I’ve kind of become the underground online pest control expert on bed bugs by complete accident. I stumbled upon this subject matter 4 years ago looking for online affiliate products to promote and sell. I didn’t even know bed bugs were “a thing” to be honest.
So recently when I could not for the life of me go to sleep at night because I was itching like crazy, and then seeing large groups of red spots and bites (so I thought they were bites anyway at the time), the irony was not lost on me that I, the online get-rid-of-bedbugs-expert-guy, was being eaten alive and I could not get the problem under control!
How could I help others get rid of bed bugs so many times before and yet be burdened with a massive bed bug infestation myself?!
Taking a closer look at those bed bug(?) “bites”
I relied on all the information that I had on finding and getting rid of bed bugs which I have published in numerous blogs and websites online. I first checked between the mattress and the box spring. I examined the edges and crevices of the mattress itself, looking for little black specks (bed bug feces) and any signs of brown smudges and discolorations to indicate there were bedbugs taking naps under my bed.
I then looked for the characteristic shell casings of the bed bugs’ exoskeletons that they shed everywhere as they grow older and bigger. Surely I was bound to find something.
I know what bed bugs look like. They are little brown crawlers that are small and similar in size to ticks or ants, but usually not as small as fleas, though they can be when they are babies.
Content with the fact that I did a thorough inspection of my hotel room and found no bed bugs, I merely passed it off as being in my head, and that eventually this would all pass.
Except it didn’t!
Enough is enough of these nasty itchy red bites
One night, I just could not sleep at all for the life of me. I was itching like crazy, felt like I was being bitten, and was incredibly restless. So I started doing some more research online with my good pal Google. Google was very helpful with my problem.
Since there were no bedbugs crawling around anywhere, and in fact no bugs of any kind… my online quest for additional information led me to a new topic of great interest, one that in fact should interest anyone else experiencing “itchy bites” in the middle of the night as well.
Here’s the deal: if you are having a major problem falling asleep at night, itching like crazy, but don’t see any bed bugs- you could indeed be having a problem with dust mites. Dust mites are so tiny and microscopic that they are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. Ok, this explained a lot in my case.
Furthermore, bed bug bites and the “bites” (which are really just an allergic reaction to dust mite poop) look almost exactly the same!
Bingo. I had caught my culprit red handed. I had also thought during my search that that another suspect in my ills was poison ivy, or at least the Southeast Asian version of poison ivy, if it exists, whatever that might be. My dog and I had been out in the woods walking around brushing up against all kinds of lovely natural foliage and plants which my American body had never experienced, so I was not ruling out an allergic reaction to plant life or spores either.
Dust mites can ruin your ability to fall asleep at night, and are also hard to get rid of
Long story short, I eventually just had to leave that hotel room and find a new hotel, as well as wash my bed linens and clothes and just get to a clean room. Dust mites love a cluttered, dusty, dirty room. They live, walk and breed among the dust, and live in fabrics, especially bed sheets and mattresses.
Dust mites actually feed on your dead skin. They’re not biting you directly. They’re eating your dead flesh and pooping on you, where a protein in their poop causes the allergic reaction in your skin very similar to bedbugs! The only solution is to do a major cleaning and wash everything in super hot water, then if possible, put it in a laundromat high-heat dryer to get rid of the remaining dust mites and eggs.
An alternative is to sun-dry your laundry in direct sunlight.
The conclusion: I finally got rid of the dust mites
Simply be getting to a much cleaner hotel and washing my laundry well, the dust mite problem was solved within a week. Thank God, because getting sleep at night is so important! It is often the difference between going through life like a half-asleep zombie or feeling fresh the next day.
There are other solutions and preventive strategies for dealing with both dust mites and bed bugs.
Bed bugs and dust mites share similarities in how they can be killed also. They will both perish from the use of dessicants like amorphous freshwater silica like the kind they offer on this site here: https://www.defensive-end.com/. Using a product of this sort, one can successfully wipe out entire hordes of dust tmites and bed bugs, but again the most important concept is to clean your dwelling to the utmost to give them less of a reason to stick around!