This guide reveals the seven steps that anyone can follow right now to get rid of wood mites indoors naturally by using home products.
You’ll find out how wood mites enter homes and what’s your role in bringing these hard-to-spot bugs indoors.
And this guide also answers some questions on wood mites that you might have along with the differences between wood mites and termites.
What Are Wood Mites?
Wood mites are tiny white translucent wood bugs that damp wood attract. Like mold mites, wood mites feed on the molds that develop on the wet and decaying wood.
Like the dust mites and spider mites, these mites are tiny, and they grow only up to 0.09 inches in length.
Wood mites are arachnids. It means they’re not insects and are close relatives of spiders and ticks.
Wood mites can be active yearlong, but wood mite infestation is most common during the holiday season and the winter months.
These mites are hard to spot when their numbers are small inside your home.
But given their ability to breed fast, their numbers skyrocket in a matter of days, and they soon become a nuisance inside homes.
So, how do wood mites enter homes? Let’s find it out.
How Wood Mites Enter Homes?
There are three ways wood mites get indoors –
- By latching onto plants, Christmas trees, and firewood
- By sneaking in through the gaps on walls, windows, and doors
- Strangely, the smell of cigar and reptile pets also draws them indoors.
Let’s have a look at each of the ways in detail.
Like many microscopic bugs, wood mites latch onto the things you introduce to your home.
And the most common things that wood mites latch onto are pieces of wood like firewood that you keep outside, Christmas trees, and plants.
When you introduce these things with wood mites hooked onto them, you bring them inside your home.
That’s the reason there’s a sudden resurgence of wood mites in homes during the holiday season. These tiny mites will hitchhike into your home by hooking themselves onto the Christmas trees.
Wood mites are plant-damaging bugs as well. If you don’t take care of your plants in your garden and greenhouses, then wood mites damage on them is pretty standard.
So, bringing any plants indoors with wood mites will undoubtedly lead to a wood mite infestation inside your home.
Another reason is that the smell of cigar smoke attracts wood mites.
Ask any cigar lover, and you’ll hear how these tiny white wood bugs infest the cigar humidors.
Strangely, reptile enclosures attract wood mites too.
Though wood mites don’t harm the snakes in the snake tank, the bark, aspen, and wood-based substrate in the terrarium become a perfect breeding ground for the wood mites.
That’s why many people who keep snakes and reptiles as pets clean the enclosure and wooden substrate of the tank often to maintain better hygiene.
If your yard or garden is damp, with rotting pieces of wood, firewood piles, and organic debris, then wood mites will inhabit your yard before they move inside your home.
When their numbers increase outdoors, these small clear bugs will make a move towards your home to look for new sources of food.
They’ll sneak inside through the thin gaps and cracks on the home’s walls, foundation, windowsills, and door frames.
That’s why it’s pretty common to see wood mites on doorways and window frames.
Signs Of Wood Mites In Home
There are three signs of wood mites in the home –
- Their physical presence on wooden furniture indoors
- Leaf damages in indoor plants
- Bunch of wood mites on the home’s perimeter and the windows and doors.
There’s no telltale sign of wood mites indoors than their physical sightings. These mites are tiny, and they can be hard to spot when in small numbers.
When the wood mite infestation inside the home increases, you’ll notice them on furniture and fabrics, including on decorative fabrics like curtains, drapes, bed sheets, and even on carpets.
Wood mites damage plants’ leaves. And the damage looks like yellowish-white spots at the undersides of the leaves.
You’ll also notice small webbing, shed skin, and tiny white dots crawling at the leaves’ undersides.
And the last sign of wood mites in the home is their physical presence in doorways, window frames, and on its perimeter. Wood mites use these places as entry points to your home.
Where Do Wood Mites Hide Indoors?
Wood mites are damp bugs that infest moist woods in damp areas of your home.
So, the go-to places for wood mites to infest are damp wooden pieces in places like the bathroom, basement, kitchen, and laundry room.
Hence wooden furniture, wooden floor, and even wooden baseboards in these areas are common places where you’ll find wood mites.
When their numbers increase, and if there’s too much humidity inside, then you’ll find them in the unlikeliest of places.
Gaps between electric switches, photo frames, your bed, drapes, curtains, and even carpets become home for wood mites inside your home.
