Mold mites: What are they and how to get rid of them

Mold mites.. what are they and how to get rid of them.

Mold, as undesirable as it is, oftentimes attracts even more undesirables, with one example being mold mites. We will reveal what these pests are, how you got them, and some actionable tips on getting rid of them.

Topics Covered

  • What are mold mites?
  • What do they look like?
  • Can mold mites jump or fly?
  • Are mold mites harmful to humans?
  • What attracts mold mites?
  • How do you kill mold mites?
  • Conclusion

What are mold mites?

Mold mites, also known as Tyrophagus putrescentiae, are tiny arthropods that belong to the Acari family. These mites are commonly found in damp and humid environments, where they feed on mold and fungi. They play a crucial role in the ecosystem by aiding in the decomposition of organic matter, particularly mold and mildew.

For the most part, they are found near the mold source, but it’s not uncommon for them to also feed on stored food that is rich in protein and fat.

What do mold mites look like?

These mites are barely visible to the naked eye because they are usually around 0.2 to 0.5 millimeters in length, making them much smaller than common household pests like spiders or ants.

Mold mites possess distinctive features that differentiate them from other mites and insects: their oval-shaped body is segmented between the cephalothorax and abdomen; they are typically white or pale with some species having a slight yellow or translucent hue; they have eight legs, characteristic of arachnids, but their legs are short and not easily visible without magnification; they have long, thread-like antennae extending from their heads; and their bodies are soft and pliable, unlike the hard exoskeletons of certain insects.

Because of their small size and light coloration, mold mites can sometimes be mistaken for dust particles or debris. To identify them more accurately, a microscope or magnifying glass might be necessary.

Can mold mites jump or fly?

No, mold mites cannot jump or fly. They are tiny arthropods that belong to the same group as spiders and scorpions, known as arachnids. Arachnids typically have eight legs and lack wings, so they are incapable of flight or jumping.

Their inability to fly or jump makes them less mobile than some other pests, but they can still be transported from one place to another through various means, such as on clothing, pets, or in infested items.

Are mold mites harmful to humans?

Are mold mites harmful to humans?
Are mold mites harmful to humans?

In most cases, they are generally considered harmless to humans because unlike some other mites and pests,they do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases to humans. They do not feed on human blood or skin flakes, which is a common characteristic of other mite species like dust mites.

However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

Some people may experience allergic reactions to mold mites or their waste products. Their bodies are covered in millions of tiny hairs that pollute indoor air when they fall off and become airborne. When these hairs are breathed in, they create the same type of allergic reactions as mold spores, such as shortness of breath, sneezing, coughing, and a sore throat.

These hairs are usually not a problem if the mites are present in small numbers, but they multiply incredibly fast considering that their population can double every 2-4 days with a reliable food source and in temperatures exceeding 68°F (20°C) with over 65% relative humidity levels.

What attracts mold mites?

Mold mites are attracted to environments with specific conditions that support their survival and reproduction. The main factors that attract mold mites are:

High Humidity: They thrive in areas with high humidity levels. Humid conditions provide an ideal environment for mold growth, which serves as their primary food source. Indoor spaces with relative humidity above 50-60% are more likely to attract mold mites.

Dampness: Moisture and dampness create an inviting habitat for mold mites. Areas with water leaks, condensation, or inadequate ventilation can lead to the development of mold, providing a suitable environment for them to flourish.

Mold and Fungi: As the name suggests, mold mites feed on mold and fungi. Their primary food source is the spores produced by mold and mildew. The presence of mold colonies provides a steady food supply, encouraging their population to grow.

Organic Material: Mold mites are attracted to organic matter, such as decaying plant material, wood, and other debris. Organic materials offer additional food sources and create a more favorable environment for their populations to thrive.

EC3 Sanitizer Fogger and Mold Solution Concentrate Bundle

The EC3 SANITIZER Fogger is a specialized sprayer that utilizes ultra-low volume technology to apply antibacterial, deodorizing, and antifungal solutions in indoor spaces.

How do you kill mold mites?

To effectively kill mold mites, it’s essential to target both the mites themselves and the underlying mold or fungal growth that serves as their food source. Here are some steps to help you get rid of mold mites:

Identify and Address Moisture Issues: As mentioned, mold mites are attracted to areas with high humidity and moisture. The first step in eradicating them is to identify and fix any water leaks, condensation problems, or areas with poor ventilation that contribute to the dampness. Reducing the humidity level in your home will make the environment less favorable for mold mites to thrive.

Clean and Remove Mold: Thoroughly clean and remove any visible mold or mildew in affected areas. Use an appropriate mold cleaner or a mixture of water and white vinegar to clean surfaces. If the mold infestation is extensive, consider hiring a professional mold remediation service to ensure proper and safe removal.

Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to vacuum affected areas, including carpets, upholstery, and crevices, to remove mold mites, their eggs, and other debris. Dispose of the vacuum bag or clean the canister promptly after use.

Reduce Organic Debris: Mold mites feed on mold and organic debris, so reducing clutter and organic material in your home can help deter them. Regularly clean and dust surfaces, and avoid leaving food crumbs or other organic materials lying around.

Natural Remedies and Chemical Insecticides: Some natural remedies like diatomaceous earth or essential oils (e.g., tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil) may have insecticidal properties that can be used to repel or control mold mites. In severe cases, you may consider using chemical insecticides labeled for mite control. However, these should be used as a last resort and with caution, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Professional Help: If you have a significant mold mite infestation or if mold problems persist despite your efforts, consider seeking professional pest control or mold remediation services to properly identify and address the issue.


In conclusion, mold mites are tiny arthropods commonly found in damp and humid environments, feeding on mold and fungi. While they are generally harmless to humans, their presence can be a nuisance and may trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. To get rid of mold mites, it’s crucial to address the underlying moisture issues and clean up mold growth. Regular vacuuming, reducing organic debris, and controlling humidity levels are essential steps in prevention.

Natural remedies and chemical insecticides can be used cautiously as a last resort. Seeking professional help is recommended for severe infestations or persistent mold problems. By implementing these measures, you can effectively manage mold mite populations and create a healthier living environment for you and your family.

Related content

How to get rid of mold mites on clothes

The best mite control products

How to get rid of bed bugs

How to kill bed bugs with steam

How to kill bed bugs with heat

The best indoor mosquito traps reviewed