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The Accidental Housewife

Dust Mites: Do you know who you’re sleeping with?

As autumn settles in so do our allergies, and though closing our windows and taking our fave allergy meds may help, they’re probably not the only reason for our sneezing, wheezing and teary eyes. Nope, it’s whom we’re sleeping with regardless if it’s Brad Pitt (I wish!), Ryan Gosling, your child’s pet, or for you gents reading this:  Megan Fox.   Each night and day we’re getting comfy with 1000′s of microscopic bugs known as dust mites and their doo. But fear not, here are simple ways to help save your family’s health and go back to dreaming about Brad, Ryan or Megan.

THE POOP ON THESE PRE-HISTORIC POOPERS

Courtesy of www.zonavip.net

  • They’ve been sleeping with us for more than 23 million years
  • They like dark, warm and humid places, which is why they love sleeping with us since we spend 1/3 or our lives in our beds! Other fave hangouts are:
    • Stuffed animals/soft toys
    • Upholstered furniture
    • Carpet and Drapes
    • Piles of clothing
  • Their fave foods are dead human and pet skin cells i.e. ‘dander’ (which is where the word ‘dandruff’ has its roots.) and their doo…YUK!
  • One mite poops about 20 times a day and it is their doo that causes allergy problems.  And, in case you’re wondering, your mattress can have 100,000 to 10 million mites inside of it…You doo the math!!

TIPS TO SMITE THE MITE:

Ok enough with grossing you out! Here are easy ways to minimize thy mites:

o   BI-WEEKLY (Weekly be best but if you have the time!)

o   SHEETS AND PILLOWCASES:

§  HOT WASH: Use hottest cycle care label allows

§  COOL WASH: Add a teaspoon of eucalyptus or tree oil to your wash, which is a natural way to kill dust mites found at your local health food store

o   STUFFED ANIMALS/SOFT TOYS

      • Non-washable
        • FREEZE ‘EM: put in plastic zip lock bag and freeze for 24-48 hours
        • SHAKE ‘N BAKE:  Put them in a plastic bag with a cup of baking soda and shake well then rub with a towel and vac
      • WASHABLE (if torn or ripped throw them out since they will never dry thoroughly and mold can form)
        • Put in a zippered pillowcase or tie an end so it is sealed
        • Remove all batteries
        • Dry with ole pair of sneaks to stomp out moisture

o   UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE, DECORATIVE PILLOWS, CARPETING (you can also do this on your mattress and bed pillows)

§  VAC N SPRAY AWAY:

1.     Vac everything:  Only use a vacuum that has a true HEPA filtration system which can trap these mighty mini mites.

2.     Spray everything lightly (only want to get things damp) with a 4:1 mix of distilled water and eucalyptus oil and let dry.

Eco-ternative: STEAM AWAY every 4-6 weeks. FYI Dust mite eggs can lay dormant for a month in carpeting!

o   MONTHLY:

o   WASH AND DRY MATTRESS COVERS, BLANKETS, BED SKIRTS, ETC ON HOTTEST CYCLE your care label allows

o   VACUUM EVERYTHING:

§  Be sure to lift and vac under your mattresses and in all the corners of your bed, baseboards, skirts, etc.

o   ALL YEAR LONG:

o   ENCASE THY CHAMBER! Buy dust mite proof encasings for your pillow, mattresses and box springs. Look for those with zippers that have a plastic lock to insure no mites nor bed bugs can enter!

o   REPLACE MAJOR DUST COLLECTORS/DUST MITE HOUSING:

      • FEATHER PILLOWS/DOWN COMFORTERS with synthetic bed pillows and cotton or nylon bedding
      • PLUSH CARPET with low pile carpet, machine washable area rugs or better yet hard flooring (wood, tile, stone, laminate etc),
      • CURTAINS with roll up or vertical blinds
      • DECORATIVE FABRIC PILLOWS with smooth, vinyl, leather or washable decorative ones

o   MOVE TO ARIZONA:  Or invest in a dehumidifier

If you’re not grossed out enough or would like more info visit www.natlallergy.com or simply google the words “DUST MITES”. And please visit my website www.juliestips.com if you have any tips, questions on cleaning, organinzing, home repair, mani-friendly decorationg or wallet sized pictures of whom you’re sleeping with particularly if it’s Brad, Ryan or whomever your bed-time wanna-be mate is please leave your comments here!

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