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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Dust Mite War...
 



The Dust Mite War

Like nearly every woman, Iíve been fighting the dust mite war my whole life, but recently it became more serious when the doctor told me that I was allergic to house dust.

It is not plain, old, run-of-the mill, outdoor-type dust that causes the problem. It is dust that collects in the home that is infested with the dust mite varmints. These pesky mites are microscopic in size, but cause all sorts of problems and allergic reactions.

Dust mites are tiny, but nasty looking critters, looking not unlike an ocean crab. Of course, in the microscopic world, everything looks pretty ominous. In our world, they are invisible because of their tiny, minute size.

It seems these little critters feed on dead human flesh. Gross, huh? The dead cells that our bodies naturally shed are "steak and potatoes" to these guys. They hang around places where the food is plentiful, especially in the bedroom and mattress. When a flake drops off, they slurp it up.

Actually, all this slurping is what causes most of the problems. They eat so much that they use the restroom a lot, and they donít bother with flushing. One dust mite can go as many as 20 times a day. I donít know who counted, but apparently someone with a powerful microscope either had nothing else to do or received a government grant to count dust mite poo. Anyhow, itís the dust mite excrement that causes the allergic reactions.

Now all of this is really quite disgusting. Makes you want to grab the disinfectant and start spraying for dear life. Catch 22: Dust mites are not killed like germs!

Forget the Lysol and grab the vacuum cleaner! There are some special powders and sprays that help, but the only really effective weapon against dust is an old one Ė- HOT WATER. Yep, hot water, says the doc, is the best way to kill these varmints. Of course, plastic dust covers on the mattress and pillows, frequent laundering in hot water, and electrostatic air filters help.

Itís a war against an invisible enemy. How can you eliminate dust from the environment? Dust collectors like books, plants, stuffed toys, carpets and mini-blinds are "home sweet home" for the mite.

Depressing. Whatís the point of living without any of the things we love, like books, plants and beanie babies? Itís enough to make a person obsessive-compulsive. There has to be some compromise some place. Who wants to stay awake all night listening for dust mites with the munchies?

My vacuum cleaner is the only friend that understands me any more. Its just the two of us against an invisible dust mite army! I may make a trip to the local allergy store for a tannic acid spray. Seems this spray can "denature" mites. Trouble is it can also stain everything it touches.

Iím wondering if the guy who coined the phrase "war is hell" could have been allergic to house dust?

 


Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

 
 



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