Many people like to snuggle at night with a pet. But allergens around the house and in the bedroom often come from pets. Dogs and cats can bring in mold and pollen from outdoors. Their own dander can be an allergen, as well. Pet dander settles on bed linens and becomes food for dust mites.

Pillows and blankets in the bedroom are frequently home to mold and dust mites. Mold, in particular, is often found in mattresses and pillows. It releases spores that can trigger asthma symptoms.

Help combat these unwanted visitors by:

■ Using special mite-proof mattress and pillow covers

■ Washing sheets once a week in 130-degree water to kill dust mites and their eggs

■ Washing pillows and pet beds/mats once a month

■ Never allowing pets on the bed

■ Keeping pet sleeping areas and/or bird cages out of bedrooms

■ Replacing mattresses every 10 years

■ Replacing pillows every 5 years

— Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

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