Having a mold problem is bad enough without also facing a mold mite infestation. These arthropods may not bite like bed bugs, but their long hairs still cause coughing, sneezing, and other irritation. It’s not surprising if you’re wondering with exasperation how to get rid of mold mites.
First, let’s take a step back and address questions like “What do mold mites look like?” and “What are mold mites?” Mites are tiny insects that enjoy feeding on different types of food. For example, you’ll find dust mites, flour mites, grain mites, and cheese mites.
Mold mites’ favorite food is, unsurprisingly, mold. However, they also enjoy munching on other foods, including human foods high in fat and protein.
Look for discolored areas near mold growth. The patches may appear to be moving slightly. Watch out, as well, for gray or brown dust, perhaps along shelves or near food packaging.
Mold mites are too tiny to spot with the naked eye. However, if you take a photo with a high definition camera then zoom in, you may be able to identify them. The tiny creatures are white or tan, oval, wingless, and hairy.
- How to Kill Mold Mites
- How to Prevent Mold and Mold Mites
How to Kill Mold Mites
The most effective method for killing mould mites is eliminating the mold that serves as their food source and attracting them to your home in the first place. Read on for easy ways to clean up patches of mold and tips for how to prevent mold from developing.
How to Get Rid of Mold Mites with Vinegar
This common household cleaner kills most mold species. Make a spray out of equal parts white vinegar and water to remove a small patch of mold. You may increase the proportion of vinegar for a stronger cleaner or add a few squirts of dish soap.
First, test the mold remover on an inconspicuous area. If it does not damage the material, spray the whole section of mold. Scrub at the mold and surrounding areas with a sponge, then wipe the entire surface dry with a clean cloth.
Use Lemon to Fight a Mold Mite Infestation
Acidic lemon juice also breaks down mold and leaves behind a pleasant smell. Juice three to five lemons into a glass, then pour the liquid directly onto the mold.
Let the juice sit there for five minutes, then wipe the surface with a damp towel. For tough mold, you may need to apply lemon juice again or scrub more vigorously.
Kill Mold Mites and Black Mold with Baking Soda
Toxic black mold can cause illnesses and rashes, besides contributing to a mold mite problem. Baking soda kills this nasty form of mold and also absorbs the moisture that encourages mold growth.
To stop black mold, use this basic recipe. Add a quarter tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle of water. Shake the ingredients, then squirt the moldy area. Scrape away the mold with a scrub brush.
Rinse the surface with water, respray it with the cleaner, and let it dry. If you’re facing a tough patch of black mold, make a paste with an increased quantity of baking soda.
Blend the ingredients into a thick paste. Spread the mixture onto the mold. Let it dry, then scrub and wipe with a damp cloth.
Use Tea Tree Oil to Combat a Mold Mite Infestation
It may not look like much, but this essential oil acts as a fungicide, killing mold and preventing its return. Wear gloves when working with tea tree oil since it may cause skin irritation.
Shake the ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the mold in shower and bathroom or other area and let it dry for one hour, then wipe with a microfiber cloth or dry towel.
Cleaning with this solution also helps to get rid of grain mites in the pantry, as well as other annoying insects.
Kill Mold Mites on Walls with Borax
Given that mold often develops on walls, it’s not surprising that mold mites also enjoy making themselves at home there. Look out for brown stains, especially in corners, and a musty smell.
Borax is a white mineral powder that’s available at home improvement stores, big-box stores, and even grocery stores. Among other uses, it targets mold and mildew build up.
Borax can cause eye and skin irritation, and nausea if consumed, so wear gloves while handling it.
Use Borax to treat a small amount of mold damage on painted drywall. First, test an inconspicuous area. If you find mold on unpainted drywall, replace that section of wall.
Use this recipe to remove mold from concrete basement walls and other surfaces, as well.
Shake the ingredients in a spray bottle to dissolve the powder. Squirt the cleaner and wait a few minutes, then clean the wall with a dry cloth. Try this remedy to get mold off wood like furniture and paneling, too.
How to Get Rid of Mold Mites with Bleach
Sometimes, you need or want to pull out the harsher chemical cleaners. Although it’s possible to use products like Clorox and Lysol, it’s just as easy to make your own.
Note that you should never mix bleach with ammonia since the combination creates dangerous fumes.
Only use bleach to remove mold from mattress or a mold mite infestation on solid, nonporous surfaces, such as stainless steel. Bleach soaks into porous materials like wood and drywall, only aggravating the moisture problem.
Blend the bleach and water in a spray bottle, then spray the moldy surface. Wait a few minutes, then wipe the area clean with a damp cloth.
Call the Pros to Get Rid of Mold Mites
Depending on the extent and type of mold and the individuals involved, it may make sense to pay for professional mold remediation instead of trying to fix the problem yourself.
Do not try to clean a patch of mold that’s larger than two and a half square feet, as you may cause mold spores to spread, negatively impacting air quality.
Watch out for more severe forms of mold, such as black mold. Although some molds only affect sensitive individuals, others are toxic for everybody.
If you or any other members of your household have allergies or respiratory issues, consider contacting the pros. An allergic reaction to mold may include coughing, sneezing, and skin irritation. Mold can also worsen asthma and chronic lung conditions.
If you do tackle mold on your own, set up HEPA air purifiers to catch floating spores. Wear rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask.
How to Prevent Mold and Mold Mites
These pests thrive in humid, damp, dark, warm environments. They like to hide in cracks and crevices. Make your home less appealing by lowering the temperature and the humidity and moisture levels.
Clean surfaces regularly, including shelves and corners. Wipe up spills and wet areas around sinks and showers as quickly as possible.
Focus your efforts on rooms that tend to have higher moisture levels, such as the bathroom, kitchen, basement, and laundry room. Open windows when appropriate and install a dehumidifier.
Check your house regularly for issues like clogged gutters, cracks in the foundation, and leaks in the basement, roof, or pipes. Consider having your house professionally inspected annually for leaks and water damage.
Mold mites may not be a big enough problem to call pest control, but they are enough of a pain that you start to wonder how to get rid of them. They also indicate the presence of mold—the bane of homeowners everywhere.
Although it’s not possible to kill mold mites directly, it is possible to combat the mold that they require to survive. You now know how to get rid of mold mites using everyday cleaning solutions and mold prevention techniques.
If you found these mold mite prevention tips helpful, please share these mold removal strategies with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest.