How to Identify and Get Rid of Wood Mites

Any species of mites can leave you feeling uneasy about them hiding inside your home. Although wood mites are harmless to people and your property you don’t want these pests inside your home. 

Unfortunately, identifying wood mites is challenging. Often, infestations grow very large before you realize you have wood mites. 

Don’t worry, I’m here to help. In this post, I am going to go over how to identify and get rid of wood mites from your home. 

Let’s get started.

What Do Wood Mites Look Like?

Wood mites are a species of mites that live on wood and feed on decaying organic matter. They are very similar to dust mites and mold mites, with the main difference being their food source and shelter preference.

Wood mites are small mites. They measure only 1mm long and can vary in color from white, red, or tan.

Noticing them with your naked eye is difficult. The one thing to inspect for if you suspect wood mites is thing webbing. These mites often leave a thin webbing in the locations they take shelter.

You’ll often find this webbing on plants or flowers, potted plants, or around decaying wood.

What Are Wood Mites?

Wood mites are a species of mite that lives in moist areas, preferably wood. These mites feed on rotting organic matter such as wood.

These mites are small creatures that invade homes. They aren’t dangerous and don’t cause any harm to humans or structures.

Unlike, termites although they feed on decaying wood, they don’t cause any structural damage.

These wood mites are small and are often only noticed when infestations become large. With large infestations, you will begin to notice thin silken webs where they are present.

How Do Wood Mites Get In Your Home?

The most common way that wood mites enter your home is through infested wood from the outdoors.

The most common source of wood is firewood. Suppose you use firewood for a fireplace or wood-burning stove. The firwood is likely infested before bringing it in.

Another potential source of wood mites is through used furniture. If you buy used furniture, it’s possible that it was already infested before bringing it into your home.

Wood mites can also enter homes through outdoor plants. They can infest plants to feed on decaying or rotting organic matter. Another common source of wood mites is Christmas trees.

Wood Mites vs. Termites

Wood mites and termites are similar because they both feed on food. The major difference is that wood mites only feed on decaying or rotting wood, where termites can feed on dry wood. 

Wood mites and termites also differ drastically in appearance. 

  • Size: Wood mites are tiny, only measuring 1/50th of an inch or 0.5 mm. On the other hand, termites are significantly larger, measuring ¼ inch as adults, and even termite larvae measure 1/10 inch or 2.5mm.
  • Color: Wood mites are typically translucent, white, red, or tan. Termite larvae and wood mites can be confused because they can both be translucent white or slightly tan. Adult termites are typically easy to differentiate because they are brown, beige, or dark brown. 
  • Damage: Wood mites don’t cause any damage to structures, only feed on decaying or rotting organic matter. Termites, on the other hand, cause direct damage to the wood that they infest. 
  • Wings: Wood mites don’t have wing pads, whereas termites have wings. On the other hand, termite larvae look similar to wood mites because they are translucent and don’t have wings. 

How To Get Rid of Wood Mites

1. Identify the Source of the Wood Mite Infestation

Before you begin getting rid of your infestation, you need to identify the source of your infestation. Identifying the source of the infestation will help you get rid of their shelter and food source.

To keep wood mites away, you need to get rid of their food source and determine where they are hiding.

To find locations where wood mites might be hiding, you want to inspect your home for excess moisture, mold, rotting wood, dying plants or rotting wood, or other rotting organic material.

Inspect your walls, floorboards, shelves, cabinets, pantry, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, or attics.

2. Remove Clutter and Clean

The first step you can take to get rid of wood mites is to clean and remove any clutter. Removing clutter and cleaning will make it easier to spot wood mites.

If there is lots of clutter, it will be difficult to determine the source of the wood mites.

Wood mites feed on cellulose; it’s possible that they can be hiding and feeding off of boxes, paper, cardboard, or other potential sources of cellulose.

Avoid leaving lots of paper or cardboard in moist environments. The best way to avoid this is to use air-tight containers. This will make it hard for wood mites to hide and prevent them from feeding on other sources of cellulose.

3. Eliminate Mold

Mold is another common source of food for wood mites as well as mold mites. These mites are often confused with one another, but each lives in a different location.

Mold is often a sign of water damage or excess moisture. These can also lead to rotting wood or water damaged wood. These can also be ideal locations where wood mites can feed and breed.

There are two common home remedies for removing surface mold around your home.

