Moisture bugs are bugs that you see in wet places like bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and even on damp walls.
High dampness and moisture in homes attract these bugs.
Most of these bugs are harmless. But they soon become a nuisance if you don’t get rid of them.
However, moisture also draws tiny invasive pests into your home that can inflict severe damage.
So, what are these tiny moisture bugs? How do they get in?
And most importantly, how to get rid of these moisture bugs and secure your home from further invasion?
This guide covers them all. And a whole lot more.
10 Tiny Moisture Bugs That You’ll Find In Damp Areas Of Your Home
- Drain flies
- Fungus gnats
- Carpenter ants
- Mold mites
These tiny moisture bugs infest walls, furniture, floor, and fabric. High moisture levels in your draw these bugs.
Some can also sneak inside your home to escape the dry weather in summer, looking for a damp place to live.
That makes them hide in places like the bathroom, basement, laundry room, and kitchen, where there’s a lot of water usage.
Remember, you can eliminate most of these bugs by using simple cleaning techniques and controlling moisture.
However, some bugs from the list are invasive and will need professional help.
Let’s deep dive into each of these bugs and find out what you can do to get rid of them in your home and stop them.
Booklice – The Most Common Little Damp Bug In-home
If there’s any bug on the list that loves dampness and moisture the most, it’s the booklice.
Booklice or psocids are tiny moisture bugs that look like bed bugs. Some even confuse them with body lice.
The adult booklice grow only 1 mm in size, and they’re blackish or brownish.
Booklice don’t bite humans or pets. Nor do they spread any diseases.
Booklice are harmless bugs. And they can be anywhere that has dampness.
But their favorites are books, paper, and cardboard boxes. Booklice feed on the starch of the paper and on the glue that binds these paper objects.
However, these are the most common tiny bugs on the wall, especially when the wall has too much dampness.
Booklice on walls look like tiny black bugs crawling on the wall’s surface, looking for molds to eat.
Booklice are common in the summer months when they move inside homes to escape the outdoor heat.
Inside your homes, booklice look for damp places to hide.
Though harmless, booklice multiply fast in a human dwelling with high dampness.
Soon their numbers skyrocket, and they become a nuisance in your home, spreading fast even in places like bedrooms and living rooms.
Booklice are also rice bugs that get inside the rice storage jars in your kitchen pantry. They’ll lay eggs on the rice grains too.
Excessive moisture also cause mold formation on the rice and stored grains. Those molds draw booklice into the storage jars.
However, molds on kitchen countertops, shelves, and cabinets will also attract booklice to your kitchen.
Later you’ll find out how to get rid of these booklice and other tiny moisture bugs. Now, let’s look at the most destructive moisture bug.
Termites – The Most Destructive Tiny Moisture Bug
You’re no stranger to termites. In a year, termites cause more damage than any other natural disaster.
Termites infest wood, walls, and damage fabrics, book, and paper.
Inside the home, these wood-eating moisture bugs will spread far and wide, putting your home’s structural integrity at risk if you don’t get rid of them.
However, moisture attracts two types of termites – subterranean termites and dampwood termites.
Out of these two subterranean termites are the biggest risk to homes, including mobile homes.
The dampwood termites infest rotting pieces of damp wood but only in outdoor places like yards or gardens.
They infest damp firewood piles or in dead tree stumps in your yard.
However, dampwood termites can infest homes too.
If you bring them home accidentally and your home has a lot of moist pieces of furniture or wooden structures, then there can be dampwood termites in your home.
Subterranean termites invade homes mostly from underground.
However, their reproductives, termites with wings, also known as alates, can fly inside your home through open doors and windows.
Subterranean termites invade homes from the underground by creating mud tubes on the walls and pieces of wood.
Subterranean termites make these mud tubes or tunnels from their feces and saliva. They use these tunnels to commute from one food source to another.
So, their first set of targets is wooden floors, baseboards, and furniture that they can easily access from down below.
Two things are critical for subterranean termites to survive and breed – moisture and cellulose in the wood.
So, pieces of damp wood and softwoods are their primary targets.
A home with high levels of moisture is an easy target for them. Weather also plays a significant role in subterranean termite infestation.
States like Florida and areas like Southern California that are hot and humid have a severe termite infestation problem.
