This Halloween, Protect Yourself from Monsters in Your Bed

Bed bugs and dust mites could be lurking in your mattress.

Forget imaginary tales of vampires, mummies, and witches this Halloween. Brace yourself for a fight against the real monsters waiting to invade your home and protect yourself from what may hide inside your mattress, waiting to feast on your flesh and blood.

In the 2011 "Bugs Without Borders Survey" conducted by The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, 99 percent of professional pest management companies based in the United States reported encountering bed bug infestation during the past year. In addition, the 2011 "Bed Bugs in America" survey by the NPMA found that one in five Americans reported these creepy blood suckers infesting his or her home or knows of someone who has encountered them at home or in a hotel. They have been found in all 50 states, from apartments, to libraries, to schools, to five-star hotels. You can run, but you can't hide from these scary hitchhikers.

Bed bugs look much like an apple seed and are typically 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch in size and a rust brown color. Bed bug nymphs and eggs are clear/white, much smaller and very difficult to see.  From the moment a bed bug hatches, its only goal is to find its next meal – human blood.  

Some good options to combat these nocturnal nuisances are mattress and box spring encasements. Protect-A-Bed, a premier provider of bedding protection products, offers BugLock with Secure Seal, a three-sided zipper system won't allow the bloodsucking monsters to take up permanent residence within a mattress, making it easier for pest control companies to identify and eliminate them.

Now that you've been warned about these terrifying blood suckers, let us scare you with a frightening tale of things in your bed that eat your flesh while you sleep, dust mites. These invisible creatures feed on your discarded dead skin. It can be easy to overlook them since you can't see them with the naked eye and they don't eat the skin you're still using, but they can create chaos for those with allergies. According to The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma and about 70 percent of those individuals also have allergies.

The fecal matter dust mites produce is a significant cause of allergy symptoms like itchiness, sneezing, inflamed or infected eczema, watering eyes, congestion and runny nose. These symptoms are particularly problematic for those with asthma. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology also reports that in a recent survey of US homes, about 1/4 had levels of dust mite allergens present in a bed at a level high enough to trigger asthma symptoms.

Just like bed bugs, dust mites are scarier in numbers. To keep them from multiplying, AllerZip mattress and pillow products from Protect-A-Bed are your best form of exorcism. According to a Johns Hopkins University study, "Dust mite population and allergen levels decreased by 90 percent or more within a month of placing mattress and pillow covers and treating bedding." These products create an impenetrable barrier between dust mites and the bedding, preventing them from multiplying in your mattress and feasting off of dead skin cells.

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