Although we spend one-third of our lives on our mattresses, we seem to pay very little attention to their cleaning and maintenance. But what if we told you that your mattress is home to thousands of dust mites and bacteria? Yes, you read it right!
Scabies are mites that breed on your skin as you sleep, exposing you to various infections and allergies. Isn’t that alarming!? But don’t worry, we’re here to help you!
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about scabies — their symptoms, their lifespan, and how to remove them from your mattress. So let’s begin!
What Are Scabies?
According to the WHO, around 200 million people around the world suffer from scabies at one time. Scabies is a skin infestation caused by a tiny mite known as Sarcoptes Scabei.
The female mite digs on the surface of the human skin and lays her eggs. These eggs hatch into baby mites in around 3-10 days. Anyone who comes into contact with them becomes infected
Scabies is very contagious and easily spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact between infected individuals and others. It can also be spread by sharing towels, razors, clothes, and bedsheets, etc.
Common Symptoms Of Scabies
Scabies frequently occurs in body parts such as the face, wrist, elbow, armpit, between the fingers, nipple, waist, and groin, etc. Some common symptoms of scabies are:
- Itching and rashes that resemble bug bites, pimples, or blisters.
- Tiny raised lines on the skin of greyish-white or skin colour.
- Fever, sneezing, and nasal congestion.
- Asthma symptoms such as wheezing and difficulty in breathing, etc.
How Long Can Scabies Live In Your Mattress?
In most cases, scabies won’t last more than 2-3 days on your mattress. But, if your skin comes in contact with your skin in the meantime, they lay eggs and multiply on it.
On the human skin, they can live up to 2 months. Isn’t that disturbing!? Since scabies feeds on human skin to survive, it is better to cut their food supply to prevent their accumulation.
How To Get Rid Of Scabies In Your Mattress?
Now that you know how contagious scabies is, let us also inform you of 6 methods to remove them quickly!
1. Vinegar And Baking Soda Method
Vinegar and baking soda is an all-natural, tried-and-tested method of cleaning a mattress. While baking soda acts as a natural deodorizer, vinegar is a natural sanitizer that effectively removes mites and bacteria.
Here’s how to use it:
- Sprinkle some baking soda onto your mattress and make sure that you cover it completely.
- Spray the vinegar over the baking soda with a spray bottle and let it bubble for a few minutes.
- Spread damp towels on the mattress and leave them for 2-4 hours.
- Then, remove the towels and let the mattress air-dry.
- Scrape off the dried baking soda with a cloth or brush.
2. Essential Oils And Baking Soda Method
According to a study, eucalyptus, peppermint or lavender essential oils can safely and efficiently eliminate dust mites. Moreover, combining baking soda with essential oils will eliminate bacteria and foul odors from your mattress.
Here’s the method:
- Mix 8-12 drops of your favorite essential oil into a half cup of baking soda to form a paste.
- Rub this paste onto the mattress in circular motions and let it sit for at least 1 hour.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the residue.
- Once the mattress is clean, let it dry in the fresh air.
3. Permethrin Spray To The Rescue!
Permethrin Spray works like magic to disinfect surfaces and mattresses if you don’t want to wash them. It is very useful in protecting your house against scabies. We recommend that you always read the instructions label of the spray to ensure you know how to use it correctly.
4. Steam Cleaning To Get Rid Of Scabies
Another great way to remove scabies from your mattress is steam cleaning. Steam helps in disinfecting your mattress and removing dirt, dead skin, insects, and dust mites from it. You can either steam clean your mattress yourself or get it done by a professional.
Here’s the DIY method of steam cleaning your mattress:
- Remove all the coverings, blankets, and pillows from your bed.
- Clean the surface of your mattress with a vacuum or a stiff brush to remove all the dust particles.
- Sprinkle 1-2 cups of baking soda onto your mattress and make sure you cover it entirely. Using a siever will make it easier for you to sprinkle.
- Allow it to sit for 1-2 hours.
- If you don’t have a steamer, adjust your iron on steam mode. Now, run it all over your mattress, including its sides.
- Let it air-dry completely since moisture will
Lead to the accumulation of bacteria. You can open your windows to speed up the drying process.
5. Plastic Cover: Two Problems, One Solution!
Placing a plastic cover on your mattress will be beneficial for both you and your mattress. On one hand, it will prevent the build-up of mites, dirt, and bodily fluids in your mattress.
On the other hand, it will protect your skin against exposure to scabies. Since scabies feed on dead skin to survive, preventing human contact may reduce their lifetime.
6. Bye-Bye Old Mattress: Replace Your Mattress
Suppose you tried all the methods, but still didn’t get success in getting rid of stubborn scabies. Now, what to do!? In such a situation, we recommend you replace your old mattress as soon as possible!
The mites may have spread to all areas of your mattress and don’t seem to die easily. Over time, they could multiply and infect everyone who comes into contact with them.
1. How much skin contact do you need to catch scabies?
Scabies is unlikely to transmit by short contacts such as shaking hands. Longer contact of approximately 5-10 minutes is needed for transmission.
2. Can UV light kill scabies mites in my mattress?
Bacteria, pathogens, and scabies mites are all killed by UV light. According to a study, the effectiveness of the UV light depends on its intensity and the length of time the mite is exposed to it.
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By now, we hope that you have all the relevant information about scabies and how to prevent and get rid of them. It is important to clean your mattress regularly to eliminate any bacteria and mites from it.
Just with the help of a few basic household items, you can prevent them from accumulating and protect your loved ones from becoming infected.
If you still have any queries, please let us know in the comment section below. We will be happy to help you!