Maya's clog.

...a medical illustrator draws comics and writes blog posts

dust mite adventure

Warning: This post contains dust mites! A few days ago I decided that my bed was probably overrun by dust mites. Neither of us has any allergies or sensitivities to them, but a book and the internet told me they were there. Repeatedly. Sometimes I get things into my head and can't get them out until I do something about it. So here is my story of what I did and what I am still going to do about it.Maya imagining the horrors of dust mites.First, I grossed myself out. Dust mites feed on dead human skin flakes and their bodies and poop can possibly affect my respiratory health. And while I am not sure I've had any symptoms personally, I might as well breathe fewer mites and poop! Couldn't hurt! Not to mention sleep in a place with fewer things crawling...

I then thought of my awesome friend Dave and a super-cool drawing he did once, and decided to say hi to him. He pointed out that it was a actually a tick, so I acted like I already knew that. I am sure I did, once, know that, but I hadn't actually looked at the illustration in a while, and hey, ticks and mites look similar.

ticks vs. mitesNext, I read the entire internet.

This included shopping for mattress covers and pillow covers and duvet covers with small enough holes to supposedly keep dust mites out. I will buy some of these items next month.

Today I decided to get serious and I executed my first attack on the bedroom. I removed all the books and papers and vacuumed the room, twice. I carefully removed the bedding, folding it in on itself and got it out of there. Then I vacuumed the mattress with an attachment, beat it, and vacuumed it again using the whole upright vacuum cleaner. That part was fun because I felt like I was breaking lots of rules. After that, I vacuumed the floor AGAIN. I felt very proud of all the mites I must have sucked out of their comfy little mite lifestyle. I heard a "click" and realized I'd worn out the belt and it had snapped. Oh well, good thing I was done with that portion of my project! We'll get a new belt soon.

Happy Maya walking on the bed.After the suck-fest, I washed all the linens in scalding hot water. Then I washed all the clothes I could find in scalding hot water! Then I hopped in the shower to wash myself in scalding hot water! (The hot water didn't last as long as it usually does, though.) This washing-of-everything-at-once is funnier than you think, because usually I don't remember to do ANY laundry, and Clint takes care of it before I realize it. If only he knew 5 years ago what I would be prompted to do because of an invisible mite.

Now the room is bare and clean, the bed is made, and I think the mite count must be reduced, right? I plan on repeating this procedure after I buy the protective covers, along with flipping the mattress and beating/washing the down feather items.

If that isn't enough to ease my mind, I have one more idea:

No humans allowed in the bedroom.