Mold is bad enough, mold mites just make it even worse.
Both are a huge health concern that should be addressed immediately.
If you are concerned you have mold mites you are in luck.
In this article, we’ll go over how to identify and get rid of mold mites.
Let’s dive in.
What Are Mold Mites?
Mold mites are not a single species, but many arthropods that feed on mold.
These creatures measure only 0.3mm, making them almost invisible to the human eye.
They are common in subtropical and tropical climates where moisture and humidity allow for mold to proliferate.
Even a small amount of growing mold can produce sufficient food for thousands of mold mites.
These pests live both outdoors and indoors.
What Do Mold Mites Look Like?
Mold mites body resembles a tick but much smaller. They are white or tan and look like dust or specs of garlic powder.
An easy way to see mold mites is to shine an LED light against them. You’ll also be able to identify them much easier if they are on a dark surface.
Mold mites do not have wings, but they do have long hairs on their bodies.
Mold mites typically go unnoticed unless they begin to gather in one region.
How to Identify Mold Mites?
Searching for mold mites with the naked eye is almost an impossible task.
Consider using the tools below to make it easier to identify mold mites in your home.
- Flashlight / LED light.
- Smartphone camera – use zoom feature to get as close as possible.
- Magnifying glass.
One of the most common ways to identify mold mites is when they gather in one area.
Mold mites tend to assemble in a single location. So colonies often appear as small clusters of white or tan garlic dust.
You might see these small specs slightly move across surfaces in your home.
That’s because mold mite migrates together if their habitat becomes unfavorable.
Mite dust is a collection of fallen dust mites hairs in a single region.
You might spot brownish spots in areas near mold or even on shelves, or near areas of moisture.
These brown stains are the hairs from dust mites that have either died or fallen off over time.
Moldy areas are where you’ll usually fin a mold mite colony.
You will notice them as white, brown, or tan patches near moldy areas.
To better identify discoloration, inspect your home with a camera.
For this, you can use your camera phone to zoom in and take a photo.
Smartphone cameras are typically enough to determine if the discolored spot in your home is a stain or mold mite colony.
Brown Stains / Discolorations
When mold mites cluster in a single area, they create brown discolorations.
You’ll typically see them congregating on corners of walls or areas of the wall against furniture.
These stains also tend to appear near areas where mold is present.
They are easier to spot in larger infestations, but with careful inspection, you can identify them on smaller infestations as well.
How To Get Rid Of Mold Mites?
The best way to get rid of mold mites is to eliminate their food source: mold.
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.
If the mold damage is severe, you may need to replace the entire surface.
You may need to remove damaged drywall and replace it with fresh materials.
You may also need to replace any carpet that’s damaged by mold.
Eliminate Moisture and Humidity
Remove excess moisture or humidity inside your home.
Make sure that you do not have any leaks in kitchens and bathrooms.
In some cases, you may need to use a dehumidifier to maintain proper humidity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Is The Mold Mite Life Cycle?
An adult mold mite can lay nearly 500 eggs in its lifetime.
They can double the size of their population in less than five days. Part of the reason mold mite infestations can grow very fast.
Larva/ Nymph Stage:
Mold mites larvae have six legs.
They go through two nymphs’ stages, where they grow and begin to appear like an adult mold mite.
During these stages, mold mites grow eight legs and produce long hair.
It takes around three to four weeks for mold mites to complete their development cycle and reach adulthood.
Adult mold mites typically live for around two weeks to 1 month.
Overall, mold mites live around two months from egg stage to full adulthood.
What Are Mold Mites Attracted To?
Mold mites are attracted to mold.
They persist in humid places, such as bathrooms and unventilated attics.
They are not only attracted to mold. They are also attracted to decaying organic matter. This will give them the moisture they need to survive.
They tend to gather around moldy food, decaying plants, flowers, and mulch.
It’s not uncommon to find mold mites around food, bird nests, or other areas that provide a moist and humid environment.
Can Mold Mites Get In Your Hair?
Yes. Mold mites can get in your hair, but it’s unlikely.
Mold mites will stay around mold for food. Or will migrate towards moisture for survival.
You may get a mold mite in your hair, but they will not live in your hair as lice do.
Are Mold Mites Dangerous?
Mold mites pose some risk to asthmatic people and people who have allergies.
Their bodies are coated with long hair that falls out and floats around your house.
People who are allergic to mold mite hair may suffer from respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or sore throats.
What Do Mold Mites Eat?
Mold mites primarily eat mold around your home. But they also feed on hay, grass, fungi, and even bee and duck nests.
They may also eat popular staple foods containing high protein such as chocolate, nuts, dried eggs, seeds, mushrooms, corn, bulbs, wool, wallpaper, fruits, dog food, flour, pasta, and assorted meats.
Their food is comparable with that of a pantry moth.
What Damage Do Mold Mites Cause?
Mold mites are a cause for economic and public health concerns.
They infest stored goods and contaminate food.
Allergic reactions from mold mites can cause symptoms beyond mere skin discomfort. They may also contribute to respiratory infections such as pulmonary fibrosis.
Can Mold Mites Live In Your Closet?
Yes, mold mites can live inside closets. Closets often have moisture and humidity issues if they are close to a restroom.
Mold mites can live on any surface that mold can grow on.
They can survive on wet or damp clothes. It only takes around 24-48 hours for mold to start forming in the presence of moisture.
Leaving wet or damp clothes in your closet can result in a thriving mold mite colony.