Picture a home overflowing with millions of tiny spiders. Imagine the family living with this insect infestation. Their carpets, their beds their furniture are all covered with teeming clusters of tiny bugs. Every day these arachnids are eating, sleeping, defecating and dying right there on the couch while junior is watching TV, or on the bed while mom and dad are having a nap.
Now look around your house because, even though you don’t see them, they’re everywhere! We are talking about dust mites, microscopic anthropoids that are one of the leading causes of allergic reactions in the home today. Dust mites are extremely small. With an average size of 250-300 microns they are invisible to the human eye. Dust mites are oval shaped with eight hairy legs, no eyes, no antenna and a tough translucent shell. Their favourite food is flakes of dead skin. There’s nothing a dust mite loves more than to curl up in a warm, humid environment like your couch or mattress and munch away on a meal of human skin.
It’s actually not the dust mites themselves that cause the problem, it’s the proteins found in dust mite droppings that cause an allergic reaction in many people. Completely eliminating dust mites would be difficult if not impossible to do, but there are some steps that you can take to minimize your exposure to dust mite feces and reduce the symptoms of any allergy sufferers in you home
Encase your mattress, box spring, and pillows in dust mite proof covers
Wash bed linens once a week in hot (130° F) water
Vacuum frequently – make sure the allergic person is out of the room first!
Use a high-grade vacuum with a double-thick disposable vacuum bag and a high efficiency HEPA filter
Make sure the vacuum canister is tightly sealed
Don’t forget to vacuum upholstery and drapes
If possible, limit the amount of stuffed toys in the household
Treat carpets with a special tannic acid spray to denaturalize the dust mite protein
Consider replacing carpets with wood, vinyl or tile flooring
Dust frequently with a damp cloth or special, allergy dust cloth that will limit dust redistribution
Use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level below 45 %. Dust mites thrive in a humid environment.
Dust mites are the most common allergen in the world. Unfortunately you’ll probably never be able to entirely rid your house of these invisible invaders. If, however, you take a pro-active approach and follow some of our simple guidelines, you can at the very least provide a cleaner, healthier environment for your loved ones.

Cleaning Perspectives

Cleaning things is a terrible waste of time. Everything just gets dirty again, so what is the point? It is the definition of fruitless, universally true, and ultimately a colossal waste of time and energy. At the end of our lives, no one will ever say “Gosh, what a shame, and they were always so clean.”, or “My, it was so sudden but her house was always so tidy” In fact more people will likely be wondering how long before we turn to ashes or dust, cause that’s the last thing anyone needs is another pile of dust.

An uncle of mine was (and is) a farmer. He has never washed his truck. Ever. It must be an antique, and although the rain has kept some of the blue paint visible, for the most part it is a rolling mud covered chunk of rust. I believe the cohesiveness of the grime is holding it together. In any case his axiom was that if God put it there, he could take it away too. His reasoning was great, although he wasn’t completely consistent himself, as each winter he does plow the snow. I liked his thinking, so I adopted it, which was great until my boss asked me to tidy the public washrooms, and as an articulate, albeit lazy 16 year old, I asked why bother cleaning it, if it was just going to get dirty again. Towards the end of a rather lengthy lecture, he brought up showering, and asked if that’s how I felt about personal hygiene. Needless to say I quickly shut up and proceeded to scrub the toilets.

I have learned that there are tricks to having people think you are a clean freak, without dedicating your life to cleanliness. The most important things to remember are extra bedrooms, crawl spaces and the garage don’t count in cleanliness tests. They are like the FREE spot on a bingo card. Simply toss all of your junk into one of these FREE zones, and make the rest of your house look less cluttered, and cleaner. Be sure you can still close the door though, as falling debris can pose a hazard, which brings up our next tip. Closets. They are as good as gold, and what are the chances someone will look? Life is like Vegas, always play the odds.

My aunt used to have elaborate turkey dinners, which we often attended. She had obviously cooked all day judging from the number of courses, but when we sat down to eat dinner, the kitchen counters were clear. No pots or pans or mixing bowls. Just the beautifully presented platters and a spotless counter. My Mom once asked how she managed to clean everything up before the meal, to which see replied “don’t look in the oven”. She is a professional cheater. What a scam! Had my Mom not asked, to this day she would be revered as a miracle cleaner.

We all have the basic instinct to cheat. When going out on a date, it is a known fact that men will remove all of their junk from their cars, and toss it in their apartments. Meanwhile the female dates take all of the junk from their apartments and toss it into their cars, in anticipation of their boy friends arrival. This continues through the courting process and ultimately sets up everyone for a huge disappointment when they start living together. No wonder there are so many divorces.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in personal hygiene, and some semblance of order, however watching a sunset, reading a book, or playing catch with the kids, in my opinion, is a far better investment than vacuuming, scrubbing the shower, or doing laundry. At least I hope that is what they say about me when it is my turn to become dust on your mantle.

by Ken Pukanich


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