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Archive for August, 2011

If you notice itchy red bumps in a line, you may have bed bugs. It's time to check your mattress for red blood spots, molted skins and bugs about the size of sesame seeds. The first thing you need to do if you find them in your mattress is to clean and encase it with mattress covers like those offered by Clean Brands. This ensures that the bugs inside the mattress can't get out and bite you or infest more of your home.

If your mattress has been infested, you may have no choice but to dispose of it. If you discard your mattress you should take a few careful steps so that no one else is infested as a result. Cut the mattress so that it's unusable, then write 'Bed Bug Infested' on the mattress to discourage people from picking it up.

Similar steps should be taken for any other furniture you decide to discard from a bed bug-infested home.

Life cycle of bed bugs

Bed bugs are disgusting creatures that seem to be taking over the world. They have become an international infestation, and city officials everywhere are looking for solutions to their districts' bed bug problem. Education about these creepy critters is essential for stopping their spread.

Females of the species lay up to twelves eggs per day, usually in cracks in furniture of seams of mattresses. It takes 6 to 17 days for eggs to hatch after which the nymphs begin to feed on hosts immediately.

If food is scarce, molting is delayed, but bed bugs don't reach maturity until they've molted five times. This is why it's so important to look for the molted shells while searching for an infestation.

Bed bugs can live for several months to a year without food, making them extremely difficult to get rid of. They can live up to 17 months, and three generations of bed bugs can be in your home at one time.

Protect your bed from a potential infestation with box spring and mattress covers from Clean Brands.  

Allergy facts and myths

No one really knows why some people's bodies attack harmless pathogens and cause them to have an allergic reaction. Because of this, there is a lot of mystery circulating around allergies. Even so, there are some facts and myths that allergy sufferers should know about.

One major myth is that children can outgrow allergies. Although some allergy symptoms may be reduced overtime, allergies like hay fever will follow you for the rest of your life. Despite its name, hay fever has nothing to do with hay and it's not a fever. Hay fever refers to allergies caused by pollen and mold.

If you suffer from pollen allergies, the best time to go outside is after the rain when pollen counts are low. Daily pollen counts actually are very important in determining the severity of your symptoms, so you should try to avoid the outdoors when counts are particularly high.

To control your allergies in the house, keep outdoor clothing in one place and use hypoallergenic blankets and mattress covers to keep your bedroom allergen-free.

Bed bugs are loathed. Any bug infestation is gross, but generally an exterminator can do the trick. With bed bugs, that's not always the case. They are very difficult to get rid of and often require several visits from the exterminator – and you may have to say goodbye to a lot of your furniture.

Part of the problem is that there isn't one pesticide approved for indoor use that can effectively kill bed bugs. Largely it's because no single insecticide that's permitted for households that can kill bed bugs, according to entymologist Dini Miller, Virginia's urban pest-management specialist.

Because pesticides can be harmful to humans and pets, there's nothing that's strong enough to fully treat a bed bug problem. They hide in walls, behind light fixtures and inside electronics, and their quick pace makes them difficult to locate. They can travel through walls, so if your neighbor in an apartment building has them, you can get them, too. If one apartment is treated for bed bugs, all apartments in the building should be treated in order for it to be effective.

To protect your furniture from this growing problem, use furniture and mattress covers like those offered by Clean Brands.

Any allergy is caused by an overreaction of the immune system in response to an otherwise harmless substance. Therefore, a dust mite allergy is an immune response to the microscopic spider-like creatures found within dust.

You are predisposed to this allergy if it runs in your family. It usually develops from childhood to early adulthood, and if you are exposed to large quantities of dust mites early in life, you are more likely to become allergic.

Untreated, this allergy can lead to chronic sinus infections or asthma. The risk of asthma attack increases with exposure to the allergen, which is why it's so important to keep your house hypoallergenic.

Because they prefer warm, moist areas, a dehumidifier may be helpful in decreasing their population.

Hypoallergenic bedding sets like those sold by Clean Brands can make your bedroom a safer place to be. The sets include two pillow covers, a mattress cover and a box spring cover, so you can breath easily without those annoying creatures.