Wood mites leave fine silken thread as a trail while moving from one point to another. Following the silken threads can lead you to the places where they hide.
That helps a lot while getting rid of wood mites.
How To Get Rid Of Wood Mites Indoors?
Here are the seven steps to get rid of wood mites in your home –
#1 – Thoroughly Vacuum Clean Your Home
Before you use anything to get rid of wood mites indoors, vacuum clean your entire home.
Don’t clean only the damp wood pieces where you’ve found the wood mites. Clean the entire home, including bed linens, curtains, drapes, couches, carpets, and rugs.
Also, vacuum clean your kitchen (including the kitchen cabinets), basement, and laundry room.
Water usage is highest in these areas of your home, which makes it a perfect feeding place for wood mites.
#2 – Steam Clean The Soft Furnishings
When wood mite infestation in the home increase, they can spread in your soft furnishings too.
Use a steam cleaner to kill wood mites on mattresses, bedsheets, carpets, drapes, couches, curtains, carpet, rugs, pillows, and other soft furnishings.
We recommend steam cleaning because vacuum cleaning the soft furnishings won’t be effective as it’ll leave the wood mites larvae and mite eggs.
The heat from the steam cleaner will kill them all.
Wood mites can hide in the folds and creases on the soft furnishings which the vacuum cleaner can’t clean.
Steam cleaner produces heat which is a bug killer. Steam cleaners are also effective in killing adult bed bugs and fleas, larvae, and eggs.
#3 – Control Dampness And Moisture Inside Your Home
Controlling the dampness in the home is a critical step. And many homeowners ignore it.
As you know by now that wood mites are damp bugs. Dampness and moisture attract them.
So, to get rid of wood mites indoors, it’s essential to control the dampness inside your home.
And the primary cause of high moisture levels in your home’s walls, furniture, and floor is water leakage.
If plumbing areas under the bathroom sinks and kitchen are constantly dripping, they’ll draw the wood mites.
So, figure out the leaky pipes and fix the water leakages. And if you live in a hot and humid climate, use a dehumidifier to control the excess moisture inside your home.
A dehumidifier reduces the moisture levels in the air of your home.
It’s a great prevention tool that stops wood mites and many other bugs that moisture attracts.
But a dehumidifier doesn’t kill wood mites or mold mites.
#4 – Seal Gaps And Crevices
An increase in wood mites population outdoors will cause wood mites to look for new food sources.
That’s the time when they move indoors through the thin gaps and cracks on your home’s walls, foundation, window frames, and door frames.
Caulk those gaps with a reliable sealant.
Also, make sure that there’s no to less overgrown vegetation along the perimeter of your home’s walls.
Wood mites, and home-invading bugs like ants and roaches, use the overgrown vegetation to sneak inside your home. Trim or get rid of these shrubs if you don’t need them.
#5 – Clean the Hard Wooden Surfaces In Your Home With A Disinfectant
Wiping the wooden surface with a disinfectant wipe is good enough to eliminate wood mites left behind in the cracks of wooden furniture during vacuuming.
Or you can also wipe the wooden surfaces with a paper towel soaked in the disinfectant.
#6 – Spray Essential Oils To Prevent Wood Mites From Coming Back
Essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus are great in repelling tiny bugs like wood mites.
Mix either of them with water. Spray the mixture on damp wood and in places where you’ve found the wood mites.
You can also spray the mixture outdoors on firewood piles, mulch beds, wooden decks, and on your garden furniture. These are the places wood mites live before they get indoors.
#7 – Keep Your Yard Clean
Keeping your yard clean of organic debris and rotting wood pieces keep wood mites away.
Firewood piles are the ones that wood mites inhabit first. So, ensure that you store firewood protected from rainwater and remove any decaying firewood from the pile.
If you don’t store firewood the right way, it attracts all types of damaging pests like termites and ants.
Also, check for water leaks in your yard and around your home’s foundation. Wood mites wouldn’t have been inside your house had they not been outdoors.
And a damp yard is the source of wood mites inside your home.
Refrain from overwatering your yard. Also, ensure your yard has no water holes. If there any water holes in your yard, fil them up.
A yard full of stagnant water increases the dampness of your home. It becomes a breeding ground for wood mites and biting insects like mosquitoes.
Also ensure that your yard and garden has no drainage problems that might lead to the dampening of the yard soil.