It’s because that’s perfect weather for these damaging pests to multiply fast.
In many homes, the subterranean termite infestation begins in the yard.
These termites will infest your yard and damage the mulch beds and firewood before attacking your home.
That’s why you need the correct type of mulch beds, and you must store firewood in the right way to keep termites and bugs away from the yard and home.
Silverfish – The Shrimp Look-Alike Small Moisture Bug In Homes
Another common moisture bug in homes is the silverfish.
Silverfish look like shrimps. They’ve got a broad head and narrow abdomen with scales on their bodies.
You’ll also notice a pair of antennae on their heads.
They’re silvery and shiny. Some silverfish bugs can also glitter when the light falls directly on them.
Silverfish sneak inside homes through thin gaps and cracks on your home’s walls, window sills, and door frames in the summer months.
They rely heavily on moisture for their survival. So, when the weather outdoors gets dry and hot, silverfish look for damp places to live.
Silverfish won’t go to any random places when they’re inside your home.
They’ll target places with high water usage and get less natural light.
So, the bathroom, basement, and laundry room are their favorite places. Some can go to the kitchen too.
Silverfish are nocturnal bugs. They’ll hide during the day in the dark corners of these areas of your home.
They’ll sneak inside any thin gap and crack they can find.
Silverfish will scavenge for food at nighttime. They feed on organic wastes and other dead bugs.
However, dirty linen can draw these bugs.
If there are food stains and dirt on the fabrics of your bed, couch, curtains, carpet, and rugs, then it can attract the silverfish too.
Silverfish will cause damage to these fabrics by chewing on the stained portions.
Drain Flies – Little Moth-Like Moisture Flies That Thrive In Damp Wastes
There’s no home that drain flies didn’t infest. These miniature moths thrive in clogged drains, damp wastes in your yard and homes.
Like most moisture bugs, drain flies infestation grows from damp places inside your home.
That includes your bathroom, basement, kitchen, and laundry rooms.
These flies will lay eggs on the gunk and slime of the clogged drains.
The larvae of these flies feast on these wastes. On maturing into adults, drain flies will fly out from the drain holes of your sinks, bathtubs, and toilets.
Fruit flies, too, are moisture bugs. But they rely more on food wastes to thrive than on moisture.
Both drain flies and fruit flies look similar. But these are entirely different flying bugs, and there are differences between drain flies and fruit flies.
Drain flies don’t bite. But they multiply fast.
So, if you don’t get rid of their sources, drain flies will soon become an irritating nuisance.
Drain flies can transmit pathogens stuck on their bodies to your food.
These flies thrive on drain and sewer wastes, so there’s always a chance that pathogen is present in their bodies.
Fungus Gnats – A Mosquito Look-Alike That Lives And Breeds On The Moist Soil
Fungus gnats are tiny black flying bugs that can be common most of the year.
They look like mosquitoes and fruit flies, but they’re are much thinner than them.
The source of fungus gnats lies in the moist soil beds of the yard and garden.
Compost piles with organic wastes, trash bins with wastes, and rotting organic debris are also the source of fungus gnats.
Fungus gnats lay eggs on the moist soil beds. The tiny larvae of fungus gnats will feed on the mold and fungi that form in the soil.
There are two most common ways that fungus gnats enter homes.
First is when they fly inside homes through open doors and windows.
Light from the light bulbs draws fungus gnats. So, they’ll fly inside your home through the windows during the evening and early morning hours.
The second way is to introduce potted plants in your home with fungus gnats larvae in the soil.
The larvae will mature into adults within a few weeks and fly around inside your home.
Fungus gnats will target open food, veggies, and ripe fruits to get their nutrition.
These flying bugs don’t carry any pathogens as the drain flies and cluster flies do.
But they’re a nuisance. And the food stored in your fridge can attract the fungus gnats causing them to sneak inside your refrigerator.
And when get inside the fridge, fungus gnats are frozen to death.
That’s why you can see many dead bugs inside your refrigerator if you’ve got fungus gnats and fly problem in your home.
Fungus gnats are strong fliers like mosquitoes. They are weak fliers, and they hop more than they fly.
Earwigs – The Scary Looking Moisture Bug With Pincers
Not all earwigs are tiny, but many of them that sneak inside homes are.
