Are Bed Bugs and Dust Mites the same thing?

We are often asked and often hear of people who think they are the same thing but they most cerainly are not. So here is a quick run through of the differences between them.

Dust Mites

First of all lets get one thing out of the way. Dust Mites do not bite, they do not suck your blood, they are in no way aggressive to us or anything else. Dust Mites are too small to see without a microscope.

Dust Mites as their name suggests live in places where dust accumulates, this can be in corners of rooms, underneath furniture and in carpets. The reason that they like dust is that the dust that is found in our homes is actually mostly made up of tiny particles of skin that fall from our bodies as we go about our daily lives. Our skin falls of naturally, it is constantly being replaced as it does so.

Dust Mites feed on these tiny skin particles, but first before they can do so it needs to be broken down by mould and bacteria in to a form that they can digest. This mould and bacteria itself can only exist in places where there is some form of moisture.

In our homes the perfect breeding place for dust mites is in our beds, well in our mattress to be more specific. Our mattresses are ideal because they provide everything the dust mite requires. They get a constant supply of skin particles as we shed this as we move about in our beds at night. These particles pass through our sheets and down into the mattress. Moisture from our perspiration goes the same way. Perfect conditions for the dust mite, a plentiful supply of food, a constant source of moisture to produce the mould and bacteria and virtually no disturbance or cleaning from us. The dust mite breeds very quickly to colonise your mattress with millions of mites.

As we said before dust mites do not bite, but that does not mean that they are not harmful to us. First of all do you really want to be sharing your bed with millions of tiny spider-like mites?, probably not, but more importantly there is a significant percentage of our population that is allergic to the dust mite and it's waste products. If you get wheezy at night or wake up with red sore eyes or a runny nose then there is a good chance that it is a dust mite allergy. Dust mites are also known to be responsible for the onset of asthma and eczema in some children.

Getting rid of these dust mites is actually very simple, all you need to do is to place a barrier between you and the mattress. This stops the dust mites and their waste products from being puffed out of your mattress, into your face, as your move around when sleeping. The barrier also stops skin particles and moisture getting through to the mattress, effectively starving out any mites that are there.

The pefect barrier for this is our breathable waterproof mattress protector, it is virtually undetectable in use and creates an immediate barrier.

Bed Bugs

Now onto Bed Bugs, Bed Bugs do bite, Bed Bugs do suck your blood and they are here today living in some of our bedrooms waiting to attack. Now that sounds quite dramatic doesn't it?, but it is a fact.

Bed Bug numbers are on the increase. World travel is relatively common and our population is growing with migrants from all parts of the world coming here to live. Bed Bugs like to hide during the day and what happens is that they will hide anywhere that they can squeeze into, this includes a suitcase left on the floor in a room. The owner then picks it up and heads for home with the bed bug tucked inside, once back home the bed bug waits till night before coming out and looking for it's next meal -you.

Bed Bugs can be clearly seen with the naked eye, they are about the size of an apple pip. They hide anywhere not just in a mattress, they can hide in divan bases, behind skirting boards and inside electrical sockets and underneath carpets.

Bed Bugs come out of their hiding places at night usually just before dawn. They hunt by homing in on our body heat and our CO2 emissions from our breathing. They can climb furniture, walls and cross ceilings to get to us. They climb on to our beds and us and bite. They release an anti coagulant into the bite and quickly suck up their fill of blood then let go and head to hide somewhere until next time.

If you get bite marks at night and can see dark red to black pinprick stains on your bed, then there's a good chance you have bed bugs.

Bed Bugs require prefessional pest controllers to eradicate them, a barrier or mattress cover won't stop them hiding inside your furniture, so if you suspect bed bugs call your local council for advice.