Bleach and Water – 2 Cups Bleach for Every Gallon
Vinegar and Water – 4 Cups Vinegar for Every Gallon

Combine the mixture and apply it to a spray bottle or pressurized sprayer.

Spray the surface with your choice of cleaner.

Let the solution sit for 15-20 minutes. After you let it sit, wipe down the surface with a cloth or sponge to remove the mold.

Repeat this process 2-3 times.

4. Eliminate Moisture

Moisture creates ideal conditions for wood mites. Often excess moisture can lead to the rotting and decaying of wood and other cellulose-based objects. 

When this occurs, wood mites will have an ideal source of shelter and food. 

The best way to prevent this is to eliminate excess moisture or humidity around your home. 

Common sources of excess moisture and humidity can be found in: 

  • Restrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Showers 
  • Basements 
  • Attics 
  • Kitchens
  • Rooms with leaks 
  • Walls against restrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms

Some common signs of excess moisture or high humidity include: 

  • Condensation on Windsor, walls, pipes, or the floor. This is a sign of excess moisture and humidity. 
  • Wet stains, soft walls, crumbling stucco, or black mold stains.
  • Rust on metal is another sign of excess moisture or humidity. 
  • Peeling, cracking, or bubbling paint
  • Signs of mold or mildew
  • Leaks or random puddles of water around your home
  • Crumbling, cracking, or excessively creaking wood.  

5. Apply Residual Insecticides

Often wood mites enter the home from outdoors. This means the best way to prevent wood mites from getting inside your home is to use miticides.

Miticides can be applied outdoors to the surface of structures, on your grass, flowers, and trees without any danger.

The most effective application is using a liquid miticide that you can easily spray using a pressurized sprayer.

The best option is one that has a residual effect. This will ensure that any wood mites that are hiding or still inside eggs will die up to three months after the initial application.

It’s important to remember that miticides typically affect other insects but not all. For example, if you think that the miticide you are applying will also keep out cockroaches or another pest, you might be mistaken.

If you have another pest issue, I recommend using a broad-based insecticide that works on various insects. Although these are effective on many insects, they are typically too powerful to use on gardens, flowers, or trees.

6. Use predatory mites

Another potential way you can eliminate mites is to use predatory mites. Predatory mites are effective outdoors. If you suspect that the wood mites have entered your home from old furniture, firewood, or your garden, you can target these areas using predatory mites.

You can purchase predator mites online and apply them to your garden, grass, or trees.

These predatory mites will attack any wood mites, spider mites, or dust mites. Predatory mites are beneficial because they will consume other species of mites but won’t damage your property or vegetation.

After eating the other species of mites, they will eventually die off.

You must avoid using predatory mites indoors. Using them indoors could swap the type of mites that are infesting your home.

Signs of Wood Mites

Wood mite are often hard to identify until the infestation is significant and the signs are easier to notice. 

There are several key signs that you can look for to help you determine if you have wood mites. 

1. Silk Web

One of the easiest ways to identify wood mites is the silk web they leave behind. These silk webs look very similar to spider webs except they are typically much finer. 

You will commonly find this web on plants, leaves, and trees. But they also tend to create their silk wherever they live. If you see very fine webbing between boxes or on the corners of wood, this is likely a spider mite. 

Often, you can tell the difference between spider webs and wood mites webs due to their location and structure. 

Spider webs typically have a well-organized structure and are placed in positions to help them live or to help them hunt. Spider mite web, on the other hand, is typically used to wrap foilage or to wrap their homes. 


2. Small White Clusters

It’s hard to spot mites with the naked eye. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t see wood mites at all. 

Often, when infestations grow you will begin to see clusters of small white, tan, or red spots moving around. 

These small sports are likely groups of wood mites moving together to look for food or shelter. 

3. Sudden Allergies

If you begin to have allergies that aren’t normal then you can also have wood mites. 

The skin casings and small hairs on wood mites are known to cause allergies. 

These skin casings and hairs can get disbursed into the air and cause allergies. 

If you are experiencing allergies but can’t seem to identify the normal source of your allergies, it’s important that you inspect for other pests. 

4. Clusters of Skin Casings or Eggs

If you find small clusters of what looks like white power, or white flakes these could be skin casings and eggs from growing wood mites. 

You will often find these skin casings near potential areas where wood mites hide. 

These are a sign of a growing and moving infestation.

These skin casings and eggs are often hard to notice but before cleaning you can inspect your home and this can improve your chances of finding any. 

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