House dust mite is tiny insect-like creatures that feed off flakes of dead skin and dander. One research shows that there are about two million dust mites living comfortably in a home. Because of its microscopic translucent body, is it hard to know if you have dust mites living in your couch. Adding the fact that dust mites allergic reactions are similar to dust, mold, and pollen allergies. Therefore, sitting is probably the best way to confirm is there dust mites crawling in the sofa. After you sat on the couch binge-watching for a few hours, do you experience allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose or red eyes? Do you feel an itching sensation but shows no sign of bedbug bites on your skin? These are the first few tell-tale signs of dust mites allergies.
Common Signs of Dust Mite Allergies
- Itchy/ watery eyes
- Stuffy/ runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy/ scratchy throat
- Itchy skin
- Wheezing/ difficulty breathing
1. Vacuum Regularly With a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner
A normal vacuum cleaner is not capable of catching dust mites and their tiny eggs hiding in the sofa. You will need a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filtration that can trap 99.97% of the microscopic pest. The strong suction plus microfilter bag ensures dust mites and other tiny microbes will be removed from the couch and stop it from further growth. We recommend vacuuming every other day and while you’re at it, vacuum the rug, carpet, and entire house thoroughly.
2. Steam Clean Periodically
In addition to vacuuming, you can use a steam cleaner to eliminate dust mites and other microbes. The high temperature is very effective in killing dust mites in the couch and is suitable for all kinds of upholstery. Steam clean is also perfect for cushion with a non-removable cover and is too big to fit inside a washing machine. You can apply the same steam cleaning method on clothes, carpet, pillows, bedsheets, and beds.
3. Remove Couch Covers and Wash
Some fabrics or cushions cannot be steam clean hence the removable covers that can be taken out for a wash. Washing and replace the cushion covers every 1-4 weeks to keep it mite free. In the washing machine setting, we recommend using hot water at set it at about 130 F (54.4 C) to kill off dust mites, larvae, and germs. The washing method is applicable to blankets, pillowcases, and bedsheets. For cushions that cannot be steam or wash, you can freeze it in the freezer but the odds of you having an empty freezer is slim to none.
4. Leave The Cushions To Dry Out In The Sun
After you have steam or wash the cushion, it is highly recommended that you let the cushion dry outdoors under the sun. This is because dust mites and allergen thrive on dark and damp conditions. The hot sun will dry out the cushions and the hot temperature will inhibit dust mites from growth. On a bad day when there is no sun, it is still a good idea to air it out outside if the weather permits.
5.Spray it with tea tree oil or Eucalyptus Oil Spray
For those that don’t have the time to steam or vacuum, you can use either tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil to kill dust mites. Spray it on the couch and let it be. Take note that is only a temporary solution and you will still need to wash the couch whenever you can.
6. Keep Humidity Level Not More Than 50 Percent
With a dehumidifier of course. According to aafa, dust mites thrive in humidity levels between 70-80% with temperatures around 68-77°F (20-25 °C). In order to discourage dust mites from growing in the couch, we need to keep the humidity level between 30-50%. You can achieve that with better room ventilation but the impact is minimal. The best way is to get a dehumidifier that can quickly drain excessive moisture in a room while maintaining humidity at an ideal level. That way your home will be completely inhabitable for the microbes all-day long.
7. Place An Air Purifier Next To The Couch
A dust air purifier with HEPA filter will capture dust mites in the air so it will not land on the couch and multiply. There are thousands of dust mites in a speck of dust that travels through airborne. The airborne dust mites will eventually fall on the couch or somewhere nearby. By turning on the air purifier all-day, it will pull in airborne dust mites and allergens even before it has a chance to settle down. You make prolong the air purifier lifespan and usability by making sure all HVAC system filters are clean periodically.
