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Updated: Wednesday, 25 Apr 2012, 11:10 PM CDT Published : Wednesday, 25 Apr 2012, 10:01 PM CDT by Jody Ambroz / FOX 9 News It's the season for spring cleaning, and this year, you might want to pay extra attention to your bed. Dust mites are everywhere, but you could be living with thousands of the uninvited guests and not even know it. In fact, your bed can become a breeding ground. Luckily, there are a few simple steps that can help you get those tiny intruders under control. It's common knowledge that college students aren't well-known for their cleanliness -- and some really could use a bit of help, but they'd probably cringe if they could see the thousands of critters lurking where they sleep. "They look fierce when you look at one of them under the microscope," said Colleen Cannon, who studies plenty of creepy things at Plunkett Pest Control. "They look terrible. I think that's what frightened people." Even though dust mites are microscopic, they can cause a big mess inside homes -- and can cause severe allergies to flare up fast and linger all year if they aren't kept in check. You don't want to let them run rampant. You want to try and keep numbers down. You're never going to get complete control," Cannon explained. Experts recommend washing bed sheets at least once a week to keep them at bay -- and make sure the water temperature is around 130 degrees. That means you need to use the whites setting or hot cycle to wash and dry. A mattress cover can also offer another layer of protection, because it can keep the tiny critters from penetrating into the mattress or box spring. Read more: Is Your Bed a Den for Dust Mites?

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