Earwigs are long black skinny bugs with a pair of pincers on their abdomen. They’ve visible solid jaws in their mouth too.
That gives them a scary look.
However, earwigs are harmless bugs.
Earwigs also enter homes in search of damp places during the summer months. They’ll crawl through the gaps in the windows and doors and the cracks in the walls.
But earwigs don’t infest homes. It means that they won’t lay eggs in your home and breed.
They’re nocturnal too. Earwigs will hide in the moist places of your bathroom, kitchen, and basement during the day.
Earwigs will come out at night and hunt other bugs in your home.
Outdoors and earwigs live in damp wastes like foliage, underneath rotting firewood, underneath rocks and mulch beds.
Earwigs are not at all aggressive bugs. And contradictory to popular myth, earwigs don’t enter your ears or nose.
But don’t try to handle them. Earwigs can bite you with their pincers.
Most of the time, the pincers don’t penetrate the skin. You’ll feel a slight pinch if they bite you.
Carpenter Ants – The Most Common Moisture Loving Ants In Homes
Carpenter ants are wood-damaging ants that are common in many homes. These ants are black and small, and they thrive on human food and food wastes.
Carpenter ants lay eggs inside damp wooden pieces. The larvae from the eggs drill inside the wood.
When the larvae turn into winged ants, they move out by drilling exit holes on the wood from the inside.
That’s why you’ll notice wooden sawdust underneath the exit holes. However, that can also signify a woodboring beetle that exited the wooden structure.
Carpenter ants are nuisance ants that can spread far and wide inside your home.
These ants also damage walls. Walls with high moisture content develop cracks.
Carpenter ants will exploit these cracks to establish their colony by further drilling through the cracks and damaging the wall.
Carpenter ants suddenly disappear during the winter months. They go into hibernation.
They’ll hide in fissures and cracks on the walls and floors to spend their winters and wait for the spring.
With the arrival of spring, carpenter ants reappear suddenly.
And these ants can be hard to eliminate in your home.
The main reason is that carpenter ants have multiple satellite ants catering to the main nest, which hosts the queen.
The queen keeps laying eggs, and the worker carpenter ants all rear the larvae and supply food to the queen.
So, there can be multiple carpenter ant nests in your home. To get rid of these ants, you must eliminate all the nests, including the nest where the queen resides.
That’s a challenging job, and, at times, it’s always best to leave it in the hands of an experienced pest controller.
Springtail Bugs – The Tiny Jumping Moisture Bug
Springtail bugs are common in yards and gardens. But they’re the tiny jumping bugs in the bathroom that make you wonder what they are.
Springtails are beneficial bugs. They break down organic debris in your yard and turn them into fertilizers that are good for your yard and garden’s soils.
However, people think springtails as pests when they enter homes! And these jumping bugs can also get onto your bed by chance.
Springtails are tiny, and the adult springtails grow only up to 2 mm at max.
These bugs love moisture so much that they’re among the most common swimming pool bugs and pond bugs.
Their presence in the pool attract their predators like the water boatman bugs in the pool.
In urban homes, they’re greyish. However, many springtails can be white, yellowish-orange, green, lavender, and red.
Like the silverfish bugs, springtails also have scales on their bodies.
Springtail’s body shape is teardrop-shaped, and the sides of their bodies are flat.
There’s a forked tail underneath the springtail bug’s abdomen, which they use for jumping and escaping their predators.
In search of damp places in the dry seasons, springtails enter homes through the gaps and crevices on the walls.
On entering your home, springtails target your bathroom to hide.
Your bathroom is where there’s maximum water usage, and there are organic wastes like broken hair and nails to feed.
Springtails also eat bacteria, fungi, algae, and molds that form on the bathroom floors and walls.
Springtails are harmless to humans and pets. They don’t bite, and nor do they spread any diseases.
Mold Mites – Microscopic Moisture Bugs
If there are molds in your home’s walls and furniture and you see whitish-brown patches on the molds, then you’re dealing with mold mites.
Mold mites are invisible to the naked eye. So, they’re technically microscopic bugs rather than tiny moisture bugs.
Mold mites can infest any surface that has molds. And molds develop because of high dampness and moisture.
