Everything You Should Know About Mold Mites & Mold Spores Bites

white wall with patches of black dirt and mold

Most of us are familiar with mold. The moist, musty smell of an old cellar or abandoned building is widely associated with mold growth. At its most basic, mold is a collection of tiny fungal spores, usually found in damp, dark areas. Some types of mold, such as black mold, can be toxic in their own right and cause illnesses and rashes on humans. Other types of common household molds can be non-toxic, yet still cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive.

What are Mold Mites?

Nearly any type of mold may become home to small insects called mold mites, which are near-microscopic and can range in color from white to tan. Mold mites are wingless and so small that they can barely be seen by the naked eye. This means that they are often confused for mold itself, which in turn causes people to think that mold spores are what cause the small bite-like marks on their body. 

Can Mold Spores Bite?

In truth, mold spores cannot bite and neither can mold mites. The mold mites have a long sort of “hair” on their bodies which can cause a mild stinging sensation in some people who come into contact with them. It may feel as if they have been bitten by an invisible creature when in fact, they are experiencing an allergic reaction. Mold mites can also exacerbate mold allergies and asthma attacks, or contribute to lung infections in people who have immunodeficiencies or pre-existing lung complications. In a home with poor air quality and a predisposition for mold, this may cause serious health problems for inhabitants.

How Do I Inspect for Mold Mites?

One way to tell that mold and mold mites are in your home is via a brownish “mite dust” visible in unusual places, like on shelves or food. Another possible symptom is if you feel your health improve when you spend time outside your home – it’s easier to breathe, any coughing and wheezing is reduced, and you have more energy. Mold also usually has a distinctive smell, making it easy to identify, and visually identifying mold in damp, dark places around the house is the easiest way to find mold problems. Usually, where there is mold, there are mold mites.

What to Do if You Find Mold in Your Home

While Aftermath is a biohazard cleaning service, we do not offer mold remediation. If you suspect your home may have a mold problem, here are some basic suggestions to help you eliminate the issues before they can seriously affect your well-being: 

  • Regularly clean surfaces in the home, including shelves and corners
  • Remove surface mold with a bleach and water mixture as directed on the product, or use a commercial cleaning spray that includes bleach, such as Clorox or Lysol brands
  • Use dehumidifiers in rooms where mold is likely to grow to remove the extra moisture that it needs to thrive
  • Air out your home periodically by opening doors and windows 
  • If you do not see an improvement, if the problem is more widespread than expected, or if your allergies become more severe, call in a professional mold remediation service to treat your home.

Mold problems may seem insignificant, but the impact mold may have on human health is not. Mold allergies can go beyond simple skin irritation — it can lead to lung infections such as pulmonary fibrosis. If you think you have any of the above-listed issues in your home, take steps immediately to eliminate them before the mold worsens.