Well...based on the sneezing and sniffling we hear, it's allergy season already. This year promises to be much worse than 2009. Spring and summer of 2009 saw most of the country experience cooler, wetter than usual weather, which tends to keep pollen counts low. But 2010 may be a tough year as Environment Canada says that we have rarely seen a winter like 2009/2010. The short winter may mean a warmer and dryer spring and summer meaning the allergy season may hit hard.
This same weather conditions may be contributing to the reported increases in Bedbugs and Dust Mites. Firstly, Bedbugs and Dust Mites are not the same creature. Bedbugs are actually little bloodsuckers. You will wake up with itchy whitish bites, usually around your arms and legs. Bedbugs don't carry disease. They generally come out to feed at night, while you are asleep. They are about the size of an apple seed, feature 6 legs and are a reddish brown colour.
Now what about Dust Mites?
80% of house dust is made of dead, human skin. On average, we shed between 5 & 10 grams a week and that's what dust mites like best for dinner. The average home will contain up to 10,000,000 of the creatures!! You can't see them; they are translucent and only about .3mm long. You may not even know they are around but their existence is evident if you suffer from asthma, eczema or allergies due to the enzymes in their mite droppings.
There are ways to control dust mites, simply by reducing the dust they like to eat. They love bedding; a two-year-old pillow is full of dust and will be made up of 10% dead mites and their droppings, so start by getting new ones. Vacuum your bed regularly, you might think it sounds bonkers but it helps! Wash your bed linen on the hottest temperature allowed and air duvets and pillows regularly. Dust mites love moisture but hate air and light.
Another effective method of prevention is bedbug and dust mite proof mattress covers and pillows. This is particularly effective for new pillows and mattresses as this eliminates the problem from the start, but can be effective after washing your pillows, to put on a protective cover and can also help after vacuuming your mattress, to put on a protective cover over your mattress. These two items could help your breath easier and sleep more comfortably.
If you are interested, Heirloom Linens carries several products that are effective protection against bedbugs and dust mites.
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