When most people talk about insect infestations in their beds, the first thought that pops into everyone’s heads is bed bugs. To be honest, this is likely because of the name they were given as well as how easy they are to see due to their size. However, there is another extremely common type of insect that infests the beds of you and yours – making their bed a hotbed of insect activities, breeding, and even fecal matter. The fact is no mattress is impervious to them and unlike bedbugs everyone has them, dust mites. Pretty gross, right?
You should note that dust mites are different than bed bugs in many regards. One difference is the fact that they don’t feast on live human tissue like bed bugs do. Instead, they love to crawl around beds eating dead skin cells and other biological matter. In addition, they can reproduce one heck of a lot quicker. The average female dust mite will lay as many as 100 eggs in her short lifetime. Like all other types of insects, they are just inherently suited for quick and rapid reproduction.
Fecal Matter in Your Mattress
However, the real horror is just how often each one of these nasty little guys digests their food. Each single dust mite can excrete up to 20 pieces of fecal material each day. Not a big problem, you say? Well, consider that this figure is multiplied by each dust mite that is currently residing in your bed.
So, let’s give a conservative, low-end estimate that you have 100 dust mites living in your bed. That equates to 2,000 fecal excretions per day. It’s no wonder that mattresses can nearly double in weight over the course of years and years of dead skin cells, dust, dead dust mites, and their fecal matter accumulating and becoming trapped in your mattress’s fabric.
Now consider that you have a more realistic estimate of 100,000 dust mites in your bed. That equates up to about 2 million microscopic poops per day that you wallow in every night you go to sleep. Disgustingly enough, this fecal material can become airborne and is frequently inhaled. Some people are even hypersensitive to the fecal material and can develop respiratory problems and symptoms.
Dealing with These Critters
Fortunately, there is a relatively easy way to deal with dust mites. As opposed to bed bugs who can’t withstand heat, dust mites can’t survive in dry environment. Because they get their water from the air, they need a bare minimum of 50% humidity to stay alive and continue their mission of pooping in your bed. Once the humidity drops too low, they swarm together in an effort to preserve their moisture.
However, if the humidity remains too low, the nymphs will hibernate until they find that the moisture levels have again increased. Unfortunately, because they hibernate, there is no foolproof way to get rid of 100% of all dust mites in your home. You can keep them in check, however, by frequently washing your sheets and bedding in hot water and using vacuums to suck their fecal matter and bodies out of your bedding.