What Are Mold Mites and How to Get Rid of Mold Mites

If you’re like me, you didn’t know that mold mites were even a thing until you started reading about mold. So, what are mold mites?

Mold mites are white or tan-colored and are members of the tyroglyphid group, including flour mites, cheese mites, and grain mites, and are about 0.3 mm in size.

Mold Mites
Mold Mites

Mold mites are common, found only in high humidity and moist areas of a home, and infest stored food, grain, and thrive on mold.

What Are Mold Mites?

Mold mites thrive and multiply quickly in kitchens, bathrooms, and anywhere else where humidity and moisture are abundant.

Homes with high humidity and moisture are almost certain to have a mold mite infestation problem that is just not visible to the naked eye.

Or, perhaps a homeowner notices some things not realizing that what they are seeing is due to mold mite colonizing.

Mold mites are famous for eating mold, yet they also happily survive on grains, cheese, flour, and other pantry staples.

What Do Mold Mites Look Like?

Mold mites have a spider-like appearance but mature to a size no larger than 0.3mm in size. Only a microscope or specialized high-definition camera can reveal their range of colors, which are from white to brown.

Mold mites may be mistaken for mold and blend right in with the moldy area.

Are Mold Mites Dangerous?

Mold mites are not dangerous, yet can trigger an allergic reaction in those sensitive to airborne allergens. Because mold mites are so tiny, they can easily become airborne and inhaled into the lungs.

Some may ask, are mold mites harmful to humans? Mold mites are not harmful to people or pets, nor do they cause any structural damage to homes, furniture, or clothing.

However, mold allergies are a real concern and can make residents in a home very uncomfortable.

Symptoms of a mold and mold mite allergy may include the following:

  • Running nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Coughing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Skin irritation

For those who have asthma, mold allergies can wreak havoc and cause miserable and sometimes very serious allergy symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing

For those suffering from asthma, it’s paramount that humidity and moisture levels within your home are very low to prevent mold mites from finding a prime breeding ground to thrive.

Mold Mites on Clothes

Mold can thrive in not only bathrooms and kitchens with excess moisture but also on damp clothing. Since mold mites are attracted to mold and moisture, it makes sense that clothing can also be a ripe breeding ground for mold mites.

Mold and mold mites on clothing can cause allergies and skin rashes, as well as a number of other health issues.

Shoes may also become a breeding ground for mold and mold mites, provided the shoes have had access to moisture. This allows for a prime breeding ground for mold and mold mites.

Regardless of the color of the mold, it’s important to understand that mold is mold. The color of the mold does not signify a worse strain of mold more dangerous than another.

Mold on clothes is often seen as white in color, though it may also be visible in other colors. Regardless of the appearance of mold, know that where there is mold, there are likely mold mites.

Do Mold Mites Bite?

Mold mites do not bite and simply wish to eat the mold within your home, or get into the flour in your pantry, among other things.

Long hairs on the mold mites’ bodies, used by the mites as sensory perception, might provide some people who come into contact with them with a minor stinging sensation.

If you see something on your skin and suspect it is mold mite bites, they are more than likely an allergic reaction to the mold mites.

Although mold mites do not bite, they may exacerbate an allergic reaction to mold, making a lung infection worse.

Can Mold Mites Get Into Your Hair?

Mold mites can get into your hair by becoming airborne and landing on your hair, as they would on other surfaces. Mold mites in the hair are from the shuffling and movement of a moldy area or while reorganizing one’s pantry.

And because mold mites easily become airborne, it’s feasible to assume that they will also be on clothing, shoes, and anywhere else where airborne particles and mites may land.

How to Get Rid of Mold Mites

Get rid of mold mites by reducing humidity and moisture within the home by using a dehumidifier or AC unit, which will eliminate the environment where mold mites thrive in. The humidity level within a home should not be more than 50%, which can be checked by using a humidity meter.

Before we can work on getting rid of mold mites, we first need to know where they hang out. Below are common places where mold mites are found:

  • Homes with high humidity and moisture
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Damp basements
  • Laptops or keyboards
  • Anywhere there is mold
  • Damp crevices
  • Water leak areas

If you notice gray or tan-colored dust near food, you may be looking at a collection of live and dead mold mites, their shed skin, and fecal matter.

You could very likely have thousands of mold mites in your home and not even realize it.

Female mold mites lay about 500 eggs and take between 1-3 weeks from egg to adult. Mold mite colonies can double in just a few days.


What Do Mold Mites Eat?

Eliminating the source of the colonization of mold mites can’t happen without first understanding a mold mite’s food source. Below is a list of foods that mold mites have been known to thrive on:

  • Mold (obviously)
  • Cheese
  • Seeds
  • Dried meats
  • Grains
  • Nuts
  • Cereal
  • Pet food
  • Flour

Now that we know what mold mites eat, let’s go over some steps to eradicate them. You likely will not get rid of all of them, but a vast majority will be eliminated.

Kill the Mold that the Mold Mites Feast on

There are several ways to kill mold within a home. Let’s take a look at a few.

How to kill mold with bleach:

  • Mix 1 cup of bleach with one gallon of water using a spray bottle.
  • Spray onto moldy surfaces and rinse after about 10 minutes.

However, keep in mind that bleach may quickly damage surfaces, thus it is advised to exercise extreme caution when choosing which surfaces to use the bleach on.

How to kill mold with vinegar:

  • Wear cleaning gloves to prevent contact with the mold, mold mites, and mold spores
  • Pour vinegar into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the surfaces where you see and suspect mold.
  • Let the vinegar sit for an hour, then rinse the mold away with a rag.

