Dust mites are microscopic beings that can live in your bedding and feed on your shed dead skin. Sounds bad? It does explain why hypoallergenic Vita Talalay Latex mattress is your best ally to fight dust mites in your bedroom!
Dust mites: What Are They? And Why Is Vita Talalay Latex The Solution?
Dust mites are a very common menace all over the world. They like dark and damp places, which is why mattresses, toppers and pillows are perfect for them! They feed on your shed dead skin. In fact, they need a high humidity level of 60% in order to reproduce and feed – and that in masses! The following article will highlight what are these microscopic beings; what can you do against them and why Vita Talalay latex is the solution to dust mites issues!
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust Mites belong to the spider family, and are translucent, microscopic arachnids. In other words, they are extremely small and see through spiders which have 8 legs.
Unfortunately it is not possible to see them with the naked eye as they are only 0.33 mm or 0.013 inches in length. For scale, an American penny is 1cm in diameter, which means that a dust mite is 30 times smaller than that! This means in turn, that a single gram or 0.04 ounces of dust may contain up to 100.000 dust mites!
How Long To Dust Mites Live?
The life span of these highly resilient arachnids differs between the genders. A male dust mite may live up to 30 days, whereas a female one lives on for about 2 months. These critters live in mattresses, toppers, pillows, carpets or even soft toys as they require a high humidity level of 60% to reproduce and feed. In fact, each female dust mite lays up to 100 eggs a month!
Dust mites feed off human and animal excess skin which shedded from the body, also known as dander. After they eat all the dander, dust mites also need to defecate. All of their feces then accumulate inside the mattress, topper and/or pillow. A single dust mite may produce up to 2000 particles of fecal matter throughout its ten week life span.
Allergies and Dust Mites
It is important to note that the fecal matter is the harmful allergen, meaning that it is the particle which may cause allergic reactions to those who suffer from a dust mite allergy. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that dust mite fecal matter has a significant impact on one’s health, as well as our sleeping quality.
If you would like to read up more on allergies, we highly recommend you to have a look at our article on allergies here. In addition, we also have another article on hypoallergenic bedding material here!
Wait a minute – are dust mites and bed bugs the same thing?
Dust Mites and Allergies
Contrary to popular belief, dust mites and bed bugs are not the same organisms. There are a few differences between them, which is why in the near future we will be writing a whole article on bed bugs. Of course we will provide you a link here once it is online!
What is a dust mite allergy?
Apart from the fact that it is simply a highly uncomfortable idea to sleep on hundreds of thousands of microscopic dust mites, the presence of these bugs also come at the cost of your health. As mentioned above, the main cause of health issues arises from the fecal matter which dust mites leave behind.
(NOT SO) FUN FACT: Did you know that a mattress may have double of its original weight after about 10 years due to dust and dust mite feces?
The dust mite fecal matter and dead bodies which are left behind which will accumulate in the mattress, topper or pillow over the many years is actually a known harmful allergen. This in turn will cause an allergic reaction to those inhaling the tiny particles. Let us quickly determine what an allergy is first before we continue!
On a very basic level, an allergy is an abnormal reaction of the human body to a common and harmless substance known as an allergen. An allergen is literally defined as the substance which has the capability to produce allergies. However, under normal circumstances, these allergens do not cause any harm to any non-allergic individuals. There are many different types, causes and degrees of allergies – all the way from a runny nose to lethal effects. For more information on allergies and why Vita Talalay is a hypoallergenic material, please have a look at this article!
There are many different symptoms of a dust mite allergy, all of which are quite similar to those who have asthma. In addition, some people also may feel itchy on the areas which have come with direct contact with the allergen. Oddly enough, it is often the case that the symptoms get stronger while dusting, sweeping or vacuuming. This is because the dust gets whirled around in the process, which in turn makes it easier to inhale.
Here is a short overview of possible symptoms:
- Red, itchy and/or teary eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Wheezing, coughing as well as shortness of breath and tightness
There are two ways in which a doctor may diagnose you.
Skin Prick Test (SPT)
A low amount of the possible allergen is put on your skin in order to see whether or not there is a reaction. After approximately 20 minutes, the doctor or nurse will begin scratching the surface to see whether a reaction will occur. Should you be allergic to dust mites, the affected area will turn red, swell up and begin to itch.
Specific IgE Blood Test
A small blood sample is sent to the lab by your doctor. Just as with the Skin Prick Test, the blood will then be put into contact with the allergen. The lab will determine the amount of anti-bodies which your blood produces to counter the allergens. Should there be none, then it is highly likely that you are allergic to dust mites.
