Summary: Relief from mites is a major problem as indicated by the number of people who visit Ask the Exterminator seeking help. One visitor's mite treatment involves washing sheets in Benzyl Benzoate. Read about it here.
My website gets a lot of visitors looking for relief from various types of mites. Often times, visitors post comments regarding their particular mite problem without mentioning the mite species they are battling. I will tell you that mites come from numerous sources, so it is of the utmost importance to determine which mite is infesting your home. This can only be done by having a specimen identified by a person familiar with mites. It is doubtful that a pest control professional lacking an entomology degree would have the ability to make this identification, but various county and state agencies have staff members with the proper training.
That said, one visitor to my site has written about his efforts to fight his mite problem. His comments are as follows:
Taking a leaf out of the US Army's cap, I've impregnated my clothes with Benzyl Benzoate. They used this method during wartime to control scrub typhus carried by mites. I'm using a product known as Benzemul Application here in Australia, obtainable from chemists/pharmacies.
The method I'm using is to wash my clothes normally, then set the washing machine back to the FINAL rinse cycle, fill with hot water, add the full 200ml bottle and let the machine agitate for a minute, then, make sure all the clothes are fully submerged and allow to soak for an hour. Turn the machine back on to complete its rinse/spin dry cycle.
I did my own investigation of Benzyl Benzoate. Some websites are in favor of it, while others say it does nothing to stop mites. Nothing is ever simple, is it? Here are a few of the precautionary statements regarding the use of this product.
If you are using this product without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For topical benzyl benzoate, the following should be considered:
- Allergies”Ask your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzyl benzoate.
- Pregnancy”Benzyl benzoate has not been reported to cause birth defects or other problems in humans. However, the manufacturer recommends that this medicine should be used by pregnant women only if it is necessary. Before using this product, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.
- Breast-feeding”Benzyl benzoate has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies. However, the manufacturer recommends that breast-feeding be suspended during treatment.
- Children”Although there is no specific information comparing use of benzyl benzoate in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
- Older adults” It may not be known whether this product works exactly the same way it does in younger adults or if it causes different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of benzyl benzoate in the elderly with use in other age groups. However, older people may have dry skin and the medicine may make the condition worse.
- Other medical problems”The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of benzyl benzoate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems before using this product.
- Inflammation of the skin (severe)”Use of benzyl benzoate may make the condition worse
One article lists benzyl benzoate number five in a list of seven products to combat mites, number one being the most toxic and seven the least. Number seven was 10% sulfur ointment. Frankly, I have some serious reservations when it comes to applying a pesticide to the sheets on which I intend to sleep. I suppose it is all a matter of personal needs. If you are suffering from mites and cannot get relief, perhaps soaking your sheets in benzyl benzoate is the way to go.
Like I said at the start of this article, identification is the key to problem resolution. If you are treating for bird mites and your mites are Pin Oak mites, it is going to be a never-ending war. Do everything possible to get a proper identification. Then, and only then, can you put together a plan of action.