Bed Bugs And Dust Mites
There have been several stories in the news recently about the return of bed bugs, which is rapidly becoming a growing problem throughout Australia as well as worldwide. Please note that Tru blue technicians are equipped to handle bed bug problems and we have a treatment specialist on board to assist you should you encounter a bed bug situation.
But first, it’s important that you know the difference between a Bed Bug and a Dust Mite.
Dust mites and bed bugs are very different organisms and affect humans in very different ways. Dust mites are present in every room of every home, multi-bed facility such as hotels, dormitories, nursing homes and just about any building.
Bed bugs are not present everywhere, although they are beginning to appear in many places ranging from hotels to school dormitories to hospital wings to private homes and beyond.
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells shed regularly from humans and their pets. They don’t carry disease, but they can cause some rather uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous allergic reactions in a growing number of people who are allergic to their faeces. Dust mites create even more of a problem for asthmatics and others with severe allergies. A single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings (faeces) each day, each containing a protein to which many people are allergic. Depending on the person and exposure, reactions can range from itchy red eyes, headaches, nasal and sinus problems, scratchy or sore throat, fatigue, depression, to triggering more frequent asthma attacks. And, unlike other types of mites, house dust mites are not parasites since they only eat dead skin.
Bed bugs, on the other hand, are small, wingless insects that are part of the arachnid family that feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs and their relatives have evolved as nest parasites. Certain kinds inhabit bird nests and bat roosts and await the return of their hosts; others have adapted well to living in the “nests” (homes) of people.
Hatchling bed bugs are about the size of a poppy seed, with adults about a quarter-inch in length. Bed bugs seek out people and animals, generally at night while these hosts are asleep, and painlessly sip a few drops of blood. While feeding, they inject a tiny amount of their saliva into the skin. Repeated exposure to bed bug bites during a period of several weeks or more causes people to become sensitized to the saliva of these bugs; additional bites may then result in mild intense allergic responses. The skin lesion produced by the bite of a bed bug resembles those caused by many other kinds of blood feeding insects, such as mosquitoes and fleas.
If you or anyone in your family identifies with any of the following allergy related maladies such as Asthma, Eczema, Hay Fever, Bronchitis, Inflammation of the Mucous Membranes, Itchy Red Eyes, Headaches, Sinus Pain, Fatigue, early morning fits of excessive sneezing, even a feeling of depression when you wake up, you may well be sleeping with the enemy.
Who is this enemy? He’s called a dust mite and we’ll spare you trying to remember or even pronounce the scientific name. Dust mites live in household articles, such as furniture and carpets. Millions may inhabit one home, but they are invisible to the human eye. The dust mite feeds on shed dead skin cells. The faeces and dead bodies of mites are allergens to susceptible people, causing asthma, rhinitis or dermatitis.
Those ominous things in the picture below are the real trouble makers. These little creatures, not visible to the naked eye, and in fact, they’re so small that as many as 1000 of them could be placed on the head of a pin. And guess where their favorite breeding spot is? Yes, that’s right… the mattress. Their ideal home!
Why the mattress? Because it’s warm, often moist, cozy, easy to burrow into and full of their favorite food…skin flakes, the skin flakes every human being sheds every day and night of his or her life, no matter what their age, sex or state of health.
And you can’t vacuum them away.
We shed 10,000 million scales of bacteria laden skin each day, most end up in our mattresses.
Dust mites produce 200 times its body weight in excrement during their normal life span.
Dust mites feast for up to 170 days on our shed skin.
Dust mites spread rapidly. A female dust mite lays 300 eggs.
They can live without food for up to a year.