It is hard to believe but a typical mattress, has between ten million to a hundred million mites inside them. In fact, very few people know about mites that infest out mattresses and pillows on a daily basis.
Mites are small microscopic insects that live in beds, pillows and carpets. They are so small we can’t see them but their feaces can cause allergic reactions to people who suffer from asthma, bronchitis or any form of allergy.
About a month ago, I visited a friend outside the country, I spent the night at her house, but in the middle of the night I woke up choking. I sat on the bed thinking hard, what might have triggered the choking and immediately thereafter a very bad asthma attack.
I went to the kitchen and took a glass of water and swallowed my anti-allergy pills. The problem with me is that once I wake up from bed, it is very difficult for me to go back to sleep immediately, so I went to the living room switched on the TV and watched CNN news.
It was while I was watching the news, that something came to mind as to what might have triggered my asthma attack that night.
I went straight to bed looked at it, looked at the always closed windows of the guest room, and that is when I realized that the attack that night was caused by dust mites infested on the mattress and the pillow I used.
In my bid to protect myself from another possible attack, I spread three layers of my clean khanga dresses on the upper side of the bed and on the pillow for protection, and I slept soundly thereafter.
Dust mites, were brought to my attention when I was about seven years old when my doctor enlightened me on what to keep off so as not to trigger the asthma attacks I used to experience as a child, and since then am careful with my sleeping habits.
Dust mites can be a major problem in the house, and many people are not aware of them; therefore let us look at how we can keep the dust mites at bay to protect ourselves and our families;
Identify the prone areas
Before one attempts to remove the dust mites from your home, you must first identify where they live. Dust mites live in many different places in the home from the beds, to pillows, carpets, couches, curtains and drapes, not forgetting stuffed dolls for the children.
Once you have identified the hiding places for the dust mites, remove everything that you think can be infested with dust mites and wash it in hot water. For things that can not be washed or vacuumed, take them outside for direct sunlight, which kills the dust mites instantly.
In order to stop dust mites for good, you need to regularly clean and dust specifically in the spots listed .Just washing you’re bedding every week, can make a difference.
Although you can’t wash all you’re bedding in hot water, at least wash your sheets in hot water. Don’t forget your mattress pads and pillows. Vacuum the back of your headboard and any other place around your bed, where dust mites could thrive
Get rid of any feathered and down pillows. They are hard to wash and a haven for dust mites and allergies. Use pillows that have synthetic filling or are foam.
If you are doing your child’s bedding, make sure you wash their stuffed animals, too. Because dust mites like moist and warm areas, leaving your bed unmade helps to dry it out. If you plan to do that, flip your pillows, too, when you get up so the warm side is exposed to the air.