Humidity in the home is one factor that draws bugs and pests to your home.
And a dehumidifier helps in reducing the moisture levels in your home, making it a beneficial instrument if you’re living in the south of the US or in tropical climates.
Excessive moisture and dampness attract microscopic bugs like mold mites.
But will a dehumidifier kill mold mites? Let’s find it out.
Dehumidifiers Will Not Kill Mold Mites (But Prevents Mold Formation)
Dehumidifiers remove excess humidity from the air and help in preventing mold formation. As molds are food for mold mites, so, if there are no molds, the mold mites can’t survive. But dehumidifiers don’t kill mold mites, dust mites, or any bugs and insects.
Dehumidifiers work by sucking the air and passing it through the internal refrigeration system.
The cooling system inside the dehumidifier condenses the water vapor, leading the water to drip into the water collection bucket below the dehumidifier.
So, a dehumidifier turns the excessive humidity in the air and removes it by turning it into water.
Excessive moisture in the air will make your home damp. The dampness spreads in the walls, floors, and even on your clothes, leading to mold formation.
And these molds are food for many mites, including mold mites, silverfish, and psocids mites.
High dampness and molds in your home will also attract dust mites. Dust mites absorb the moisture from damp surfaces to survive.
So, a dehumidifier will remove the air’s excessive moisture and prevent mold formation.
That eliminates the chances of mold mites infestation, or any other moisture bugs, that feed on the molds.
When Do Dehumidifiers fail To Prevent Molds?
However, in one case, dehumidifiers will fail.
And that’s when there are water leakages in your home.
Water leakages wreak havoc on the walls and floors of your home. Leakages cause a sudden spike in the moisture levels of your home’s structure.
The walls, floors, furniture, and even your stored grains in the kitchen pantry will absorb the excess moisture. It leads to the formation of molds that attract mold mites.
Mold mites infest your stored food like flour and rise, making them unfit to eat.
Books can also develop molds. These molds attract book bugs that feed on the molds and mildew.
Excessive moisture will also make the walls and floors of your weak and porous. The paint starts to peel off, and cracks develop on the walls and floors.
These gaps and cracks become the hiding places and nesting grounds for pests like roaches, centipedes, and ants.
Cracks on the home’s foundation walls will become the entry points for many destructive pests like termites.
So, to ensure that no molds form in your home, you must prevent any water leakages.
Check the plumbing area underneath the bathroom, kitchen, and basement sinks. If you see any leaky pipes, fix them.
Water comes from these leaky pipes and faucets, which increases the dampness in the bathroom, kitchen, and basement, making these places attractive to bugs and pests.
Also, ensure no stagnant water and water leakages in your outdoor section.
Water leaks and stagnant water increases the dampness levels of the yard or garden soil. And that leads to many pests breeding and nesting there.
Excessive dampness will affect the firewood pile and mulch beds. Molds will form in these places. And worse, they’ll start to rot.
That is an open invitation to mold mites and pests like termites.
Some bugs, like springtails and fungus gnats, feed on the molds in the soil beds and organic wastes.
They also breed in these places.
And when they’re in your yard or garden, these bugs will sneak inside through the cracks and open windows.
What Kills Mold Mites Instantly?
Cleaning the moldy surfaces with bleach or a mold cleaner will eliminate the molds and kill the mold mites on them.
You can also use Lysol and a mixture of white vinegar and warm water to remove the molds and the mold mites.
Molds mites are not always white. Some of the mold mites might look like small clear white glittery bugs.
But mold mites’ color depends on the molds they eat.
So, mold mites can also be black or gray too.
Are Mold Mites Harmful?
Yes, mold mites are harmful even though they don’t bite. Mold mites in homes can trigger allergic reactions in many individuals, including seniors and kids.
Also, mold mites have hairy bristles on their bodies. Those hairy bristles can cause itching and red welts if they crawl onto you.
Mold mites can get into your hair if your bed has both molds and mold mites.
But they are least likely to stay on your scalp because mold mites always look for molds to feed on them.
Where To Use Dehumidifier To Prevent Mold Mites?
It’s always best to use a dehumidifier in places where there’s high water usage.
So, the kitchen and basement are the two places where you can use dehumidifiers to reduce the moisture levels in the air of these places.
Many bugs and pests target the kitchen and basement to hide because of excessive moisture in these places. And, of course, there’s a ready food supply for bugs in your kitchen.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.