If you own a home, you should know how to kill wood mites. If your home experiences a wood mite infestation, getting rid of wood mites will require DIY pest control efforts. To prevent wood mites and other pests from invading your home, you can use natural remedies like apple cider vinegar, for example.
Although the bugs won’t cause structural damage to your home, they can be bothersome to those who suffer from certain allergies. However, wood mites do not bother human beings.
Although it’s easy to get rid of ants, with wood mites, you can go with an anti-mite insecticide of a DIY formula, like baking soda for example. Similar techniques are also applied when getting rid of termites as both insects use wood as a food source and prefer environments that have excess moisture.
You need to learn how to identify wood mites. There are a few noticeable differences between termites and wood mites. Wood mites are unique insects as they’re harder to find because of their translucent makeup.
What Are Wood Mites?
Wood mites are tiny bugs that make their homes in damp wood. Most types of “mites” are harmless, so don’t worry if you find that you have them. They are tiny insects, similar to bed bugs, and do not pose a direct threat to your family.
However, it would be a good idea to get rid of them as they carry diseases and bacteria that can infect your home.
How Do You Know When You Have Wood Mites?
Wood mites aren’t insects as they’re considered arachnids. They are related to spiders and have more in common with ticks than other insects or arachnids.
Wood mites are brown, white, or spotted, and look like ticks. These bugs are also translucent. As far as size goes, wood mites are around 0.5 mm in length. But it’s the threads that they produce and leave behind that give them away.
They look like cobwebs. So if you find “cobwebs” on your wood, then there’s a good chance you have wood mites. You can get it inspected or try to inspect it yourself. Just don’t pay for their removal if you’re not sure they are there.
Where Do Wood Mites Live?
Wood mites found indoors like to hide in wood when they aren’t on the way to your plants. Ants often leave visible trails, and so do wood mites. You can follow their silken trail and see if they are gathered together at the end.
It’s not just walls and plants they hide in, but also in baseboards, Christmas trees, old furniture, behind electrical plating, near plumbing, or anywhere else that attracts excess moisture. Try looking for paths that they entered the house like holes in the foundation or exterior walls.
How To Seal Wood With Wood Mites
It is possible to seal even the oldest wood to get rid of wood mites and prevent them from coming back. It all starts with heating the wood which will kill the bugs and their larvae. This works best with deconstructed wood.
Note that this should not be done on already constructed buildings as it puts you at a risk for a house fire. Hire a professional if you want to get rid of wood mites in your home for faster relief.
Heat wood to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can do this alone, but it’s best to ask a lumberyard if they offer kiln services. If your wood is already in the form of a building, you can take it down to do this, or try another method.
After heating the wood and letting it cool, you can use a scrub brush to remove excess silken threads and dead bugs. This is a good time to clean the boards anyway, so take advantage of this process.
Next, use sandpaper and sand the boards softly. This is a great idea for salvaged boards because you want to smooth them down as much as possible in case you want to finish them later.
Spray the wood with a borate-based insecticide. You will want to get a liquid version and follow the instructions on the label. You can also buy a powder, but for this project, a spray is much easier to use.
Finally, apply a sealer to prevent further infestations. You can use a varnish followed by a clear sealer for the best results. The wood will then be protected from scratches and look its best.
How To Remove Wood Mites Naturally
Although pesticide is the best way to get rid of wood mites, there are other options you can try. Attempting to do things in the most natural way possible is always a good thing, so pat yourself on the back.
- Boric Acid – boric acid can kill most bugs, including wood mites. This method is primarily only effective if you know where the wood mites are. Try sprinkling the area around your plants as that will be their food source. Baking soda and hot water will also work against wood mites.
- Diatomaceous earth – this is a stronger method that works the same as boric acid. If it works, it will work fast. Sprinkle it around the area with plants and the mites will dry out quickly.
- Essential oils – bugs hate essential oils. Especially cinnamon. So, if you can spray essential oil on the wood they live in or on the plants they eat, both will work wonders. This is great because essential oils smell good.
Types Of Mites
If you have identified mites in your house but aren’t sure what type of mite that your house is infested with, then check out these other common mites. All can be a nuisance to you and your family, but some are more dangerous than others.
