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Why You Can't See Dust Mites in Beds

May 21, 2008
Beds are the prime breeding grounds for dust mites in the home. Although you can't see dust mites in beds, they are there in the mattress and the pillow. They burrow down into the layers and cause allergies. Carpets are another area where dust mites can be found as well as upholstered furniture, rugs, cushions and stuffed toys.

Dust mites are microscopic bugs that do not cause any harm to people by biting or spreading disease. However, they can cause allergic reactions that mimic the flu or symptoms of a head cold. They are the leading cause of asthma and do exasperate the problem if a resident of the home does have asthma. The reason that they are found in beds is that they live on skin cells that come off the human body, which generally occurs in bed. They can live on 1.3 ounces of dead skin for week.

There could be as many as 10,000 mites living in one mattress. When you consider that the life span of one female mite is ten weeks and during the last five weeks of that life she can lay up to 200 eggs, it doesn't take long for them to accumulate. Bouncing on the mattress or beating it will release some of them, but it only releases them into the air. They will then float in the air before coming to rest in another cozy location. Pillows, too, can contain thousands of mites and fluffing the pillows does the same thing.

Experts suggest that up to 105 of the weight of a pillow or mattress could be dust mites. This means there could ne millions of them in a typical bedroom. The amount of food for the mites increases if you allow pets on the bed because the dander from pets is also food for the mites. It is not the dust mites themselves that cause the allergic reaction, but the waste they produce. This waste and the food they leave behind contain a fungus to which humans are allergic.

Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction to dust mites include:

* Hay fever
* Watery eyes
* Runny nose
* Itching
* Sneezing
* Asthma
* Difficulty breathing
* Eczema in infants

These symptoms cane be made worse if you have poor ventilation in the bedroom and if the humidity level is high. This is why doctors recommend that you have a dehumidifier in your home to lower the level of humidity below 50%. Mites cannot survive in these lower levels.

Sunlight is another thing that will help you get rid of dust mites. Although it may go against your rules of housekeeping, there is nothing wrong with laying your mattress out in the sun or making sure it is in direct sunlight with the bedding removed. You can place the rugs outdoors on the rail of the patio or on the clothesline on a nice sunny day. Bedding should be washed in hot water at least once a week and all upholstered surfaces should be vacuumed once a week. Stuffed toys in a child's room are also a haven for mites, so you should remove them.
About the Author
To find out more about dust mites in beds and other dust mites related topics visit www.dust-mites.org.
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