It turns out panic-inducing bed bugs aren’t the only things that could be creeping around under your covers. Your bed is likely crawling with some other creatures you’ll never see, too.
Research reveals these little nasties could be “biting” you in more ways than one. All night. Every night. And it’s not just a matter of itchy skin or literal bites you need to be concerned about.
Because scientists say, these same microscopic monsters could cause or worsen chronic health problems, including various infections, respiratory disorders, and even immune-system issues. And they’re terrible news for folks who are a little older or weaker already.
I don’t know about you, but just thinking about it is giving me the heebie-jeebies.
But I have some good news, too. There are a few simple ways to evict these bedroom pests. So you can soon be enjoying peace of mind, better sleep, and improved health.
The nastiest residents of your bedroom REVEALED
A new report from the University of Westminster in London finds you’re very likely a B&B host to a bunch of unwanted guests. Specifically bacteria, fungi, viruses, mites, and more.
You’re not just giving them a safe place to stay, either. You’re literally FEEDING them. Many of them live off the nearly 500 million skin cells that you shed every night.
Some may even be feeding on the ones you DIDN’T shed. Meaning they’re munching away at you as you sleep.
Try having pleasant dreams with THAT picture in your mind. (Shudder.)
But this is more than just nightmare fuel meant to give you the creeps. Some of those mites and microbes can literally have a direct impact on your health.
Many people, for example, carry around Staphylococcus aureus, including the drug-resistant form. It can be harmless most of the time for most people.
But if you develop a wound, or are prone to slow-healing or non-healing wounds, that little S. aureus colony forming in your bed could find its way in and cause a serious infection.
Other critters… especially dust mites… can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even breathing problems. (Take a closer look at the picture with this article if you really want some chills. Then be glad you CAN’T actually see them in your bed.)
3 ways to evict mites and other mini monsters
And remember, if you’re a little older, battling other health conditions, or have a weakened immune system, your risks could be even worse.
But there are some simple steps you can take to send mites and other creepy critters packing, even if you can’t see them. And that will cut all of those health risks I mentioned earlier and more:
- Open the window: Sunlight is a powerful natural disinfectant, and good air circulation can do wonders to inhibit the growth of any microbes that are lurking around. Plus, direct sunlight kills dust mites. So pull back your covers and leave your sheets exposed to the air for a few hours every morning. And when possible, hang bedding in the sun.
- Wash often: Sheets and pillowcases should go through the laundry regularly, ideally on the hottest setting you have. The heat will kill dust mites as well as some other bugs. If your bedding can handle it, use a hot dryer setting to complete the job. And while they’re in the wash, inspect your mattress for any outward signs of creepy crawlies. Oh, and speaking of washing, showering YOURSELF before you climb into the sack can cut down on the germs you bring to bed with you.
- Replace regularly: Mattresses and pillows have lifespans. When they’re up, they’re up. Plan on investing in new pillows every one to two years and a new mattress at least once every 10 years. Do it not only to freshen up your room and get rid of the nasty dust mites but for better sleep and more support for your back and neck at night.
Don’t be tempted to eat in bed. And it’s a good idea to encourage pets to sleep elsewhere too.
If you spot any visible signs of pests, especially bed bugs, don’t try to eradicate them yourself. Seek the help of a pest control specialist right away.