Catching some germs after a hard day’s work? You’ll be itching to get out of the covers when you find out who’s been spending the night. Two of the most important and expensive investments in your home are your carpet and your mattress. But there are hidden germs lurking in two of the places you and your family use the most.
Vampire bugs, deadly diseases & molds are all lurking under the sheets, and these things aren’t just the stuff of nightmares. Join all time 10s as we show you what nasty pests are hiding in your mattress. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!
These vampire critters feast on your blood when you´re asleep. If you´re invaded by an army of bed bugs, then you could be bitten up to 500 times every night – and they can survive for 3 months without feeding in the cracks around your bedroom. In 2009, one man even developed a life-threatening iron deficiency because of blood loss he suffered from a bed bug infestation. They´ve also been linked to spreading the deadly Chagas disease, which cause inflammation oéf the heart.
Your bed contains anywhere from 100.000 to 10 million of these microscopic arachnids, whish survive by eating your dead skin cells. Dust mites defecate at least 20 times a day, and their faces can even cause asthma – but don´t worry, these can easily be killed by keeping your room clean.
Colonies of green and black mold to grow on used, damp mattresses, and if you inhale the spores you could develop asthma and even pneumonia in serious cases, Cladosporium will also give you a nasty fungal infection called onychornycosis – which causes lesions on your skin, and makes your toenails crumble off.
Dirty bed linen can infect you with body lice. These tiny parasitic insects will crawl out of your bedding at night, to suck on your blood. If they have a constant supply, lice can live up to 4 weeks, and cause severe itching – and even typhus in some cases.
Modern mattresses contain harmful chemicals called “volatile organic compounds,” which are the same chemicals found in cleaning solutions. Okay, so these gases might not technically be alive, but they can still do some serious damage to your health. Every night, we absorb those toxic compounds into our skin, and they´re been proven to cause migraines, neurological disorders, and even cancer. And babies are most at risk of being poisoned – today, modern cribs emit 4 times as much toxic gas older models.
This fungus clings to synthetics bed linens, and if you breathe in the spores, your lungs and brain can be infected with “aspergillosis”, which causes fatal neurological damage. It usually infects people with weak immune system, but anyone is at risk – even athletes. In 2013 an American football player was left fighting for his after he developed a fungal growth in his brain from mold exposure.
The deadly fire ant eats everything from earthworms to human flesh, and in parts of America swarms of these insects have been known to invade people´s beds. The fire ant will repeatedly sting its victim with venom until they die from an extreme allergic reaction called anaphyfayis – which blocks the airways, starving them of oxygen.
It might live harmlessly in your gut, but deadly strains of the E, Coli bacteria can burrow into the rips and tears on your pillows. Bacterial infection starts off with fever and flu-like symptoms, but this killer will attack the brain and kidneys, leaving you neurologically damaged and incontinent.
Even the superbug MRSA has been found lurking in pillows, which gets into your body through cuts and grazes. Once infected, you´ll develop blood poisoning, before your body completely shuts down – and the best part, MRSA is highly resistant to antibiotics, in 20-50% of cases it´s actually untreatable.
If you´re in the 50% if cat and dog owns who let their pets sleep on their bed, then you´re at the risk of catching worms, animal diseases, and fleas. A 9-year-boy from Arizona even died after sleeping next to his sick cat. Turns out he´d caught bubonic plague and developed fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.