5 Tiny White Bugs That Look Like Dust

In this guide, you’ll find a comprehensive list of tiny white bugs that look like dust.

These bugs might look tiny, but one of them pose severe health risks like allergic reactions and respiratory disorder.

In this guide you’ll also find out how to identify these little bugs and the steps you can take right now to eliminate them from your home and yard.

Keep reading.

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Tiny White Bugs That Look Like Dust 

Here’s the list of 5 tiny white bugs that trick you into thinking they’re specks of dust.

  1. Mold mites. (also known as grain mites)
  2. Dust mites.
  3. Woolly aphids.
  4. Whiteflies.
  5. Mealybugs.

Woolly aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs are outdoor bugs. But they can enter your home if your home has indoor plants.

Woolly aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs are tiny white bugs on plants that look like lint. 

Let’s take a look at each of them and find out what brings them to your home. 

And, most importantly, how to get rid of each of these tiny white bugs.

Mold Mites

Grain mites mold mites tiny white bugs in dishwashers

Mold mites, also know as grain mites, are small clear white bugs common in homes with a lot of dampness and moisture.

Dampness and moisture form molds and fungus on your home’s walls and floors in kitchen, bathroom, and basement.

Mold mites eat these molds. 

So, the molds and fungi attract the mold mites into your homes.

Along with being white, mold mites are translucent. 

They’re so tiny that many people find it difficult to see them. Those who can see, it comes across as a speck of dust. 

That’s why you may find it impossible to detect that it’s a bug.

But if you watch them on a magnifying glass, you might spot them crawling. 

As your kitchen is one of the places with high dampness, along with your bathroom, mold mites are common in these areas.

Once inside your kitchen, mold mites can quickly infest stored grains in your pantry. And they can cause heavy damage to the grains.

That’s why they’re known as grain mites too. And you can also classify them under pantry pests.

In the US, states with high humidity have a big problem with mold mites. 

Mold mites are common in these states. But, unless they increase in large numbers, they’re hard to detect. 

Mold mites also invade moist electrical appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators.

To get rid of mold mites, you’d need a lot of patience. 

It’s because these are not the type of pests that will go away with a spray. 

You’d need to remove moisture, fungus, and molds from your home. 

On top of that, you’d also need to do a thorough cleaning of your kitchen and bathroom.

Spraying insecticide sprays can help only if you first make your home unliveable for them.

To get rid of mold mites, first, remove the molds and fungus deposits in your home. 

Molds and fungus grow on damp walls and floors. So, check out for molds in your kitchen and bathroom walls and floors.

If your home is old, then molds can be in every room of your house. 

If you’ve got a yard or garden, then check for molds on the exterior walls of your home.

Use a reliable mold remover spray to remove these molds. 

To control and reduce humidity and moisture levels inside your home, install a dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers work wonders in keeping the moisture levels of your home low. 

High moisture is one of the prime attractors of bugs of all types, including invasive ones like roaches and termites.

A dehumidifier makes your home unappealing to and unlivable for bugs and mites.

Without damp places and moisture in your home, mold mites will die.

Mold mites don’t bite humans or pets, so there’s no way you’re at the risk of any bites from mold mites.

So, if you see tiny white clear bugs in damp places of your house, like the kitchen, bathroom and basement, then chances are you’re dealing with mold or grain mites.

Dust Mites

Tiny white bugs that look like dust - Dust mites

Dust mites, also known as house mites, feed on your dead and dry skin. 

They spread faster in your homes than mold mites. It’s because dust mites have a ready supply of food, which is your skin.

And dust mites are adaptable to spread in the human habitat.

When dust mites’ numbers increase in your home, you’ll start to notice them all over in your home, including in places like beds, mattress, sofa, carpet, rugs, and clothes.

You’ll also notice dust mites as tiny white bugs looking like lint on your clothes and skin. If your skin is dry, then you’ll experience bites from dust mites.

Dust mites’ bites are not dangerous or painful. Their mouths are too weak to penetrate your skin.

However, you’ll only experience a slight pinch on your skin because they’ll scour your skin in search of dead skin cells to eat.

But you wouldn’t be able to see what’s biting you. That’s frustrating!

Despite being harmless, there’s one huge drawback with the presence of dust mites in your home.

Dust mites can cause allergic symptoms and respiratory disorders to sensitive people like the elderly and children.

They’re a serious threat to people with asthma because presence of dust mites can aggravate the asthma problem.

Their molted skin and feces cause the allergic symptoms and asthma attacks.