Asthma and allergies are closely linked, as 70 percent of asthmatics have allergies. Just as scientists have hypothesized that global climate change is responsible for worsening allergies, new studies suggest that it may also increase the amount of people suffering with asthma.

The research, which found that changing levels of ozone could lead to a 7.3 percent increase in emergency room visits for asthma patients up to age 17, was recently published in an issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

Dr. Perry Sheffield, assistant professor of preventative medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, led the research. "Our study shows that these assessment models are an effective way of evaluating the long-term impact of global climate change on a local level," explained Dr. Sheffield. "This study is a jumping-off point to evaluate other outcomes including cost utilization, doctors' visits, missed school days, and a general understanding of the overall burden of climate change on children with asthma."

Because allergies can trigger asthma attacks, it's important that allergy sufferers do everything they can to keep their homes hypoallergenic. Protecting mattresses and furniture with hypoallergenic mattress covers from Clean Brands can keep allergens like dustmites from irritating you while you sleep.  

About 50 million Americans suffer from some form of allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and 40 million of those people have both indoor and outdoor allergies.

Although medications prove helpful to some, they often lead to negative side-effects like drowsiness. There are a number of other things people can do to try to treat allergies without medication.

Switch out carpets for hardwood flooring or tile whenever possible, as they are a great place for allergens such as dust, dander and pollen to hide. If you do have carpet, vacuum as often as you can to keep them clear of any lurking irritants.

Air filters, humidifiers and furniture covers are excellent products for keeping your house free from allergens. If you can't afford to use these in every room, consider designating one room as an allergy-free zone for the allergy sufferers in your family.

Keep the bedrooms of allergy sufferers free from allergens with mattress covers like those sold by Clean Brands. You can also purchase entire bedding sets, which cover pillows and box springs as well as the mattress.

Lastly, keep outdoor clothing in a designated area, as they bring allergens from outside into the home. It may seem like a small change, but it makes a world of difference.

If you use pesticides as a way of treating for bed bugs, there are a few things you should look out for to keep your home, family and pets safe.

Don't use any outdoor pesticides inside your home. Some make this mistake, thinking the pesticides are stronger, but they aren't made for bed bugs and they can be harmful if used in an enclosed area.

When you use the wrong kind of pesticide it doesn't kill the bugs, but it may make them hide, making them even more difficult to exterminate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Use EPA-registered products anduse them as directed. Read the entire label, and be mindful when spraying near or on furniture.

Pesticides probably won't solve the problems inside your furniture, so if you choose chemicals to treat the bugs you should seriously consider getting rid of any infested furniture to avoid home re-infestation.

If you don't have bed bugs and you're wondering what you can do to protect your furniture in the event of a future infestation, consider purchasing pillow and mattress covers from Clean Brands to keep your furniture safe.

Biology of bed bugs

Bed bugs, or Cimex lectularius, feed on the blood of mammals and birds and have long been a pest to humans and their households. Luckily, they are more of a nuisance than a health problem, as they haven't been found to transmit any diseases to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

It's a common misconception that bed bugs are microscopic. In fact, adult bed bugs are quite visible at about 5 millimeters long. They are flat, almost the shape and size of a sesame seed, and are generally brown or red in color.

Bed bugs tend to feed about an hour before dawn. When they aren't feeding they can hide anywhere, from the seems of a mattress to behind a picture frame. The worse the infestation, the more likely you are to find them in strange places, like under wall paper and inside appliances.

Since bed bugs have become a world-wide epidemic, it's smart to take preventative meaures in protecting your furniture. Consider protecting the beds in your household with mattress covers from Clean Brands.

There are many myths about bed bugs, and in order to try to control the bed bug epidemic it's important that people know the truth.

Many believe that bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes. This is not true. Bed bugs are attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. Although the more clutter you have, the harder it is to spot a bed bug infestation.

Another common misconception is that pesticides can eliminate the problem. Bed bugs in many areas have adapted to become resistant to pesticides, however even those that have not can come back after a chemical treatment if that's the only step that was taken to eliminate the problem.

Some think bed bugs are microscopic, so they don't bother looking for them when they suspect an infestation. They are actually about 5 millimeters long and brown or red in color – visible to the naked eye.

Bed bugs can come into any home, no matter how clean it is. Protect your mattress with mattress covers from Clean Rest.