The Truth About Dust Mites

What if someone were to tell you that your home was infested
with millions, perhaps billions, of tiny insects that fed off scales
of dead skin? Eww.

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The Truth About Dust Mites

A dust mite

You’d probably be horrified, and maybe even insulted. But it’s true. And while there is no sure-fire method for ridding your home of these critters, there is a way to minimize their impact on your health.

Dust mites – not really insects, but more closely related to spiders and ticks – are everywhere. Their presence has nothing to do with the cleanliness of your home, so you needn’;t be insulted. Dust mites require only humidity and a food source to survive and thrive. They live in common house dust, feeding on the tiny scales of dead skin that people naturally slough off.

You can’t see them, you can’t smell them, and they don’t cause any destruction. You’ve managed to live with them all these years without even knowing they were there. So what’s the big deal? If you have allergies, specifically dust allergies, or asthma, then you know. It is widely believed that dust mites in the home are a leading cause of asthma and year-round nasal allergies, second in their allergic effect only to pollen. Infantile eczema may be related to the presence of dust mites as well. Dust mites leave droppings – as many as 1,000 over the course of their 60–80 day life cycle – that contain leftover enzymes that the mites use in digesting their food. That enzyme, along with the skin that they shed as they grow, is what causes the allergic reaction in so many people.

Dust mites are a fact of life. It is practically impossible to rid your home of dust mites, and even more impossible to keep them out. Dust mites often accumulate in places where humans spend a great deal of their time. Your favorite armchair, the kids’; stuffed toys, the carpet throughout your house, and especially your mattress – all are favorite nesting places for these pervasive pests. The average mattress may contain as many as two million of them.

The simplest solution, one that is recommended by many leading experts, is to encase your mattress and pillows in mite-proof bedding protectors. Covering your mattress, pillows, and featherbed with these hypoallergenic covers significantly reduces dust mite contamination and can be a big step forward in the reduction of your allergic and asthmatic reactions. It’s also a good idea to wash the bed frame thoroughly with a damp cloth once a week.

Cuddledown offers pillow, featherbed, comforter, mattress, and box spring protectors – that are bed bug, dust mite and fecal pellet proof. All are completely air permeable to remain breathable, yet absolutely impenetrable by the bed bugs, nasty mites and their fecal allergens:

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