The term “mold mites” combines two terms that make most homeowner’s skin crawl. No one wants to find out that their homes are infested with mold nor tiny organisms. Just thinking about something with such a cringe-worthy name can get you itching and obsessing about undiscovered mold in your home.
But what exactly is a mold mite?
Mold mites are tiny organisms that feed on mold. If a mold colony forms, the mites don’t have to go far to find a feast. If you’ve never heard of this little creature before, or if you’re looking to learn more, you’ve come to the right place.
What Are Mold Mites?
Their scientific name is Tyrophagus putrescentiae. They are microscopic arthropods, thousands of which can live and feed on a small patch of mold. For every mold colony in your home, you could be dealing with tens of thousands mold mites.
Mold is the primary source of these mites’ food, obviously, and they thrive in the same environments as mold: warm and humid. They are always ready to settle in on a mold colony for an easy meal and all the moisture they will need to survive.
Having mold mites doesn’t mean that your home is dirty. It simply means the level of moisture in your home has gotten off balance – which leads to mold in almost every instance – which often leads to mold mites . You have to restore that balance and do whatever it takes to remove the mold that the mites are feeding on.
Are Mold Mites Dangerous?
Yes and no.
Mold mites do not harm humans, so there is no chance of a sting or bite from these little creatures. In addition, they are too small to damage wood and other building materials, so you don’t have to worry about a mold might causing lasting damage to your home.
So in this way, no, they are not dangerous.
However, you can experience an allergic reaction from mold mites. They have fine hairs that they use to feel with, and these hairs are what can irritate your skin and even respiratory system. In this way, mold mites can be harmful, but not actually dangerous.
It can be hard to tell if the reaction you are experiencing is due to mold itself or mold mites.
The symptoms mold exposure are identical to reactions that you would experience being in contact with mold mites. They include the following:
- Itchy skin or rashes
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Coughing or itchy throat
A decongestant or antihistamine may or may not alleviate your symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these things frequently, you need to have your home tested for mold.
Can You See Mold Mites?
Mold mites are tiny, only half a millimeter in length at most. So while they are not microscopic, they are very small. Their structure is similar to other mites and ticks. You wouldn’t necessarily notice one single mold mite, but they don’t typically show up one at a time.
Most of the time, there will be the appearance of a light dust across the surface of the mold colony if you have mold mites. You also might notice that the mold colony seems to move slightly. This is the mold mites, not the mold itself moving.
If you are curious to know whether there are mold mites feasting on your mold colonies, you can shine a flashlight on the mold or take a picture of it in high definition.
But when you are dealing with mold in your home, you probably won’t notice them as much as you do the mold itself. Just as one problem begets the other, solving one problem (removing the mold) will solve the other (getting rid of the mites).
Are Mold Mites Common?
Unfortunately, they are.
Mold mites’ live cycle is anywhere from 9 to 30 days. A female can lay 800 eggs during that time, so there is no shortage of replacements. As old ones die, new are born to continue feeding on the mold colony.
Because they reproduce at such a rapid rate, it is normal for some mold mites that cannot get enough to eat to venture out away from their original colony to find food elsewhere. This leads to an endless cycle of mold colonies and mites looking for new colonies.
To get rid of the mites, you need to remove the mold. All of it, whether it’s in an area that you can see or it is hidden somewhere you just haven’t found it yet.
Mold mites can be found anywhere, just like mold can. They are more common in areas with humidity or moisture, like the bathroom, kitchen, and basement.
How Do You Get Rid of Mold Mites?
If you think you have hold mites, that probably means you’ve already seen signs of mold in your home or office. So obviously, you need to take steps to get the mold removed so you can prevent further mold colonies and more mites from being hatched inside your home.
The first thing you need to do is have your home inspected for mold to determine where it is and the severity of the mold infestation. This will help Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois rid your home of mold and mold mites as well.
Professional testing can identify the type of mold that is present, which can be effective in removing it. This is an advantage you’ll have in using Pure Maintenance of Central Illinois rather than trying to remove the mold and mites.
Mold removal is dangerous because the spores can be released into the air, which you can breathe in. without proper gear and cleaning practices, mold spores can fill your respiratory system and cause infections. Therefore, having Pure Air of Central Illinois do your mold removal will filter out these excess mold spores and any mold mites that may be released as well.