No homeowner wants to deal with a pest of any kind. It feels invasive, and maybe even frightening, when a bunch of critters decide to share your home with you. Wood mites are tiny bugs that can be hard to spot until they appear in large numbers.
Keep your eyes peeled for tell-tale signs of wood mites in your home, such as:
- Leaf damage on indoor plants 🪴
- Wood mites on wood furniture items in your house 🪑
- Their presence on the perimeter of your home 🏡
- Mites on your windows and doors 🪟🚪
If you have wood mites in your home, you can either call a pest control professional or attempt to get rid of them yourself. If you want to take the situation into your own hands, follow this step-by-step guide to get rid of wood mites.
Step 1: Find Out Where They’re Living 🕵️
When wood mites have seemingly taken over your house, it can be pretty difficult to narrow down where they’re living. However, wood mites often prefer to live in piles of damp wood and behind moist tree bark.
It’s possible that the mites are stemming from one particular wood item in your home or from a pile of firewood in your backyard.
Wood mites are tiny white bugs that look like fleas. They’re mostly harmless outdoors but are definitely a pest if they make their way indoors. Even though wood mites do not bite humans or pets or cause structural damage like termites, they are definitely unwelcome guests.
Step 2: Reduce Moisture and Mold 💧
Dampness and excess moisture attract wood mites, and many homeowners neglect to address this step when getting rid of wood mites.
You need to control the moisture levels in your home and get rid of any mold. The primary cause of moisture levels in your home is water leakage. Leaks can increase the moisture levels in your:
Locate any leaky pipes under bathroom and kitchen sinks, in your shower, or leaks coming from your roof. You’ll likely need to hire a professional plumber to inspect and fix any leaky pipes in your home.
Use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture levels in the air. It’s especially wise to use a dehumidifier in your basement if you have one, as basements often have more moisture than upper levels of homes.
Step 3: Thoroughly Clean Your House 🧹
Now, it’s time to take your spring cleaning efforts up about ten notches. First step: vacuuming.
Vacuum all your floors plus your couches, drapes, rugs, and even your cabinets. You’ll need to literally clean from top to bottom. In addition to vacuuming, clean these areas:
- Under sofas
- Behind curtains, shutters, and shelves
- Mop with very hot water and a high-quality floor cleaner
- Wash all blankets, duvets, and pillows
- Steam clean soft furnishings like couches and mattresses
Use the highest possible heat that’s still safe whenever possible. Heat is a bug killer and can help wipe out wood mites in hard-to-reach areas.
Step 4: Seal Gaps and Crevices
If there are a lot of wood mites living outside your home, they may start to look for new food sources if they’re feeling the competition. That’s when they start to move inside through cracks and gaps in your home’s walls, window frames, and door frames.
You’ll need to seal up those gaps and crevices with a reliable sealant like caulk.
Another pro tip is to remove overgrown vegetation along the perimeter of your home. Wood mites and other bugs can use that overgrown vegetation to make their way inside your home.
Step 5: Eliminate the Mites With Insecticide or a Natural Remedy
Now that you’ve taken every effort to limit the resources wood mites use to thrive inside your home, it’s time to go in for the attack.
There are a couple of options you have for killing off wood mites. You can either make your own natural repellent or purchase a strong insecticide from the store.
Tea tree, peppermint, and eucalyptus are effective essential oils for repelling mites. You can mix one teaspoon of these essential oils with one cup of water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture on any damp wood or areas you’ve seen the wood mites. You can also use this mixture outdoors on your firewood, deck, or outdoor furniture.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Borax
Another homemade mixture that can work is apple cider vinegar and borax. The acidity in apple cider vinegar works as a natural insecticide against wood mites and other bugs. Combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup of Borax
- 1/2 cup of hot water
Be sure to shake thoroughly to dissolve the Borax. Spray the mixture on affected areas every two or three days until you don’t see any mites for at least one week.
You can also use a pre-made insecticide you get from the store. Look specifically for a “miticide” product that targets mites.
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned, you can spray the miticide on the affected areas according to the product’s instructions.
Insecticides are made from harsh chemicals, so be sure to wear gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator mask when using them.
How to Keep Wood Mites From Returning 🙅
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to guarantee that wood mites will never return to your home. However, you can take efforts to keep them at bay as best as possible.
As we touched on above, wood mites are drawn to moisture. Take every effort to limit the moisture levels in your home by immediately getting any plumbing or roof leaks fixed and by utilizing a dehumidifier. Also, avoid overwatering your yard or garden.
You should also examine your garden to see if mites are attracted to any of your plants. If they are, it’s best to remove the plants, wrap them in plastic, and dispose of them. Otherwise, wood mites destroy plants and then make their way indoors in search of more food.
Keep your eyes peeled for mites, and don’t be afraid to rely on a pest control professional for peace of mind.
How Manomin Keeps Wood Mites Out of Reclaimed Wood
As a reclaimed wood supplier, many of our customers have concerns about wood mites. No one wants to purchase reclaimed wood flooring, doors, or mantels, only to have wood mites as an unwelcome roommate later.
At Manomin Resawn Timbers, we treat our reclaimed wood with a four-step process before listing it for sale:
- Kiln drying
The kiln drying step is one that other reclaimed wood companies often skip. But this step is incredibly important because it’s when any bugs and larvae in the wood get destroyed for good. Kiln drying helps the wood achieve the perfect equilibrium moisture content, and any mites and eggs don’t stand a chance against the heat.
We Know That No One Wants to Deal With Wood Mites
Even though wood mites won’t hurt you or your home, they’re certainly an uncomfortable nuisance. They can also cause allergies in some people.
Use this step-by-step guide to identify wood mites, remove them, and keep them away. If your efforts don’t work right away or if the mites return, utilize the help of a pest control professional.
When working in the reclaimed wood business, we don’t take the presence of wood mites lightly. At Manomin Resawn Timbers, we have a proven process to ensure all our wood products are completely free of wood mites so that your home remains the peaceful sanctuary it’s meant to be.
If you have any questions about our reclaimed wood products or treatment process, feel free to reach out to our friendly team!