Dust Mites – Myths and Facts

If you have a dust mite allergy, it can be miserable. Stuffy nose; itchy, watery eyes; a nagging cough; plus a feeling of never having enough sleep are the norm. These tiny little creatures wreak havoc on your health which causes sufferers to look for solutions. But keeping them under control is not necessarily accomplished by what you’ve been told.

Below are some myths about dust mites with some added information on why these myths are told and what the real solutions are.

Myth Number One – Mattress Covers Trap Dust Mites

Manufacturers of mattress covers want to sell them. So what better way to get consumers to buy them than to claim they keep dust mites under control? But this absolutely cannot be true and here is why: these creatures are microscopic. Smaller than small – tiny enough to be weave in and out of fabric with ease. There are very few materials they cannot penetrate and those are usually reserved for NASA and other scientific government-funded research. If a mattress is loaded with these allergy causing monsters and is sealed in a mattress cover then yes, it will instantly cut down on the volume. But they will crawl right through the microscopic spaces.

Myth Number Two – Mattress Covers Prevent Dust Mites

These little monsters thrive on exfoliated skin cells from humans. If you wrap your mattress and then sleep in your bed, you begin to slough off a new food buffet and instantly begin to create a new population of offenders on the outside of the covers. There is no way any covering on the outside of a mattress will prevent the accumulation of mites on the outside.

Myth Number Three – Cover your Box Springs Too

Really? Like you have a concentration of dead skin cells on the structure below your mattress? Dust will accumulate everywhere, no doubt about it. But these little creatures don’t like any old dust – they feed on human skin which will gather in places that human flesh touches. Your couch, your car and chairs at the kitchen table will have far more dead skin cells than box springs since people do not come into contact with box springs.

The way to treat dust mites is simple –

1). Establish a weekly ritual of washing all linens on the highest temperature setting possible.

2). Treat items that you cannot launder with a safe product that kills mites. (These are not insects, so an insecticide will not work – you must use a product that is known to kill mites.) Upholstered furniture, carpeting, draperies, etc. that can harbor dust mites should be treated once a month to once a week depending on the severity of the allergy.

As we constantly slough off skin, we must constantly be vigilant in treating for dust mites. A ritual of heat in the laundry and a safe, effective product for treatment will be the true solution.

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