How To Identify and Eliminate Mold Mites

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Mold is bad enough, mold mites just make it even worse. 

Mold and mold mites are a huge health concerned that should be addressed immediately. 

If you are concerned you have mold mites you are in luck, in this article, I am going to go over how to identify mold mites and how to get rid of them. 

Let’s dive in. 

What Are Mold Mites?

Scientists first found mold mites in Austria back in 1781.

Mold mites are not a single species, but many arthropods use mold as their primary food source.

These creators are so nearly microscopic, measuring 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 grow easily and more frequently.

Even a small amount of growing mold can produce sufficient food for thousands of mold mites.

This is one of the reasons infestations can grow so quickly without much notice.

These pests live both outdoors and indoors.

Many other mites species can get confused with, but mold mites are unique in that they need mold and moisture to survive.

Therefore, if you find mold mites in your home, you likely have a moisture issue, or mold is growing somewhere in your house, which can support the infestation.

What Do Mold Mites Look Like?

It’s important to remember that mold mites are nearly microscopic which means they are very hard to find, let alone make out any details. 

Mold mites typically unnoticed unless they begin to gather in one region. 

Their body shape and structure resemble a tick but on a much smaller scale compared to ticks which are much larger. 

They are typically white or tan and look like dust or specs of garlic powder. 

They are often easier to see if they are on a dark surface of if you shine a bright LED light against the surface. 

Mold mites do not have wings but they do have long hairs on their bodies. While very hard to see with the human eye this hair is can cause allergic reaction in some people. 

Coming into contact with mold mites and their hair can sometimes cause a light stinging sensation.

It can also cause red itching and burning bumps to appear on the surface of the skin. 

How to Identify Mold Mites?

mold mites on wall

Searching for mold mites with the naked eye is almost an impossible task. 

Consider using some tools to make mold mites easier to spot. 

There are several things you can use to make mold mites easier to spot. 

  1. Flashlight / LED light. 
  2. Smartphone camera – use zoom feature to get as close as possible.
  3. Magnifying glass. 

These tools will make it easier to identify or spot these small specs around your home. 

 

Clusters 

One of the most common ways to identify mold mites are when they gather in one areas. 

You might see small white or tan specs slightly moving or even migrating in a single direction. 

Mold mites will congregate in a single location or will migrate if their initial habitat becomes unfavorable and will look for a new place to live. 

This can lead to small colonies that appear like garlic dust moving across surfaces in your home. 

 

Mite Dust 

Mite dust is another sign that you have mold mites. 

Although, this is typically only evident in large infestation or if they have been in one location for an extended period. 

Mite dust occurs when the hairs of dust mites fall off and collect 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. 

 

Mold 

Mold and other moisture issues are another great way you can identify mold mites. 

If you are aware of issues like this around you home, inspect these areas carefully. 

This is the most common areas you will find a mold mite colony. 

They will appear as a discolored patches that are white, brown, or tan near moldy areas. 

If you can not identify why there are discoloration in particular areas around your home, inspect them with a camera. 

Zoom in closely and take a photo. Smartphone cameras typically have no issue capturing a high definition close up image of these patches making it easy to determine if its just a stain or a colony of mold mites. 

 

Brown Stains / Discolorations 

One of the most ways to spot mold mites is when they cluster in a single area. 

When this happenes they create discolorations that are brown or tan wherever they are located. 

This is common on walls, typically at on the corners or areas of the wall that is against furniture. 

These stains can appear along or near areas where mold is present. 

These are easier to spot in larger infestations but with careful inspection you can also identify them on smaller infestations as well. 

How To Get Rid Of Mold Mites?

Eliminate Mold

The best way to get rid of mold mites is to eliminate their food source. Mold mites only consume fungal growth or mold. 

To do this, you will need to remove surface mold from anywhere in your house; it might be visible. 

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

  1. Bleach and Water – 2 Cups Bleach for Every Gallon 
  2. 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 surface’s mold. 

Repeat this process 2-3 times until most stains and mold are removed from the surface. 

Full Replacement

Depending on the severity of the mold, you may need to replace the surface that has mold.

This happens when the moisture damage to the surface is severe and can not be recovered.

Two of the most common areas where full replacements are required are on walls and carpet.

With walls, this involves removing the damaged drywall and sometimes insulation and replacing it with fresh materials.

Unfortunately, for carpet, this requires a full replacement of the carpet in any room that may be damaged by mold.

Eliminate Moisture and Humidity 

One of the best ways to eliminate mold is to make sure there is no excess moisture or humidity. 

To do this, make sure that you do not have any leaks inside your home. 

Some common places to look is in kitchens and bathrooms. 

You also want to reduce the humidity inside your home. 

You can do this by using a dehumidifier.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is The Mold Mite Life Cycle?

It first begins with the egg stage. 

An adult mold mite can lay nearly 500 eggs in their lifetime. 

They can double the size of their population in less than 5 days.

This is one of the reasons mold mite infestations can grow very fast. 

After hatching the next stage is the larval stage. 

During the larva stage mold mites have six legs. 

After the larval stage mold mites go through two nymphs stages where they grow and begin to appear like an adult mold mite. 

During these stages mold mites grown to reach 8 legs and produce the long hair they are known for. 

Adult mold mites typically live for around 2 weeks to 1 month. 

But it takes around three to four weeks for mold mites to complete their development cycle and reach adulthood. 

Overall, mold mites live around 2 months from egg stage to full adult hood. 

Since mold mites don’t live very long, infestations can grow very quickly. 

What Are Mold Mites Attracted To?

Mold mites are attracted to mold.

They gather around moist and usually unattended food.

They also persist in places that remain humid, such as unventilated toilets. You’ll usually see some discoloration. 

But they usually leave places they can no longer benefit from. No food means not much mites. And if you do something drastic, like making sure all your spaces are dry, the mold mites go away. 

 These pests may also gather around plants or flowers that are dead or decaying, and can appear on mulch. 

Can Mold Mites Get In Your Hair?

While it is possible to for mold mites to get in your hair its 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 like lice do. 

What Do Mold Mites Eat?

Mold mites rely on just what their name contains — mold.

They depend on mold spawning within your house. They also feed on hay, grass, fungi, and even bee and duck nests.

Their food is comparable with that of a pantry moth. 

Can Mold Mites Live Inisde Wardrobes?

Wash all the clothes in the compartment, whether you have mold mites in the dresser or closet.

Conduct a comprehensive machine washing and use a combination of water and vinegar.

You also need to be vigilant if you’re playing with wood surfaces. Water trapped in the wood may have mold.

Try covering up the wood through a wood sealant.

Are Mold Mites Bad Dangerous?

Mold mites are much worse than the mold that they feed on for your health.

With that, should you discover a mold mite, you should take precautions to get rid of them.

Mold mites don’t bite, unlike bed bugs and many other insects.

Currently, they are not at all “dangerous” to humans.

However, they post some risk to asthmatic people and people who have allergies.  

The bodies of mold mites are coated with long hair that is used for sensory awareness.

These slip out and become airborne, and float around your house.

People who are allergic to mold mite hair say they experienced respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or sore throats.

What Do Mold Mites Eat?

Mold mites rely on just what their name contains — mold.

They depend on mold spawning within your house. 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, cereal, dog food, small animal food, bird feed, flour, rice, 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 concern.

They infest stored goods, and directly or indirectly affect human health.

They’re likely to spoil contaminated food. 

Mold allergies also cause symptoms beyond mere skin discomfort.

These may contribute to respiratory infections such as pulmonary fibrosis.

Mold mites are prevalent, but normally go ignored, even when they become widespread.

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