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By HC Staff

I’m not trying to gross you out, but there are bugs that live in bedding, carpet, and upholstery that feast on flakes of skin. (Eww — I grossed myself out!) I’m talking about dust mites, of course, and they’re happiest in moist, warm environments — like a house that is closed up for the winter.


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Thankfully, dust mites can be kept at bay with just some basic good housekeeping practices, like washing sheets weekly in hot water and allowing them to dry thoroughly before replacing them on the bed. Get more tips on controlling dust mites from the HC-Pedia entry on Dust Mites.

And here’s another article about dust mites that will send shivers up your spine (it comes complete with a scary picture): Multiple Bodies Found in Nation's Beds.

The National Pest Management Association tells you what you can do in your yard to help prevent termites, carpenter ants, spiders and rodents from making themselves at home in your home. See Falling Temperatures Send Pests Indoors. One particular tip in this article can save you thousands of dollars in home repair costs: Keep tree branches, shrubs, and soil from touching the sides of the house or the roof. They act as bridges for insects, and in wet weather they hold moisture so your home’s exterior doesn’t have an opportunity to dry.

If rodents become a problem, you may have to get Rambo-style aggressive. In another article from the NPMA, Repelling Rodents, I found out that mice can produce 2500 babies in six months! Better to use a few preventative measures, like sealing up holes or cracks in the walls.

Fleas and other pet-loving pests are less of a problem after the first frost, but these tips will help you keep your pets flea-free all year long: Well Look What the Dog Brought In — Infestations, Itching, and Disease.

(And please don’t forget: Rat and Mouse Poisons Could Also Harm Pets. If you think your pet has ingested something dangerous, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or get in touch with your vet.)

(Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Housekeeping Channel, LLC.)

Creepy-Crawlies:  Created on October 22nd, 2010.  Last Modified on March 10th, 2011