Most of us are already familiar with mold. When you see a patch of mold in your household, you probably don’t think much about it.
You go about tackling the problem with a homemade solution, ultimately wiping the mold growth away with a cloth. Afterwards, you move on with your day without a second thought.
What most people don’t think about, though, is that the mold growth they just wiped away was actually serving as a source of food for other living things.
Good thing you got rid of it right away!
WHAT ARE MOLD MITES?
Tyophagus putescentiae is the scientific name for mold mites, aka the tiny insects that were just using the mold growth in your home as a feeding ground.
The same way that mold requires darkness, moisture, and organic material in its environment to thrive, mold mites require the mold growth to feed on in order to survive. Even a very small amount of mold can produce enough sustenance for thousands of mold mites.
Scientists first discovered these tiny, hairy insects over 230 hundred years ago in Austria. Due to their small size, mold mites are nearly imperceptible to the human eye.
HOW TO IDENTIFY MOLD MITES
It is important to note that there are a variety of other mites that use sources of food for sustenance and therefore get their names accordingly; you may find similar mites on old cheese (cheese mites) or mixed into your flour sack (flour mites).
While none of these mites are healthy to have living in your household and all should be properly disposed of immediately after discovery, only mold mites thrive in areas with mold.
If you spot a mold growth somewhere in your home, you might be able to find an accompanying colony of mold mites.
While you will not be able to identify them with your bare eye, a high definition camera might be able to help you. Try taking some photos of the mold patch and zooming in as far as possible.
WHAT DO MOLD MITES LOOK LIKE?
Mold mites are typically white or tan in colour; you have a better chance of spotting them when they accumulate into one area.
Mold mites don’t have wings but they do have long hairs that may illicit an allergic reaction to those who are susceptible. Some people may think their skin irritation is caused by mold mite bites since the red bumps may sting or itch.
However, mold mites don’t bite and the symptoms are simply caused by a reaction to their allergens.
HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD MITES
Getting rid of mold mites requires the removal of their food source: mold.
If the mites have nothing to feed on, they will not be able to survive and will no longer be a problem. You can prevent the growth of mold by controlling the moisture in your home, and by using products with built-in mold protection.
Please refer to our previous blog posts that discuss how to safely remove mold from your home and keep it from coming back.
OUR ANTIMICROBIAL EXPERTISE
Thomson Research Associates (TRA) is a global leader in the field of antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial, and anti-dust mite treatments, providing antimicrobial protection to finished products for over 60 years.
Our ultimate goal is to satisfy our clients’ specific needs through excellence in service, science, and support. Find out how we work with you through our scientific testing laboratory, highly-qualified technical and regulatory specialists.
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