8. Remove Carpet And Rug in Living Hall
Avoid placing carpet or rug in living hall as the disturbed dust mites might be airborned to the couch. Carpet is notorious for creating a perfect habitat for dust mites and allergens. Even if you vacuum on a regular basis, there are still bound to be dust mites accumulated inside the carpet. By not having a carpet at all, you are reducing the risk of exposure to dust mites and other allergens. For better results, remove and replace carpet over concrete with wood, linoleum or vinyl flooring.
9. Opt For Leather Couch
The perfect choice if you are a hyperallergic person that is very sensitive to dust mites. A genuine or synthetic leather couch is mite-resistant compared with microfiber or upholstery couch. The dense material has little space for dust mites to crawl inside and grow. Investing in a leather couch will also save you time and effort in maintenance.
10. Switch To Dust Mites Protector Cover
For those that have a perfectly fine sofa or couch, you can switch it with an allergen-free dust mites protector cover instead. Unlike a normal cloth, a hypoallergenic dust mites cover will block out dust mites from crawling inside the couch thanks to the tight weaving. Best of all, there is no compromisation on the couch cooling and breathability. If you have pillows or sheets on the sofa, switch it with a hypoallergenic cover as well.
11. Keep Pets Off The Couch
Whether it is dog, cat or any exotic breed, avoid having your furry friend on the couch. Pets are ticks, dust mites, and germs prone even if they stay indoors all the time. Like human, they shed an excessive amount of dander which is the food source for dust mites. By restricting them off the sofa, there is less pet dander and dust mites to deal with. For those that insist on letting their pet sleeping on the sofa, groom and bathe them regularly to reduce the amount of pet fur shed. They are also temporary solutions like dander removal spray that will work wonders in killing off allergens.
12. Reduce Clutter on couch
Minimize decoration, keep it as simple as possible. If you are allergic to dust mites, try not to place too many pillows, blankets, stuff dolls, or textile artwork on the couch. Not only will the clutter attract dust, you are essentially giving another platform for the dust mites to crawl into. Also, move the sofa away from curtains or blinds as there will be a good clump of dust trapped underneath.
13. Hire Professional Sofa Cleaner
For those that are too sensitive to deal with allergens or simply don’t have the time. Hiring a professional cleaner might be the safest and easiest way of eradicating dust mites in your couch without you ever lifting a finger. The trained cleaner will assess your couch condition and perform either steam cleaning or power vacuuming. At the end of it all, they will advise you on the sofa care maintenance to prevent re-infestation. Take note that the cost of couch cleaning can range from $70 to $150 depending on the number of seats. If you are tight on budget, you might be better off cleaning the sofa by yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Can Dust Mites Bite You?
Dust mites do not bite humans, unlike chiggers and bed bugs. The microscopic pests survive by feeding on dead skin, pet dander found in dust. If you experience itchiness and skin rash, it is due to the dust mite dropping substances, not bite marks.
Are Dust Mites Dangerous?
In general, dust mites are considered harmless as it doesn't bite and carry diseases. However, dust mite feces contain protein that can lead to allergies when inhaled or touched. Symptoms include sneezing, runny noses, eczema, itchy eyes, and even an asthma attack. People with respiratory conditions will need to be extra careful when dealing with dust mites.
How To Prevent Dust Mites In My Couch
Dealing with dust mites in a couch can range from super easy to tedious. Regardless of the difficulty, it is still better than having to sit on a couch all day and let the pest crawling around your skin. If you have severe allergic reactions to dust mites, wear a mask while vacuuming the couch. Better yet, let others perform the cleaning task for you. Stay clear of the area to reduce the risk of you inhaling to the airborne dust mites during the cleanup.
- Invest in a leather couch or use hypoallergenic dust mite protector
- Vacuum or steam clean the couch regularly
- Wash or freeze the couch cover regularly
- Use a tea tree oil, eucalyptus spray or DE to wipe the couch
- Lower the humidity level in a room with a dehumidifier
- Reduce airborne dust and dust mites with an air purifier
- Keep pets away from the couch
- Remove carpet or replace them with hard flooring
- Seal all windows and doors from external dust mites