Alternative Methods To Get Rid Of Wood Mites Inside The Home
Certain products work well to get rid of or kill wood mites. Here’s a rundown on all of them.
Diatomaceous Earth To Get Rid Of Wood Mites
Scatter diatomaceous earth on places where there are wood mites. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then vacuum clean the surface.
Diatomaceous earth is a desiccant and kills bugs and mites by dehydrating them. And they’re safe to use as well.
However, it’ll be safe to wear a mask while using diatomaceous earth so that you don’t breath in the dust.
Many people use baking soda to do the same. And it works like a desiccant too.
Mixture Of Apple Cider Vinegar And Boric Acid Kills Wood Mites
One of the best natural ways to get rid of wood mites inside your home is the mixture of apple cider vinegar and boric acid.
And it’s easy to prepare.
Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar, boric acid, and hot water and stir the mixture until the baking soda dissolves. Half a cup of each will do.
Pour the mixture in a spray bottle or a pump sprayer. Spray the mixture in places where you’ve noticed wood mites.
As an alternative to boric acid, you can also use baking soda.
Use Anti-mite Insecticide Sprays
In most cases, you won’t need insecticide sprays to get rid of wood mites. The methods you learned in the previous section are good enough to eliminate them.
However, if too many of them are inside your home, you may use insecticide sprays to get rid of them.
Anti-mite insecticides spray or miticides are effective against getting rid of wood mites.
The spray is also effective against other types of mites that infest homes and cause allergies like dust mites.
And it’s readily available at any home supply store or local gardening store.
Please read the instructions on the label and use appropriate safety measures before using the insecticide sprays.
Using Predatory Mites To Kill The Wood Mites
This is particularly useful for pet snake owners. There are predatory mites that feed on the wood mites.
One of them is hypoaspis mites. It’s a species of soil-dwelling mites that feed on small insects, fungus, and mites.
If you’ve got a reptile as a pet, then you can purchase hypoaspis mites and use them in the tank where you keep your pet.
Hypoaspis mites will eat the wood mites. And after eating the wood mites, the hypoaspis mites don’t survive for long.
You can even use the predatory mites in your lawn and yard to eliminate tiny mites and insects living there.
Do Wood Mites Damage Wood?
No, wood mites don’t damage wood at all.
Some people believe that wood mites are wood-damaging bugs like termites. But they’re not.
Later in the post, you’ll find out the differences between termites and wood mites.
But for now, be absolutely sure that wood mites don’t damage any structural lumber of your home or wooden furniture.
Are Wood Mites Dangerous?
No, wood mites are not dangerous. Neither they spread any diseases, nor do they bite humans and pets.
But like dust mites, wood mites carry allergens in their bristle-like hair, which can cause severe allergic reactions in sensitive people.
So, the presence of wood mites in your home can cause sneezing, itchy eyes, running noses, and at times, dizziness.
And wood mites are harmful to plants. They cause yellowish-white spots on plants’ leaves, making them wither and fall off.
Wood Mites Vs. Termites – The 7 Differences
|Termites eat and destroy wood
|Wood mites do not destroy wood
|Infest homes by flying in or from underground
|Infest homes by latching onto wooden objects and plants
|Grow up to 1/8th to an inch long
|Grow up to only 0.09 inches. They’re hard to spot
|Termites do not cause allergies
|Wood mites’ presence can cause allergies
|Termites can damage walls
|Wood mites don’t damage walls
|Termites are insects
|Wood mites are arachnids like spiders and ticks
|Termites are hard to get rid of
|It’s easy to get to get rid of wood mites
Many people think wood mites damage wood like termites do. They don’t.
Wood mites are too tiny to cause any damage to the wood.
Wood mites indoors gather on damp wood. Damp pieces of wood develop molds which the wood mites eat.
Wood mites don’t pose any significant threat to your home, but wood mites in the house can be a nuisance. They can also cause allergies in sensitive people.
Wood mites’ presence increase in your home during the holiday season as they latch onto Christmas trees.
But if they’re present in your home’s outdoor area like your yard, then they’ll also sneak inside indoors.
In this guide, you’ve learned where wood mites hide, their signs, and how to get rid of them.
There’s also a rundown on the differences between wood mites and termites that bust the myth that wood mites damage the wood.
It’s easy to get rid of wood mites indoors, and you don’t need any professional pest control to get rid of them.