Dust Mite Mania
We are launching a full-scale attack against dust mites in our homes. A tricky proposition, since the little buggers cannot be seen with the human eye. Hard to verify whether they’re in your house or not.
We imagine we may be infested because: a) one of our dogs has bad allergies; and b) we are not clean people.
I used to be a clean person. I used to be many positive and productive things. That was long before Dogs, Children, and Responsibilities. Then we got a cleaning woman to help on an occasional basis. Then she started breaking a lot of things. Then the economy flopped.
Consequently, rather than have our tiny treasures smashed to smithereens, as well as having to decide whether to feed our family or enjoy a clean home, we opted for filth. I’m not talking about trash in the hallways, or dishes piled high, I’m talking about that nagging feeling that you wouldn’t want anyone to arrive to visit unannounced.
Our non-shedding dogs contributed hair that collected in the corners of our houses like tumbleweeds on the prairie. The heavily-used kitchen sported sticky spots on the floor and in the corners no matter how much I swabbed and swiped. Contraband candy crept into the crevices of our couches, along with pencil shavings-?!
I designated one entire day to clean. We probably needed a month, but you do what you can. Basic cleaning was called-for, even before we would deal with the mites. Given the fact that we are pretty much year-round homeschoolers, the children jumped at any chance to dodge the Dreaded Schoolwork. They dusted, and vacuumed, and mopped with great gusto.
I gave everyone a week to recuperate after that, before launching into the Dust Mite Eradication Program.
“Kids,” I explained. “You know that Misha has bad allergies. Oftentimes, these are caused by dust mites. The mites themselves don’t bite, or cause allergies, but once they die, their dead bodies and poo-poo, also microscopic, can cause rashes on the skin.”
The children grimaced at the thought.
Our family’s multi-pronged approach included heat, sunshine, and eucalyptus oil. We would wash and dry whatever we could, such as bedding, at very high temperatures. Then we would place it in the sunshine just in case not everything had died. Next, the kids would beat the sofa cushions and pillows after they had been in the sun, hopefully knocking off all of the unwanted refuse. And on the unmoveable objects, such as mattresses and wall-to-wall carpeting, we sprayed the essential oil of eucalyptus, diluted with water, which the dust mites were said to dislike to the point of death.
The house smelled really fresh, at least. Not to mention that it was clean.
We all slept very well that night, probably due to exhaustion, more than any missing mites. The dogs slept soundly, too, either from watching us in our flurry of frenzied fervor, or from the buggies going bye-bye once and for all..
And just in case there were any lingering creepy-crawlies of any persuasion, as we left one house for another, we set off a slew of bug bombs.
Take that! (If you even existed in the first place.)
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