Mattress Cleaning And Dust Mites in SW Florida
Excerpt from CNN and Michigan State University:

It’s a wild, nasty world under the sheets.

The mattress can be a jungle of dust mites and bedbugs, milling around among dried remnants of blood, saliva, sweat and basically all the other bodily fluids you can think of.

Bedbugs have become minor celebrities this week with a report from the National Pest Management Association showing that the problem is on the rise. Bedbug calls have gone up by 81 percent since 2000, the study said, and 67 percent of surveyed pest management companies have treated bedbug infestations in hotels or motels.

These insects are about a quarter-inch long and eat at night, said Howard Russell, an entomologist with diagnostic services at Michigan State University. Impressively, while humans can live only a matter of weeks without food, bedbugs can live up to one year without eating — and their meals consist of blood and skin shed by humans.

“They’re well-adapted to being a parasite,” Russell said. “It’s really hard to starve them out.”

Bedbugs, which leave behind itchy bite marks and can even lead to an allergic reaction in some people, aren’t the only pests that could be lurking beneath your pillow.

About 10 percent of people are sensitive to house dust mites, said Dr. Clifford Bassett, an allergist in New York. They are even more of a problem for people with asthma.

As if the presence of microscopic eight-legged vermin weren’t gross enough, consider that it’s not the mites that cause some people to cough and sneeze. It’s their excrement.

If this is a problem, consider trying an “allergy-proof” slipcover on your mattress to keep the mites trapped in, so they can’t access your sheets and pillows, he said. Also, wash your linens in 130° F heated water frequently. Children’s toys can also serve as home to dust mites, so if they’re not machine-washable, put them in bags in the freezer for five hours at a time to kill the invisible bugs.

Good vacuuming of the mattress itself and regular professional cleaning is a key line of defense against allergy-causing mites, said Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist, assistant professor in the department of medicine at Emory University. “I don’t think people give a lot of thought and energy into proper mattress care. “It really can improve not only the quality of people’s sleep but also reduce their chances of having mites and infestations of bedbugs,” she said. “It can go a long way.”

Having a mattress pad, particularly of the waterproof kind, is also good to prevent mold and mildew issues, in addition to helping control allergens, said Evan Saks, founder of Don’t forget to wash the pad every few months, he said.

Also, be a little cautious about letting outdoor pets on the bed, Bergquist said. Other kinds of vermin such as lice and scabies can get into the mattress as well, although they are less common than mite and bedbug problems.

Saks says you should pay attention to the warranty on your mattress — when it runs out, that’s probably a good time to get rid of the mattress. Over time, the foams and coils compress, making it less comfortable.

The warranty usually gives instructions on taking care of the mattress and usually recommends rotating it every two weeks in the first few months to even out the impressions left by sleeping bodies. Eventually, you can just rotate it every six months, he said.

Here’s how you tell if the nagging red spots on your legs came from bedbugs or mosquitoes: it’s the bedbugs that leave dark, reddish-brown spots on the sheets because they defecate as they feed, he said.

“Inspection is really a key element in identifying a bedbug problem and preventing a bedbug problem,” he said. “A magnifying glass would help you in your quest to find them.”

Tru Clean Surface Care is a family-owned environmentally responsible carpet, tile and upholstery cleaning company serving all of Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Lee, Charlotte, and Collier County. Our family has cleaned and sanitized thousands of mattresses so we know what it takes to deliver a good night’s sleep.

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Mattress Cleaning Service Areas:  Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, Captiva, Marco Island, Alva, Buckingham, Lehigh Acres, Pine Island, Bokeelia, Matlacha, and St. James City FL.