillows, if possible.
Regular cleaning is one of the best methods for controlling dust mite populations in your bedding. Vacuuming mattresses and box springs regularly will help reduce the number of dust mites present by removing their food source as well as their eggs and larvae. It's also important to wash all sheets, blankets, pillows, and other fabrics used in your bedroom in hot water (at least 130°F) once a week; this temperature is necessary to kill the mites while laundering. Additionally, using pillowcases, mattress pads, and encasements specifically designed to block dust mites is an effective way to impede their spread throughout your bedding.
If you're still struggling with an influx of dust mite activity in your bedroom, consider investing in some allergy-friendly cleaning products as well as dehumidifiers or air purifiers that can reduce humidity levels below 50%. This prevents the environment from becoming ideal for dust mite growth by limiting their access to moisture which they need for survival. By taking these steps and regularly maintaining a clean sleeping space, you can rest assured knowing that your family is safe from allergens caused by dust mites in your bedding!
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