D U S T M I T E S / B E D B U G S
Dust Mites : Everything You Might Not Want To Know !
House dust mites are microscope bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets.
Dust mites are generally harmless to most people. They don't carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces. People sometimes confuse dustmites with bed bugs.
Skin cells and scales, commonly called dander, are often concentrated in lounging areas, mattresses, frequently used furniture and associated carpeted areas, often harbor large numbers of these microscopic mites. Since the average human sloughs off 1/3 ounce (10 grams) of dead skin a week. That gives dust mites a lot to eat.
Where do they live ?
Beds are a prime habitat (where 1/3 of life occurs). A typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. (Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings.)
Mites prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it.
Are they harmful ? What do they do ?
House dust mites are not actually harmful. However, the medical significance of house dust mites arises because their microscopic cast skins and feces are a major constituent of house dust that induces allergic reactions in some individuals.
Symptoms of Allergies to Dust Mites
Asthma, difficulty in breathing,
Itchy, red or watery eyes
Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
Facial pressure and pain
Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose
Control measures and Sanitation
The most effective means is to enclose the mattress top and sides with a plastic cover
Wash your sheets, pillows and blankets in very hot water. Wash the sheets and blankets at least every two weeks. Wash your pillow every week
Freezing and sunlight kills mites but does not remove their residue.
Children's soft cloth toys
Regularly place soft toys in the freezer for 24 hours before you wash them, or wash them in hot water. Removing them, or at least reducing the numbers of them on the beds
B e d B u g s
Bed Bugs are small wingless insects that feed by hematophagy - exclusively on the blood of warm blooded-animals. As we are warm-blooded animals we are ideal hosts for them.
They are called bed bugs because of their preferred habitat in human homes: sofas, bed mattresses and other soft furnishings.
How dangerous are bed bugs to humans ?
Most bed bugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep. The host supplies them with blood in a painless way, never knowing it is happening.
While feeding they inject a small amount of saliva into the host's skin. The more they feed on one particular host, say a human, over a period of several weeks, the more sensitized that human becomes to their saliva. Until eventually the host develops a mild to intense allergic response.
How do bed bugs feed ?
The most active time for a bed bug is about one hour before sunrise - the peak time for feeding. However, they will try to feed at any time of day or night if they are hungry enough, and if the opportunity is there.
They prefer nighttime and hate sunlight.
How do I know if I have bed bugs in my house ?
The biggest sign of bed bugs is people complaining of bites that occurred while they were asleep. If this happens you should examine the bedrooms for bed bugs and signs of bed bug activity.
Look carefully into the creases in the bed linen, and seams and tufts of mattresses and box springs for bugs or eggs. The eggs will look like tiny pale poppy seeds.
What happens when I get bitten ?
When you are bitten a raised red bump of flat welt (also called a papule or a wheal) will appear, often accompanied by very intense itching.
The anesthetic contained in the bed bugs saliva causes an allergic reaction which results in the red bumps. They look very similar to mosquito bites, but last a lot longer.
Controlling infestations of bed bugs
Bedding and garments which are prone to infestation need to be bagged and laundere
For things that cannot be treated by washing or placing in the drier, wrap them in plastic and place them outdoors in a very hot and sunny location for at least 24 hours. For best results pack each bag loosely.