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How To Get Rid Of Creepy, Crawly Allergen-Makers

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News For A Healthier You - October 2009 - How To Get Rid Of Creepy, Crawly Allergens

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This issue of News For A Healthier You includes:
  1. You Can't See Dust Mites, But Most Likely They Are There - Tips For Getting Rid Of Dust Mites
  2. Whether You Can See Them Or Not, Cockroaches Could Be There And You Could Be Suffering From Cockroach Allergy
  3. Remedies: How To Control Dust Mite Allergen
  4. Remedies: How To Control Cockroach Allergen
  5. October's Coupons For Newsletter Subscribers Only
  6. Newsletter Subscriber Sweepstakes Winner
How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites and Other Creepy, Crawly Allergen-Makers
What is lurking in your home snuggled down in beds and carpet or hiding under cabinets and refrigerators? Allergen, that's what. You may have dust mite allergen, pet allergen (even if you don't have a pet), pollen, mold spores, and cockroach allergen. We are going to take a closer look at two creepy, crawly sources of allergen this month: dust mites and cockroaches.

Very Short Animation - The Dust Mite Story You Can't See Dust Mites, But Most Likely They Are There - Tips For Getting Rid Of Dust Mites
Dust mites are generally considered to be the most common cause of allergy and asthma, and about 20 million Americans have reactions to dust mite allergen. Beds are primo accommodations for dust mites because they have a nice cushy place to burrow, your sloughed off skin cells for food, and moisture from your body for water. Carpet, drapes, upholstered furniture, bedding, and stuffed animals may not be as desirable as your bed, but they will do quite nicely for dust mites. There are sloughed off skin cells drifting from you to the floor for a food supply, and dust mites burrow where it is dark and cozy. And if the humidity in your home is over 50%, the conditions are perfect for dust mites. According to Environmental Health & Safety Online (EHSO), "a typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside" and "nearly 100,000 mites can live in one square yard of carpet." The dust mites eat, they poop, the poop dries and becomes airborne, and you breathe it in. These waste particles from the dust mite are the main cause of your problem if you have a dust mite sensitivity. And EHSO says each mite excretes waste 20 times each day! If you have allergy-induced asthma, breathing in dust mite allergen could trigger an asthma attack. This microscopic allergen is too heavy to remain airborne for very long, but it is stirred up into the air every time you make your bed or change the sheets, turn over in your sleep, dust or vacuum, or walk across carpet. You can't eliminate dust mites completely or permanently, but you can control their population, the amount of allergen present, and your exposure to it.
Click here to see practical remedies below

Whether You Can See Them Or Not, Cockroaches Could Be There
Another creepy, crawly source of allergen is from roaches - their dried feces and dead body parts. The Allergy & Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA) says if you experience allergy symptoms year round, you should be tested for cockroach allergy. And you know what they say about roaches: if you see one, there are many more hiding. Do you have a roach infestation? You may have roaches and know it, and you may have roaches and not know it. They are active at night in the dark. Take a flashlight and look in the kitchen under the refrigerator and stove, under the sink in the bathroom, and along the baseboards everywhere. If you don't see any, you are still not in the clear. It gets more disgusting. Look in cabinets and pantries and along baseboards for tiny brown pellets or brown stains. Yes, that is indeed what you think it is. So what do you do if you see a roach? You shudder, you scream, you chase the nasty thing around with a shoe. One down, hundreds to go.
Click here to see practical remedies below

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Remedies: How To Control Dust Mite Allergen
Avoiding exposure to dust mite allergen is the key for the allergy and asthma sufferer to prevent a reaction. Since you can't cross the street if you see one coming, the best way to avoid dust mites is to put a barrier between you and them.
  • Cover your mattress, box spring, pillows, and comforters with mite proof encasings.
  • Wash all other bedding, curtains, bed skirts, and stuffed animals every two weeks in hot (130 degree) water or with an allergen-fighting laundry detergent or laundry additive.
  • Replacing carpet with a hard surface floor is the best option but if that is not practial, kill dust mites and/or neutralize the dust mite allergen with a carpet treatment. (Use the DuroBlast Power Sprayer for easy application of liquids - click here to see how to get one free this month).
  • Keep humidity low. Using a humidity gauge can help you know if you need to take action. If the humidity in your home is over 45-50%, a dehumidifier may be called for.
  • Vacuum regularly with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and dust with appropriate tools and products to trap and contain dust containing dust mite allergen.
Remedies: How To Control Cockroach Allergen
Getting rid of roaches and keeping them away is the only way to control cockroach allergen. This is especially difficult if you live in a multi-family dwelling, an older home of any type, in a densely populated urban area, or in the southern states. The AAFA cites a study showing that "78 percent to 98 percent of urban homes have cockroaches and each home has from 900 to 330,000 of the insects." The AAFA recommends the "use of poison baits, boric acid and traps, but they do not recommend chemical agents as they can irritate allergies and asthma." You may have to repeat at least 3 times to eliminate roaches in all stages of their lives. You've done all that and still have roaches? Consider a pest control professional. If you decide an exterminator is necessary, have the house treated when you, your family, and your pets are gone. An option that has worked well for me is to have the pest control company spray around the outside of my home, but not inside. To keep roaches from coming back, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) gives these tips:
  • Block all areas where roaches could enter the home, including crevices, wall cracks and windows.
  • Cockroaches need water to survive, so fix and seal all leaky faucets and pipes.
  • Keep food in lidded containers and put pet food dishes away after your pets are done eating.
  • Vacuum and sweep the floor after meals, and take out garbage and recyclables.
  • Use lidded garbage containers in the kitchen.
  • Wash dishes immediately after use and clean under stoves, refrigerators or toasters where crumbs can accumulate.
  • Wipe off the stove and other kitchen surfaces and cupboards regularly.
Cockroach allergy is also a component of house dust, so vacuuming regularly with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and dusting with electrostatic dust cloths or using a dusting aid on your cloth can also help reduce roach allergen in your home.

Margie Bullock, Newsletter Editor
Closing Thoughts
If you are experiencing allergic symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itching or watery eyes, you may want to see your allergist for testing to know for sure if you are allergic to these pesky critters. If you find out you are allergic to dust mite or roach allergens or if you have asthma, it is no longer just a matter of personal disgust. Getting rid of dust mites all together is imposable. Avoiding dust mite and cockroach allergen becomes a health issue. I hope the information in this newsletter will lead to a healthier you!

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