Sleeping well and enjoying a good, healthy night’s sleep is essential: sometimes, however, our sleeps can be disturbed by dust mites that live in the mattress. These tiny arachnids that are invisible to the naked eye are harmful to our well-being. They lurk in mattresses, sheets, blankets and pillows because they feed on human skin. The big problem is that, in many people, these insects cause annoying allergies, sometimes even serious ones that cause respiratory problems.
Although they are very annoying, dust mites can still be fought. In this guide we are going to see how to eliminate mites dust from your mattress in an economical and natural way.
- 1 Dust mites: what they are
- 2 How to tell if there are mattress mites?
- 3 What causes mattress mites?
- 4 Dust mites: remedies
- 5 How to remove mites from blankets?
- 6 How to disinfect the bed from mites?
- 7 How does a mite die?
- 8 At what temperature do mites die?
- 9 How to disinfest your home from mites?
- 10 How much does a mite disinfestation cost?
- 11 More on this topic
Dust mites: what they are
Dust mites are small arthropods about ¼ millimeter in size. Therefore, they are visible to the naked eye. They feed on human skin and their droppings are the main cause of dust allergies. Not surprisingly, they constitute a potential danger to our health.
How to tell if there are mattress mites?
If we can’t get a good night’s rest because we keep sneezing, we have itchy skin and mucous membranes such as the mouth, throat and palate, and if our eyes begin to water, it is very likely that dust mites have taken up residence in our bed.
What causes mattress mites?
Dust mites living in the mattress can cause allergies and breathing difficulties in humans. From their bodies, they in fact give off substances excreted with eggs and through feces. Inevitably, we inhale much of these substances. Depending on the level of ventilation in the room, we can breathe in up to 80 percent of the substances that make up the mites’ feces.
Scientific studies have shown that allergy symptoms begin to manifest when there are more than 100 mites per gram of dust. To give you an idea, just think that up to 100,000 dust mite feces particles can be hidden in each gram of dust!
Dust mite allergy causes the classic symptoms of allergic rhinitis, such as:
- repeated sneezing
- runny nose
- nasal obstruction
- itching of the nose, palate and/or throat
- conjunctivitis with itching, redness, tearing, irritation and swelling of the eyes
In severe cases, also asthma or eczema.
Symptoms mainly occur during the winter season as high indoor temperatures and high humidity create optimal conditions for mite growth.
Dust mites: remedies
The ideal solution to prevent the proliferation of mites is definitely to choose a mite-proof and breathable mattress. However, for those who have a natural fiber mattress, let’s look at some tricks and good habits to adopt to eliminate mattress mites.
- never make the bed immediately after getting up but let air the whole room as much as possible
- daily vacuum the whole room thoroughly and, at least once a week, also the mattress
- always use removable mattresses and pillows and wash them often at a temperature of at least 60°C
- take care of the cleanliness and hygiene of dogs and cats because pet hair is a vehicle for mites
- put the mattress but also sheets, blankets and pillows in the sun often.
- always wash linens in water and at high temperatures (minimum 60°C)
How to remove mites from blankets?
Wash linens often with water at a temperature of at least 60°. Better still if higher.
This in fact allows you to kill all mites and eliminate allergenic particles well. In addition, it is ideal to then put sheets, blankets and pillows in the open air and in the sun.
How to disinfect the bed from mites?
Let’s now look at natural systems to disinfect bed and mattress from these obnoxious critters.
Sodium bicarbonate (Baking soda)
Baking soda has a strong disinfectant action and is totally environmentally friendly and natural. It inhibits the development of dust mites, which thus do not lay eggs and reproduce. Let’s see how to use it.
How to use it?
Simply sprinkle the entire surface of the mattress with baking soda. Leave it on for about 2 hours and, finally, remove the residue with a vacuum cleaner. This alternative is also very good: place a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in a spray bottle filled with water and spray directly on the mattress. For a more powerful action, add lemon juice to the solution as well.
Some essential oils are also useful for sanitizing the mattress. Among the most effective essential oils for repelling dust mites, eucalyptus essential oil should be mentioned. Just dilute a few drops in a spray bottle full of water and spray on mattress and blankets.
Again using a sprayer, create a solution of warm water and tea (allow 2-3 teabags to steep). Spray the resulting product on the fabrics to be treated and then allow to dry, preferably in sunlight.
How does a mite die?
To live, mites need high humidity. When this is very low (<50%) they die. This is why it is important to ventilate rooms daily. If possible, even several times a day. By doing so, we will lower both the indoor temperature and the humidity level.
At what temperature do mites die?
Below 16°C (or 60 Fahrenheit), the life span of mites is reduced by about 75%. However, this strategy is not among the most effective remedies for eliminating them.
A recent study showed that, to kill mites and their eggs, infected soft toys and fabrics should be kept in the freezer at -15°C for 48 hours, or at -12°C for 12 hours.
How to disinfest your home from mites?
The remedies and suggestions described above are just small measures to implement to avoid the return and proliferation of mattress mites. To definitively eradicate them, it is necessary to contact a specialized company.
How much does a mite disinfestation cost?
The costs for disinfestation may vary based on the degree of the infestation and the size of the place to be disinfested. On average, prices range from 200 to 400 dollars, depending on the above mentioned variables.
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