Human roommates are annoying enough, but there is something far worse than a roommate who eats all your food and plays bad guitar riffs until 4 in the morning. These roommates could actually make you and your family sick, and they can be much harder to evict.
These tiny roommates live in your mattress, and they could be hiding in plain sight. They are dust mites, and they are among the most troublesome, and potentially dangerous, pests in your home.
If you have ever woken up from what should have been a good night’s sleep and found yourself with a sinus headache, itchy eyes, sneezing and other signs of illness, your tiny unseen roommates could be to blame. Maybe you thought you were coming down with a cold, but those itchy eyes and sneezing spells could have been the warning signs of a dust mite infestation.
The danger is very real, and there are plenty of reasons to act if you think dust mites have invaded your home. According to the College of Asthma1, Allergy & Immunology, dust mite infestations are a common cause of asthma attacks and allergies, and young children are especially susceptible.
How Dust Mites Trigger Allergies
Many people do not realize just how easy it is for dust mites to trigger allergies in susceptible individuals. In order to understand the situation better, it is helpful to know how dust mites feed. These tiny parasites feed mostly on dead skin cells, and they are relatively harmless. It is not the dust mites themselves, but their faeces, that are responsible for allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
You might not think that tiny creatures, and their even tinier droppings, could present much of a danger to you and your family, but when you consider the sheer numbers, you may see things differently. A standard size mattress can be home to from 100,000 to a mind-boggling 10 million dust mites. Since a single dust mite produces an average of 20 waste droppings a day, it is easy to see how the accumulation of waste products can get out of hand.
Breathing in the fumes from all those dust mite droppings can irritate the lungs, producing respiratory problems and even triggering asthma attacks. Those effects are bad enough for the adults in the family, but they are typically even worse for children.
The severity of the effects will depend on a number of factors, including the overall health of the individual, the presence of asthma and other underlying respiratory problems and the age of the individual. Symptoms of dust mite exposure can range from mild nasal congestion to respiratory distress and difficulty breathing.
How To Recognize The Symptoms Of A Dust Mite Infestation
Dust mites are tiny, and it is not always easy to tell when these unwanted roommates have set up shop in your mattress. The first sign of a dust mite infestation is often mild, and easy to mistake for a cold or infection. You may notice a runny nose or an increase in the frequency and duration of respiratory infections.
Since dust mites live in your mattress, your greatest exposure to these tiny parasites happens when you are sleeping. You may also see a reaction when the dust mites are disturbed, like when you are flipping the mattress or changing the sheets. Keeping track of your symptoms and when they occur can help you rule out other causes.
If you suspect that you have a dust mite infestation, it is important to act fast. The sheer volume of dust mites in your mattress, and the droppings they excrete everyday, means that the problems will only get worse over time. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should suspect a dust mite infestation:
- Hay fever
- Itchy, red and watering eyes
- Running nose
- Asthma attacks
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal drip
- Facial pain
- Swollen skin
Dust mites love the warm humid conditions your mattress creates, and these unwanted roommates will move right in if given half a chance. That is why it is so important to clean and sanitize your mattress, evicting your unwanted roommates and letting you and your loved ones sleep easier.
How To Sanitize Your Mattress
Since dust mites are so common in mattresses, it is safe to assume that yours is infected as well. A weekly hot wash of your bed linens is a good way to start the sanitization process, but that does not address the underlying infestation in the mattress itself.
Experts suggest that homeowners deep clean their mattresses once or twice a year. This deep cleaning is designed to evict those troublesome dust mites and stop them from coming back. Deep cleaning your mattress will take some time, but the results will be well worth the effort.
You could try deep cleaning your mattress yourself, but that is a very bad idea. When it comes to removing dust mites, it is best to leave the work to the professionals. Professional deep cleaning is the best way to evict your hidden roommates and stop them from coming back.
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