Have you been sneezing, itching and feeling irritable in your home lately? Well, chances are your house has a case of the bed bugs, dust mites or other allergens. Calling an exterminator is the first call to action for severe cases. However, there are ways to combat the spread of these pests - that's what we'll be addressing in this blog.
What are Dust Mites and Bed Bugs?
When we think of pests, the most common ones with regards to bed linen are dust mites and bed bugs. Dust mites can't be seen with the naked eye or be felt on the skin as they are only about 0.1-0.5 mm in size. They are also covered with a water repellent layer which makes it challenging to get rid of them by bed sheet cleaning or washing. Dust mites are attracted to and feed on dead skin cells. When we sleep, our body sheds dead skin cells, sweat and other fluids - making it an ideal environment for dust mites and bed bugs.
Bed Bugs are larger, about 5 mm in size and can be seen by the naked eye. They are bloodsuckers, therefore if you feel an itch or see red bites/welts on your skin, chances are you have a case of bed bugs. They reproduce quickly and hide in moist warm areas such as mattresses, comforter fibres etc. Bed bugs require professional extermination, as it takes powerful chemicals to eliminate them completely. However, there are preventive measures that work for both bed bugs and dust mites. So, let's dive into what we can do to about these pesky pests!
Add vacuuming to your bed sheet cleaning ritual. Vacuum cleaning your bed sheets, curtains, pillow covers and mattresses will keep your linens free of dead skin cells that dust mites ingest. It will also suck up dust, bed bugs and the allergens themselves. Therefore, make sure you eliminate the contents of the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and throw it away immediately.
Say No To Pets On Beds!
Pets walk around the neighbourhood picking up dirt, grime, allergens, bugs etc. They also nap on floors where their fur can pick up dust. When they jump into bed, they bring all these elements with them. We know pet cuddles are the best, but in order to keep your bed as hygienic as possible, they should have a bed of their own. If your pets sleep with you currently, regular bed sheet cleaning is a must!
Apart from your weekly bed sheet cleaning ritual, every six months you should get your mattresses, sofas etc professionally steam cleaned. Hot temperatures are excellent at eliminating dust mites, allergens and other pests. Plus, steam cleaning mattresses will keep them clean and improve your overall comfort. There are also special steam cleaners/ vacuums that target dust mites specifically. Hence, if you suspect you have a dust mite infestation, it's best to get this service done as well.
Hypoallergenic Bed Linen/ Mattresses / Pillows
If you're sensitive to allergens, then it's advisable to invest in hypoallergenic bed linen, mattresses and pillows. They are made from materials that are resistant to allergens and are antimicrobial. Usually, these materials are combined with memory foam to make mattresses and pillows that are easy to clean and resistant to allergens. Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic, which is why Portico's bed sheets are 100% cotton. Plus, they are easy to clean and remove dust mites.
Special Bed Cleaners
There are special chemical and non-chemical cleaners that target bed bugs and dust mites. These cleaners come in the form of powders and sprays. The brand called 'The Ecology Works' has a product that can be added to your detergent or mixed with water and sprayed over surfaces such as beds, countertops etc. to get rid of dust mites. There are also natural enzyme sprays such as the 'Eradicator' spray that safely eliminates the spread of dust mites.
Wash Sheet Regularly
Bedsheet cleaning is vital to keep your bed as hygienic and dust-free as possible. Washing your comforters, bedsheets, pillow covers is essential and should be done once a week. Deeper cleaning of comforters, pillows and blankets should be done once a month - dry cleaning is best. As mentioned before, mattresses should be steam cleaned at least every six months or at regular intervals. We wrote a whole blog the importance of washing your sheets regularly, do have a look at it HERE.
Avoid Eating On The Bed!
Snacking on the bed is such a guilty pleasure, however, food can stain and dirty the bedsheets and mattress. Plus, old food crumbs can attract ants and other bacteria which will make your bed an unhygienic place to sleep on! No one wants that. So, the next time you're tempted to snack on the bed - resist the urge!
Those were our seven tips on how to tackle pests! Regular cleaning is critical when it comes to keeping dust mites, bed bugs and allergens at bay. Create a bedsheet cleaning routine that you can stick to, so you can keep your bedroom pest-free which is conducive for a good night's sleep!
Till Next Time,
Chase Your #DreamGoals!