So, books, walls, furniture, floor, and even fabric are susceptible to mold mites infestation if there is high moisture in your home.
Under the microscope lens, mold mites look like oval-shaped off-whitish and translucent shinning mites with hairy bristles on their bodies.
Although mold mites are harmless, the hairy bristles on their bodies can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people like children and the elderly.
Pill Bugs – The Tiny Scaly Moisture Bug That Hides In The Dark
Pill bugs are terrestrial crustaceans that spend all their life on the land. They’re also known as roly-poly bugs because of their ability to roll into a ball when disturbed.
That’s a defensive behavior that makes them look like a pill. Hence the name pill bugs.
These bugs hide underneath wooden logs and rocks in damp places.
You can also find them in organic debris like foliage, mulch beds, rotting wood pieces, and even underneath tires lying around in your yard.
Pill bugs are not pests as such. They’re beneficial bugs that break down organic debris into matter that benefits the soil.
But they’re also occasional home intruders. Pill bugs in the house choose dark and damp places to hide during the day.
Pill bugs are also among the common basement bugs because, in your basement, there’s clutter, dampness, and darkness, which makes it a perfect place for them to hide.
Another favorite place for pill bugs to hide is in your bathroom.
The leaking plumbing area underneath sinks and the tight gaps between the wall and bathtub are some of their favorite hiding places in the bathroom.
Pill bugs are also known as woodlouse because they hide underneath wooden logs.
Many people confuse them with sow bugs because both look similar. Both have scales on their bodies, and their body colors are also alike.
However, sow bugs can’t roll their bodies as pill bugs do.
Pillbugs don’t bite humans or pets. Nor do they carry any diseases.
They’re not bugs, so they do not bring any infestation risks.
How To Get Rid Of Tiny Moisture Bugs, Naturally
To get rid of most of the damp bugs from the list, you don’t need any pesticides.
You can do it naturally with the help of some products that you’ll find out soon.
Below are the seven steps to get rid of these tiny moisture bugs in your home.
Step#1 – Reduce Moisture Levels To Make Your Home Unattractive To Moisture Bugs
It goes without saying that if you reduce the dampness levels of your home, then your home will be unappealing for these bugs to hide.
And how do you do it?
There are two ways – by installing a dehumidifier in your home and fixing leaking pipes.
Leaking pipes play a significant role in increasing the dampness of your home’s walls, ceilings, and floors.
That leads to the development of cracks and molds, making your home’s walls and ceilings a home for many bugs.
So, your first step should be to fix water leakages.
Check out the plumbing section underneath the sinks of your kitchen and bathroom.
If there’s any water leakage in those areas, fix them.
Also, find out if there’s any water leakage on the pipes that transfer water to your yard.
Leakages on those pipes always keep your yard and garden damp, leading to an infestation of many types of bugs.
Those leaky pipes also increase the dampness levels in your home’s foundation. That dampness spreads all over your home.
So, if any leaky pipes are causing waterlogging in your yard or garden, fix them.
Many homeowners don’t give much importance to dehumidifiers’ role in keeping bugs away.
A dehumidifier is an essential appliance for your home to keep bugs away if you’re living in a hot and humid climate.
It reduces the moisture levels in the air of your home and hence makes your home less appealing for bugs to invade.
The basement and bathroom can be the two places where you can keep a dehumidifier as most of these tiny moisture bugs infest these places.
Step#2 – Seal Gaps And Cracks To Prevent Moisture Bugs From Sneaking Inside Your Home
Most of the tiny moisture bugs from the list crawl inside your home through the thinnest of gaps and cracks on your home’s walls, window sills, door frames, and even underneath doors.
Seal those gaps.
You can use a silicone-based sealant to seal the cracks and gaps on windows and doors.
The silicone-based sealants are rugged, durable, and waterproof, and bugs can’t chew through them.
Also, caulk the gaps in your bathroom, basement, kitchen walls, and floors.
The moisture bugs in these areas of your home hide in the crevices on the walls and floors.
Many flying bugs use open windows to get inside your home in the spring and summer seasons.
Use window screens with fine mesh to prevent flying bugs from getting inside your home.