And don’t worry, the vinegar smell will go away.

Clean Keyboards and Laptops

As clean as we like to think that we are, laptops and keyboards are a smorgasbord of good eats for mold mites. The oils from our skin are there for the taking, and food crumbs fall in between the keys of the keyboard.

Do yourself a favor and clean out the inside of your laptops and keyboards.

Use Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are an ideal method to stop the spread of airborne mold particles, even though they won’t help treat active mold that is already present on surfaces.

By removing mold spores from the air, air purifiers can stop them from multiplying and spreading throughout your house.

Use HEPA Filters

High-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filters can theoretically eliminate 99.97% or more of mold, dust, germs, pollen, and other airborne particles smaller than 0.3 microns. Mold spores, dust mites, and mold mites can all be removed from the air, contributing to fewer allergy symptoms for those who suffer from allergies.

HEPA filters may be used in air purifiers as well as commonly being part of a home’s air filtration system. HEPA filters may be part of your HVAC system, providing optimum air filtration from impurities in the air.

Locate and Repair Leaks that Cause Mold

If you notice mold on ceilings or walls, it’s a good indication that you may have a hidden leak inside of your wall or coming from your roof. Take a look around your attic and watch out for any signs of moisture or mold.

Signs of a possible water leak inside of a wall could be:

  • Paint or wallpaper that is bubbling or peeling
  • Discoloration or staining on the wall
  • Warping, buckling, or crumbling drywall
  • Obvious signs of water
  • Musty, mildewy smell

If you suspect a water leak, it’s important to address this right away. Not only does excessive moisture cause mold, but a water leak could lead to structural damage to the home such as dry rot.

How to Get Rid of Mold Mites in the Kitchen

Get rid of mold mites in the kitchen by putting your pantry items in canisters with sealable lids, and paying close attention to grains, flours, and cereals. Maintain an indoor humidity level of no higher than 50% in order to reduce the moisture that mold mites love so much.

It might be frightening to discover little critters in your food or pantry. A homeowner can take a number of steps to get rid of mold mites if they believe they have them.

  • Throw out all the infested food, removing it from the home to an outdoor trash can.
  • Inspect all open packages in your pantry using your cell phone. Zooming in should help you see the little critters.
  • For thorough cleaning, remove all items from your shelves and pantry area.
  • Clean your pantry with a bleach solution to kill mold mites. Rinsing with warm or hot water will ensure you are killing all of the mold mites.
  • Make sure to wipe down all shelves and walls, and vacuum the floors within the affected area.
  • Once you’ve finished vacuuming, remove your vacuum bag and dispose of it outside in a trash receptacle so the mold mites don’t climb out and back into your home.
  • Put your food back on the shelves after cleaning.
  • Maintain a humidity level of 50% or lower to keep your pantry dry and moisture-free.
  • Mold mites love dark places, so keep your pantry well-lit.

When shopping for bargains, make sure you aren’t purchasing food packages that have been damaged. The last thing you want to do is bring mold mites home with you.

Give your kitchen a good wipe-down on a regular basis with a mild bleach solution to kill any lingering mold mites and possible mold growth, and keep a close eye on expiration dates.

How to Get Rid of Mold Mites in the Bathroom

Get rid of mold mites in the bathroom by using mold-killing cleaners to prevent mold from developing in the first place. Use exhaust fans during showers and hot bathes to help eliminate the accumulation of moisture that mold needs to grow.

The environment in a bathroom is the perfect breeding ground for mold. With the moisture from the showers, tubs, and toilets, mold can thrive and live happily ever after.

Below are some tips on how to combat mold and therefore mold mites in your bathroom:

  • Repair cracked grout as mold thrives in small, dark crevices surrounded by moisture.
  • Use the exhaust fan during every shower or hot bath, leaving it on for some time afterward to ensure all moisture has been eliminated from the air.
  • Toss bathroom floor rugs into the wash regularly.
  • Open windows inside of the bathroom after a shower to help circulate the moisture away from the bathroom.
  • Routinely wash your shower curtain and liner with a little bleach.
  • Invest in a squeegee and use it to remove the water from the sides of the shower.
  • Wash your towels more often than you do, reusing them less.
  • Use a rinse-free spray for daily use to prevent mold growth.

The small amount of effort in keeping your bathroom dry and mold-free will help eliminate mold mites, as there won’t be anything in your bathroom for the mold mites to live on.

Bedroom Mold Mites

Mold mites in the bedroom happen when there is an excess of moisture and high humidity. If you see mold in your closet or on your bedroom walls, this is an indication that you either have a water leak somewhere, or the humidity within the home is too high.

How to Get Rid of Mold Mites in the Bedroom

Get rid of mold mites in the bedroom by using a dehumidifier or an air conditioning (AC) unit that helps remove moisture from the air. A humidity meter may be purchased at your local home improvement store and will help you regulate the humidity levels within your home.

How to Kill Mold on Drywall

Killing mold on drywall can be done using bleach by following the below steps:

  • Wearing rubber gloves, mix one part bleach and three parts warm water into a spray bottle.
  • Spray on the affected mold patch and let sit for a few minutes to allow the bleach to kill the mold and any possible mold mites.

If you are sure the mold on the walls is not due to a water leak, then the bleach solution should work to stop mold growth on your drywall.

If you find that the humidity level in your home and bedroom is higher than 50%, invest in a dehumidifier and/or AC unit to maintain a healthier humidity level within your home. Doing so will keep the mold and mold mites at bay.


Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those interested in the air quality in and around their homes. Trina writes content about things she’s passionate about, such as safe, in-home air, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.