Thankfully, getting rid of them isn’t that difficult. 

Dusting and vacuuming your home gets rid of them. 

Keeping the bed accessories, like bedsheets and pillow covers, clean and washing them weekly in warm water kills the dust mites.

The best method to keep dust mites off the bed, where they inhabit often, is steam cleaning. 

A steam cleaner produces heat that dust mites can’t withstand. Steam cleaner kills dust mites instantly.

Steam cleaners are also effective in killing biting pests like bed bugs and fleas.

As dust mites enter your home from outdoors, it’s always a wise move to install a window screen mesh

Open windows are prime entry points for dust mites and drywood termites, beetles, moths, and many other types of bugs that artificial lights attract.

Like mold mites, dust mites are too attracted to moisture. But moisture isn’t the only attractor of dust mites.

If you’re getting repeated allergic attacks inside your home, consult a doctor asap and get rid of dust mites inside your home.

Woolly Aphid

Tiny white bugs that look like dust - Woolly Aphid

Woolly aphid is an outdoor tiny white bug that measures only one-tenth of an inch. 

It looks like a little lint with a fuzzy white wing. 

Woolly aphids are most common in Florida, Texas, and Illinois. But you’d find them in gardens or yard which has Chinese Hackberry tree.

Woolly aphids produce honeydew and pale wax, which are the signs of woolly aphid infestation.

The honeydew causes molds on the Chinese Hackberry tree. That creates a sticky mess on the trees’ leaves and branches.

Woolly aphids don’t cause any permanent and lethal damage to the hackberry tree. So, you wouldn’t need an insecticide treatment to get rid of them. 

The best way to stop the growth of woolly aphid infestation is to cut off the leaves and branches they’ve infested. 


Tiny white bugs that look like dust - Whiteflies

Whiteflies are plant damaging pests that suck the sap of vegetable and flower plants. These tiny white flying bugs look like cotton.

Whiteflies are active in warm weather. They look like tiny white oblong flies with visible wings.

You’ll also observe a line of separation between the wings, which can even also make their back visible.

Like the wooly aphid, whiteflies also excrete honeydew on leaves and branches.

That causes the leaves to turn yellow and die.

To get rid of whiteflies from your garden, first, identify the plants that whiteflies infest.

Then spray a mixture of water and soap on the plants that whiteflies infest.

Don’t spray the mixture on the soil bed of the plants.

Do not use insecticide sprays on plants to get rid of whiteflies. 

It’s because insecticide sprays will kill beneficial insects like dragonflies, spiders, and centipedes that eat whiteflies.


Tiny white bugs that look like dust - mealybugs

Finally, mealybugs are tiny white bugs that, like the previous two, are plant bugs. 

Mealybugs infest plants in the form of clusters. So you’d see groups of these bugs on the leaves and fruits of plants. 

They look like white cottony masses piled up one over the other on the plants.

Mealybugs can grow up to one-fifth of an inch, and they have an unusual waxy covering on their oval body.  

The eggs mealy bugs hatch in June. Therefore, from the month of June, mealybugs are most active. 

If there are beneficial insects like centipedes and dragonflies in your garden, then they’ll eat the mealybugs.

But, if mealybugs’ population increase, then spraying soapy water on plants works well. 

Chopping off the branches that have clusters of mealy bugs helps in checking their spread on other plants.

Also, mealybugs die on their own when the temperature rises during summers.


So, to summarize, here are the 5 tiny white bugs that look like dust –

  1. Mold mites
  2. Dust mites
  3. Wooly aphids
  4. Whiteflies
  5. Mealybugs

The last three are outdoor bugs and infest plants. 

There are two more mites that damage plants. They’re tiny, look very similar to mold mites, but they’re not typically white.

These mites are spider mites and wood mites.

Like mold mites and dust mites, spider mites and wood mites can also infest your home. 

Dust mites are dangerous because they can cause both allergic attacks and respiratory disorders.

To get rid of these tiny white bugs, follow the simple steps laid out in this post. 

But, the most important thing to control mites and bugs inside your home is to make your home less humid. 

You’d need to fix water leakages in and around your home to control the dampness.

Installing a dehumidifier in your home does wonders to control the humidity levels inside your home.

Some of these bugs are outdoor bugs. But you can bring them home too, especially when you’ve spend time in the woods or outdoors.

They’ll latch onto your clothing and belongings and hitch hike to your home.

Do you know that your home may harbor microscopic bugs that bite? These microscopic bugs can be smaller than the bugs you’ve found out in this post.

To know more, read our post on these bugs that you can barely see.