Step#3 – Clean Your Yard To Prevent Moisture Bugs From Inhabiting Your Yard
Let’s face it. Your yard is the perfect place for many of the moisture bugs on the list.
Infestation of many invasive pests like cockroaches and termites begins in the yard.
So, after controlling the moisture levels in your yard, it’s critical to clean your yard.
Remove all the organic debris, empty and clean the trash bins, and store firewood correctly to prevent these bugs from taking refuge in your yard.
Also, use wood chips that repel bugs as your mulch bed.
Softwood chips used as mulch beds decay fast and become home to bugs like termites and ants.
Spray a mixture of white vinegar and water or scatter Epsom salt on the soil beds and compost piles to eliminate any larvae of moisture hiding in these places.
Step#4 – Thoroughly Clean And Declutter Your Home
All these bugs love clutter as it provides them an ample amount of hiding place.
And wastes, including food wastes, along with moisture, draw these bugs too.
So, clean your home, especially your basement, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room.
All these places are high in moisture, and wastes in these places make them more inhabitable for moisture bugs.
You can quickly remove moisture bugs like springtails, pillbugs, earwigs, and silverfish by using a vacuum cleaner on them.
You don’t need any pesticides or insecticides to get rid of them.
However, ensure that you dispose of the vacuum cleaner dust bag with bugs inside it outside of your property.
Step#5 – Use A Natural Bug Repelling Spray
Use a natural spray, like peppermint spray, all your home, especially in places where you use water.
Bugs hate the smell of peppermint. The strong smell of peppermint repels these bugs.
A spray made by mixing equal amounts of white vinegar and water is also effective.
But the acidic smell of the vinegar can be annoying to many people.
Instead of peppermint, you can also use essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus to prepare a spray.
Mix a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oils in a gallon of water and spray it on the damp areas of your home.
The smell of eucalyptus and lavender keeps bugs away and smells nice.
If there are plant pots in your home, you can also use any of these sprays on the plant-soil beds.
It’ll help eliminate any fungus gnats larvae in the plant’s soil bed.
Step#6 – Repair Damaged Walls
Walls damaged by excessive moisture are prime real estate for many bugs like booklice, mold mites, and even rodents.
Many wall bugs live only in walls damaged because of moisture.
So, repair the walls. If the drywall is damaged, replace it or get rid of it.
Check out the ceiling too.
You’ll notice peeling off on the ceiling’s layer and chunks of wet areas if moisture reaches the ceiling.
Moist walls develop cracks that become hiding places for many moisture bugs and critters.
Also, clean the surfaces that developed molds with soapy water or a mold remover.
That is enough for removing the mold mites from damp surfaces.
If there are books, or any paper products, that have molds, and you don’t want to discard those books, then keep the books under the sun.
And then spray a peppermint spray on the moldy areas of the books. Keep the books in the sun again to let them dry up.
Drying the books and paper products will eliminate the moisture in them. And the peppermint spray will kill the mold mites.
Step#7 – Unclog Your Home’s Drains
The final step is specifically for drain flies living and breeding in the sink drains.
Unclog the drains by using a drain cleaner. You can also pour warm water, baking soda, and white vinegar into the drains to unclog them.
The mixture will also kill any larvae of drain flies and destroy their eggs.
It’s also an effective way to eliminate drain roaches.
Many people use bleach to unclog the drains of their homes. However, we don’t recommend it.
Bleach is corrosive that damages the drainpipes from the inside. It’s also harmful to your eyes and skin.
The worst part is that if bleach mixes with other elements like baking soda and vinegar, it triggers a chemical reaction that emits harmful gasses.
Important Note: The seven steps don’t work on termites and carpenter ants. A severe termite and ant infestation needs professional pest control intervention.
The ten common tiny moisture bugs in homes are –
- Drain flies
- Fungus gnats
- Carpenter ants
- Mold mites
These bugs sneak inside your home in the hot and dry season, looking for a damp place to live.
Controlling the moisture level in your home and property and closing their entry points are critical to prevent these bugs from entering your home.
This guide revealed how these bugs get inside your home and where they hide once they’re inside your home.
It also has a seven-step guide to use the right way to naturally get rid of moisture bugs.
But there’s a catch. If you’ve got termites and ants in your home, you’ll need a professional pest controller to eliminate them.