5 Tiny White Bugs That Look Like Dust And Lint (And Some Of Them Bite too!)

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.

Some of these little white bugs look like lint on your clothes and skin. One of them can trigger allergic reactions and can even cause respiratory disorder.

In this guide you’ll also find out how to identify these little white bugs. You’ll also find out the steps that you can take right away to get rid of them.

Keep reading.

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.

Out of these five tiny white bugs, woolly aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs are outdoor bugs and live on plants. You can bring these plants home when you introduce plants with these bugs latched onto them indoors.

Woolly aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs are tiny white bugs on plants that look like lintThese bugs, and dust mites, can stick with your clothing and skin.

It happens mostly when you walk through vegetation that has these bugs on them.

So now that you know what are the tiny white bugs that look like dust and lint, let’s dive into each of them.

In the following sections you’ll find out where do these bugs come from, what attracts them, and how to get rid of these little white bugs.

Mold Mites – The Tiny White Crawling Bugs In Homes

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 fungi 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. 

Mold mites are tiny. And hence it’s quite difficult to spot them with a naked eye.

People with strong eye sight easily confuse these bugs as specks of tiny white dust.

However, mold mites can also look like tiny black specks if they’ve fed on the molds on damp walls.

If you watch mold mites under a magnifying glass, you will find these tiny white bugs crawling like white ants.

As your kitchen and bathroom are two areas of your home that has high dampness, finding mold mites in these areas is common.

But mold mites in kitchen don’t limit themselves to the molds that grows on the hard surfaces of your kitchen.

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 grain mites also fall under the category of pantry pests.

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

The worst part with mold mites is that they’re very hard to detect when their infestation is low. You can only detect them when their numbers increase.

Mold mites also invade moist electrical appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators as these appliances are moist from the inside.

How To Get Rid Of Mold Mites?

Fortunately, getting rid of mold mites isn’t a big deal. All you need is a little bit of patience and an eye to spot the places of mold mite infestation.

Here are the four steps to get rid of mold mites in your home –

Step#1 – Control The Dampness Of Your Home And Yard

Mold mites are damp bugs. These bugs thrive on high dampness.

Leaking water pipes inside and outside your home increases the moisture content in the walls, floors, and furniture of your home.

That leads to the development of molds which attrract the mold mites.

So, your first step is to spot the leaking pipes in your home and yard and fix the leakages.

Pipes underneath sinks in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, and in your yard leak often. Check these places for water leakages.

And fix water leakages in these areas. If it needs a plumber, don’t shy away from hiring one.

Step#2 – Remove The Molds And The Fungi That Develop On Walls And Floors

These molds are the food for mold mites. After fixing the leaky pipes, get rid of these molds.

You can get rid of molds on walls and hard surfaces with the help of bleach and water.

Dilute bleach with water and sprinkle the mixture on places where there’s mold formation. Remember not to keep bleach strong, because bleach is corrosive and it can damage your furniture.

Let the mixture sit on the moldy surface for at least 10-15 minutes. Then with a bristle brush scrub on the moldy surface.

As an alternative, you can also use mold removal spray. It works perfectly fine on molds.

Step#3 – Repair The Damage Caused By Molds

After getting rid of the molds, you don’t want their traces left behind.

Molds cause damages on floors and walls. Cracks can also develop on these surfaces too.

So, repair those damage places. Leaving them unrepaired can cause molds to reappear.

If your home is old, then molds can come back back if you don’t fix those areas from where you removed the molds.

Step#4 – Use A Dehumidifier To Reduce The Moisture Levels Inside Your Home

Let’s face it, you can’t do much about the high moisture levels inside your home if you live in a humid and tropical climate.

In this situation, dehumidifiers come to your rescue.

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 you’re dealing with mold or grain mites.

Dust Mites – Tiny White Bugs That Look Like Lint And Bite

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. Those bites are from the dust mites feeding on your skin.

Another tiny bug that can live on your clothes and bites are the body lice. But they’re not white, they’re brown.

Dust mites bites cause severe itching. Red welts and rashes also develop on the bitten area of your skin.

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.

How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites?

Dust mites are active starting from late spring to early winter months. These tiny white mites in homes invade homes starting from May till October.

Thankfully, getting rid of dust mites doesn’t need a pest controller. You can do it on your own. 

Here’s a three step guide to get rid of dust mites –

Step#1 – Vacuum Clean Your Home, Thoroughly

Dusting and vacuuming go a long way to get rid of these dust mites from your home.

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

However, there’s one method that kills dust mites for sure. And that’s 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.

Step#2 – Seal Gaps And Cracks On Windows And Doors

There are many types of biting mites that enter homes in different ways.

But gaps and cracks on the walls, windows, and door frames are points of entry for dust mites from outdoors.

The dust mites will crawl through the thinnest of the crevices on these places.

Seal these gaps with a quality sealant like a silicone-based sealant.

Step#3 – Install Window Shields With Fine Mesh

Dust mites can also enter homes through open windows.

Hence, 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 Aphids – Fuzzy And Tiny White Bugs Outdoors

Tiny white bugs that look like dust - Woolly Aphid

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

When they infest plants, they appear as tiny white bugs resembling cotton on plants.

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. 

Whiteflies – Tiny White Flies On Plants That Bites Too

Tiny white bugs that look like dust - Whiteflies

Whiteflies are plant damaging moths that are active during the spring and summer months.

Whiteflies specifically target the vegetable and fruit plants. And they’re one of the common plant damaging pests in greenhouses.

They’re oblong shaped. On a closer look you’ll also notice a separation line between the wings, which can even also make their back visible.

Like the wooly aphid, whiteflies also excrete honeydew on leaves and branches. The honeydew attracts ants to the plants.

Whiteflies in plants feed on the leaves’ saps. That makes the leaves to turn yellow and wither off.

Failing to get rid of whiteflies in your garden can cause serious damage to the plants.

But beware! Whiteflies bite humans.

The worst part is that each whitefly will bite several times. The bite from whiteflies feels worse than the mosquito bites.

These flies can jump. Whiteflies can bite your face if they happen to land on it.

So, if you’re working in your garden and there are whiteflies, they’ll bite you randomly as long as they get exposed to exposed skin.

The bitten portion on the skin turns red, and itching persists for a day or two.

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.

Mealybugs – Tiny White Bugs In The Form Of Clusters

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

Wooly aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs are outdoor plant bugs. Like the spider mites, they infest plants. 

But they can enter homes if you bring inside plants with these bugs latched onto them.

Mold mites and dust mites can invade homes and they’re more adaptable to thrive in human dwellings.

Getting rid of these bugs is no big deal. In this guide you’ve learned how to do that without professional pest control help.

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

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.

If you live in a humid or tropical climate, then installing a dehumidifier in your home does wonders to control the moisture levels in your home.

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