The most important thing to do once you have determined that you are in fact allergic to dust mites, is to make sure that you have as little contact to them as possible. Although it is nearly impossible to fully get rid of dust mites around you, it is very possible to limit the exposure to a minimum. In addition, you may also have to take some medicine which will help with your symptoms.
Here is a short list of possible medicine that the doctors may give you:
- Nasal corticosteroids
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists
- Cromolyn sodium
It is extremely important to understand that having dust mites in your environment is fully normal and does not mean that you live under unhygienic circumstances. However, you can make sure that you have as little unwanted sub renters as possible. Research has proven the bedroom to be the number one living environment for dust mites, this is why we recommend you to begin there!
Here is a short list of possible prevention methods:
- Cover your mattresses, toppers and pillows with dust-proof and zipped covers.
- Wash your sheets and blankets at least once a week in hot water, preferably 90 degrees Celsius or 194 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Get rid of unnecessary fabric which is not easily washable, such as curtains, wall carpeting, etc.
- Have someone clean your room that is not affected by a dust mite allergy.
- Use special HEPA filter vacuum cleaners.
How do you get rid of dust mites?
Ready To Fight Dust Mites?
There are many different ways to get rid of dust mites in your home. We will have a look at the most effective ways to do so below!
Wash your bedding regularly
Since the bed is the number one spot for dust mites, we highly recommend you to wash your bedding at least once a week. Although 60 degrees Celsius or 149 degrees Fahrenheit is usually enough, you may want to wash the bedding at 90 degrees Celsius or at 194 degrees Fahrenheit if you are allergic to dust mites. This will definitely make sure that all the critters go from your sanctuary!
- Use hypoallergenic mattresses and mattress covers
If you have not done so already, we highly recommend you to use a hypoallergenic mattress, as well as mattress covers.
Vita Talalay latex mattresses are perfect against dust mites as it is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant as the natural comfort material does not allow them to reproduce and feed in the mattress. More about why Vita Talalay latex is dust mite resistant will be discussed in the final part of this article. More about why Vita Talalay latex is hypoallergenic can be found here!
Hypoallergenic bed covers essentially work as a barrier between the bare skin and the mattress itself which may be infested with dust mites. This is extremely helpful as well since it keeps the dead skin and sweat from dropping into their habitat. Furthermore, it also works the other way around as it prevents the dust mites from coming into your sleeping zone!
Do not make your bed in the morning!
Isn’t this great news for those who hate to make their bed first thing in the morning? How about just not doing it then? All you need to do is give your bedding a good airing before you leave as this allows the sweat from last night’s rest to dry and the dead skin to be blown away. This makes life extremely difficult for the unwanted guests!
Keep pets out of the bedroom
Although some may not like this, it is sadly a fact that dust mites just love our furry friends as they also leave behind their dander!
Although this may seem very obvious, it is the best way to prevent dust mites from multiplying in your bedroom. Remember that a single night’s sleep provides dust mites with enough dead skin to feed a million of these creatures. We recommend you to clean regularly in your bedroom. However, at best you should make a cleaning schedule of every room, especially those where you know there will be quite some dust accumulating throughout the week!
Here are some other tips to get rid of dust mites:
- Get rid of feather pillows and duvets
- Replace your carpets with hard flooring
- Keep an eye on the room temperature and humidity
- Remove unnecessary textiles, such as curtains or carpeted wallpaper.
- Use a steam cleaner when cleaning your textiles.
Why is Vita Talalay latex dust mite resistant?
The main reason why Vita Talalay latex is dust mite resistant is the fact that it is one of the most breathable and ventilating comfort bedding materials in the world. This is because the Talalay production process creates the unique open, round cellular structure which makes the Vita Talalay latex so special.
The round, open cells allow air to flow through the whole material, essentially allowing the purely natural comfort bedding material to breathe. Please have a look at this video which highlights the difference between Vita Talalay latex and conventional memory foam in terms of breathability and ventilation and see for yourself!
Bye bye Dust Mites...
This is turn ventilates the mattress and gets rid of the excreted sweat and dead skin cells. This makes it impossible for dust mites to create their home in the mattress, topper or pillow as they are not able to feed.
In addition, humans create a warm and cozy environment as they sleep due to the body temperature. This is also the main reason for us to sweat throughout the night. The amount of sweat excreted increases if you do not sleep on a mattress which regulates the temperature as well as Vita Talalay latex does. This in turn prevents the mattress from having the much needed 60% humidity levels for dust mites to continue breeding.
If you would like more information on why breathable mattresses, toppers and pillows are so important for your health and sleep, please read our article about this right here!