Spider mites are spiders, not insects. They have eight legs, unlike insects which have six legs. Spider mites are tiny, only about 1/50 of an inch long, which makes them hard to see.
They also have the ability to multiply rapidly and in large numbers. You know you have spider mites when you notice your leaves have a dusty and dull appearance.
The clover mites, like the wood mite, feed on house plants. However, they are red, green, or brown rather than brown or white. They are more active in the fall since that is when the green outside starts disappearing.
Dust mites are so small that they are nearly invisible. They are a common allergy, which is why they are primarily considered an allergen rather than an insect. In fact, dust is a rare allergy as most people who think they are allergic to dust are allergic to dust mites instead.
So if you are having random allergic reactions or allergy attacks, you may have dust mites. Consider getting a humidifier or air purifier to help along the way.
Despite their name, itch mites do not bother humans and feed on other insects. If you find yourself with itch mites, it’s because you were in contact with a lot of hay or grass and it attached to your clothing.
Since they can’t survive indoors, they aren’t a problem in the long run.
Mold mites exist wherever there is mold. The mites thrive in damp environments where they eat fungi. Once they have set established themselves in your property, they’ll gladly munch on foods left out that are high in fat and protein.
This is the most annoying mite because they are attracted to both pets and humans. They infect humans with a rash that is then transferred from human-to-human. This is their most distinctive feature.
You may not want to hear it but scabies mites dig tunnels under your skin when they bite you and they lay eggs under your skin. When these eggs hatch, the mites burrow right back under your skin. But there is a saving grace.
As long as you don’t transmit it to anyone else, you can get rid of scabies fairly fast. They don’t live longer than 20 days. So as long as they don’t continuously lay eggs, they will be gone within a month.
Chiggers are very similar to mites due to their size. They, however, do bite and can be very annoying. They are like seed ticks that bite your ankles when you walk through tall grass. If you see multiple bites, it’s probably chiggers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Are Wood Mites Dangerous?
In short, no. Wood mites are relatively safe to humans. They don’t bite, they aren’t poisonous, and they don’t destroy the foundation of your house. But some people are allergic to the microscopic hairs that they shed.
What Attracts Wood Mites?
Aside from damp wood, there are two strange things that attract wood mites. Snakes and cigar smoke. They often gather in snake enclosures. The same goes for other reptiles that are kept in similar cages.
As for cigars, wood mites are very attracted to the humidor that cigars are kept in. So you have to be careful with them and keep them protected, checking for mites regularly. This can help you prevent needing to learn how to get rid of wood mites.
Do Wood Mites Eat Wood?
Unlike termites, wood mites do not damage the wood. So you don’t have to worry about them breaking down foundations or eating your furniture. They are simply an annoyance but are less harmful than most insects.
Do Wood Mites Destroy Plants?
Yes. This is one of the main reasons to get rid of them. Wood mites can cause major damage to plants. They eat plants so you can guarantee if you have wood mites and plants in your house, the wood mites will find the plants.
Can You Kill Wood Mites With Vinegar?
You can try. Though they are quite hearty and may need something stronger to kill them. Mixing vinegar and baking soda may work wonders on your wood mites. It isn’t a fore sure thing like pesticide is, but it’s worth a try!
Wood Mites Conclusion
The best way to kill wood mites would be to deprive them of their food source: wood. If you think you have a wood mite problem at home, the first step would be to identify them. Sometimes wood mites look like tiny white bugs. Predator mites should be taken seriously. Do not neglect the problem after you’ve discovered the bugs.
There are several ways you can kill wood mites, but if you wait to address the problem you will need to call a pest control professional. They may seem like harmless bugs, but wood mites bite humans often and when they go unnoticed they could cause structural damage to your home.
Many gardening supply stores sell anti mite insecticide that should take care of the little buggers. Mites tend to gravitate toward decomposing wood or infested wood, so using a wood based substrate would prevent them from becoming stronger.
Another solution for mite infestation is to use hypoaspis mites. You can buy hypoaspis mites at a gardening store. The special mites eat wood mites. If you’re a snake owner then your snake tank might be susceptible to wood mites. If so, can also unleash hypoaspis mites in the tank to wipe out the wood mites.
Remember, after you’ve killed the wood mites, make sure they didn’t leave any eggs behind. You’ll want to wipe all remaining traces of your wood mites.