Dust mites are little culprits that live in your mattress and eat away at your dead skin during bedtime. While they do not live in every mattress, there is a higher chance you are hosting millions of dust mites in your old mattress. So, how do you notice them in a mattress?
Dust mites are microscopic; hence, you cannot see them in a mattress with your naked eyes. Use a magnifying glass or watch out for allergic reactions like skin irritation, asthma, and watery eyes.
The main reason why dust mites continue to live in most households is that you cannot feel or see them. They cannot bite you or burrow into your skin, making it difficult for people not allergic to notice. Still, having an excessive dust mite infestation on your mattress could force you to dispose of it.
Here are ways to see dust mites in a mattress;
Use A Magnifying Glass
Dust mites measure about a quarter to a third of one millimeter. They are arthropods and, therefore, have eight legs like spiders. However, due to their tiny size, you can only see dust mites under a 10X-plus magnifying glass or a microscope.
To see dust mites in a mattress under a magnifier, begin by undoing your bedding to expose your mattress. Place the magnifying lens above your mattress and observe. When viewed under a magnifier, dust mites look like tiny white balls crawling around.
View Under A Microscope
Microscopes can be more expensive and challenging to get than magnifying glasses. However, they have higher magnifying power and are more reliable for spotting dust mites. You might have to use part of your bedding, like bed sheets or pillowcases, to spot dust mites under a microscope. Alternatively, use clear tape to trap them on your mattress and view.
Dust mites look like small eight-legged white bugs crawling around when you view them under a microscope. Close-up views will reveal them looking like spiders.
Research shows over twenty million people in America have a dust mite allergy. Most people allergic to dust mites experience skin irritation in the form of skin reddening, itching, or hurting. These could result from dust mite bites or allergies to dust mite excretions.
Some people report such skin irritation going away after about half an hour. However, some bear the itchiness and reddening of the skin for up to two weeks. While these usually clear on their own, repetitive reactions, especially at nighttime, indicate a possible dust mite infestation.
Sneezing, Runny Nose, Or Watery Eyes
People allergic to dust mites or dust mite extracts would sneeze or have a runny nose or watery eyes. These symptoms emerge when sleeping on a mattress containing dust mites. However, such symptoms disappear once they are out of bed.
Asthma And Difficulty In Breathing
Continuous physical contact with mattresses infested with dust mites could trigger asthma attacks. People with asthma could experience constant asthma attacks, especially during sleep. Such attacks would reduce or go away when they no longer sleep on the mattress infested with dust mites.
In addition, sleeping on mattresses ingested with dust mites could trigger difficulty in breathing. Sleepers could inhale dust mite extracts. These could lead to respiratory infections when they reach their lungs, resulting in breathing problems.
Still, some experience a persistent cold. The timing is the easiest way to differentiate this cold from the normal one. Most people allergic to dust mites would feel the cold during sleep but would be okay during the daytime. Also, feeling the cold or sinuses when it is not cold, and you often do not suffer from them, is a giveaway sign.
Coughing And A Sore Throat
Another typical sign of an allergic reaction to dust mites is having a random sore throat or cough. These often intensify during sleep, and their effects minimize when you are out of bed.
Ways To Eliminate Dust Mites In Your Mattress
Now that you recognize ways to spot dust mites in a mattress, you want to know how to eliminate them. Here are simple ways to get rid of these relatively invisible and stubborn allergens;
Regular Washing Of Your Bedding In Hot Water
The easiest way to eliminate them is by soaking bed sheets, blankets, duvets, or pillowcases in hot water before washing. Dust mites die when exposed to temperatures above a hundred and forty degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition, we recommend changing your bedding regularly. Dust mites thrive in warm and humid environments. Hence, the more you maintain the same bedding, the warmer and more humid your bedding becomes. Besides, they reproduce fast and would have a higher chance of spreading.
Therefore, we advise changing and washing your bedding weekly. Such reduces the chances and frequency of dust mite breeding, leading to a dust mite-free mattress.
Deep-Clean Your Mattress
Failing to give your mattress a regular clean-up is unhygienic and encourages an overbreed of dust mites. Most people do not realize they can get rid of dust mites by cleaning their mattresses using home products.
To deep clean your mattress, start by stripping off the bedding to expose it. Vacuum-clean, spot-clean, then sprinkle baking soda over the whole mattress surface and leave for up to twenty-four hours. Sprinkle vinegar and an essential oil like lavender before vacuum-cleaning one more time.
Deep cleaning your mattress kills and eliminates dust mites and foul smells. It also gets rid of moisture and other allergens like molds and bedbugs.
Dehumidify Your Room
Dust mites thrive in humid environments. Using a humidifier in your bedroom increases your room's moisture and humidity level. Such creates a conducive environment for dust mites to breed.
Therefore, this is a warning sign to stop using a humidifier in your bedroom. If you can, replace a room humidifier with a dehumidifier or an air purifier. These will dehumidify your room and discourage dust mites from living in your mattress.
Use Dust Mite Powders And Sprays
Consider dust mite powders or sprays if you are too busy or lazy to conduct a mattress deep clean. These might not eradicate all the dust mites but will help as you look for more permanent solutions. You can make homemade dust mite sprays using vinegar and baking soda. Others include Diatomaceous Earth and mixing pyrethrin and a synergist.
Regularly Sun-Drying Your Mattress
If you live in a sunny place, plan to put your mattress under the sun for a few hours at least weekly. The heat from the sun kills the dust mites and dries out moisture, discouraging their existence. Remember to turn the mattress interchangeably for an even heat distribution.
Protect Your Mattress With A Dust Mite Cover
The surest way of preventing dust mites from infesting your mattress is by using a dust mite-proof cover. Most have added benefits, including being waterproof, hence keeping off other allergens like molds and mildew.
However, most dust mite covers are made of plastic and hence could be uncomfortable and skin-friendly. Still, you can counter this using a mattress topper and still get a restful night's sleep.
Dispose Of An Old Mattress
Experts recommend changing your mattress every five to ten years. Dust mites will likely find a way into your mattress after several years. Besides, mattresses become soft and less supportive, requiring you to upgrade.
Holding onto an old mattress could worsen the dust mite situation, especially if it is already a conducive breeding ground. These bed bugs could spread to your wardrobe, carpets, and seats and cost you even more.
While spotting dust mites in a mattress is challenging, tactics like using a magnifying glass and noticing allergies help. Yet, you can eliminate them by deep-cleaning, room dehumidifying, or by regularly washing bedding in hot water.
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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