What are Wood Mites – How to Get Rid of Them Naturally?

how to get rid of wood mites naturally

The wood mite is a tiny insect. It is so small that you may not notice them at first.

As their name implies, they live in damp wood.

And not surprisingly, many people do not give a second thought to such a small creature because they do seem harmless.

However, while wood mites do not bite, are not poisonous, and do not attack the foundations of your home, it is still a good idea to get rid of them.

This is because wood mites may carry diseases and bacteria inside your home.

Plus, the microscopic hairs that are shed by the wood mites may cause an allergic reaction.

Because of these two factors, you should first identify if the wood mites are present in your home.

Appearance

Although they are thought of as insects, wood mites are more related to the arachnid family.

In fact, they mostly look like ticks. A typical wood mite is spotted and brown or white in coloring.

They are also quite small at less than a half-millimeter on average.

But the real giveaway is the hairs on their bodies which make them look like cobwebs.

If you see cobwebs on your wood, chances are that you have wood mites.

You can conduct an inspection to be sure, but you can also hire a professional if you desire.

However, it is a lot cheaper to locate them yourself rather than paying a fee to someone who tells you they are not present in your home.

What Wood Mites Consume?

Although wood mites are mostly found on wood since it makes a great home for them, they do not consume it like termites.

But damp wood is an attraction for them.

Plus, wood mites are also attracted to the smoke from cigars and snakes.

A snake enclosure will often have wood mites present around the entrance.

Plus, the odor from cigars also brings in the wood mites as well.

If you have a humidor, then you will want to check for wood mites frequently.

What wood mites do consume is plants.

If you have plants around the home, the wood mites will consume them which is one reason why you need to get rid of the wood mites.


How To Seal Wood with Wood Mites?

If you want to keep the wood mite away, then you will need to seal the wood around your home.

Heating the wood is a good start as that will kill the mites and their larvae.

For deconstructed wood, heating is often the best option.

Of course, you do not want to heat the wood that makes up the structure of your home, so instead, you should call a professional to get rid of the wood mites.

But for deconstructed or scrap wood, heating is a solid option if you are careful.

Step 1:

Heat up the wood to around 140 degrees F.

If a lumberyard has a kiln service, it pays to use that if possible.

Step 2:

Once heated and cooled, the wood can be scrubbed of its dead bugs and silken threads.

If you have boards, then use a scrub brush to remove any remaining particles.

Step 3:

For boards, you’ll want to sand them after the particles have been removed.

For salvaged boards, sanding will smooth them out and make them quite useful for many different projects.

Step 4:

Once sanded, you should apply an insecticide that is based on borate.

The liquid version can easily be applied by following the instructions.

Sprays tend to be much easier to use compared to powders which may leave openings for any new wood mites to make their way into the material.

Step 5:

Now you can apply the sealer. This will prevent further infestations of the wood.

Varnish works best as a start, followed by applying a sealer per instructions.

This will not only protect the wood from wood mites, but also from scratches as well.


How Can You Remove Wood Mites Naturally?

Wood mites that you see indoors are probably on their way to find plants.

And when they do this, mites leave behind a visible trail of silken threads.

Follow the trail first to see if the end is a gathering place for the wood mites.

And then backtrack to see where the trail originates. Ideally, you should find an entrance or opening that comes from the outside.

Wood mites can be found in baseboards, plumbing, or behind electrical outlets and plating.

They tend to gather on wood that is either damp or in a humid environment.

Once you have identified their entrance and location, a pesticide is the best way to get rid of them.

However, pesticides are poisonous and most often not suitable to be used indoors.

But there are natural ways you can get rid of wood mites that are safe inside the home.

1- Boric Acid:

This is a safe, effective method of getting rid of most insects along with the wood mites.

Sprinkle some around your plants and on gatherings of wood mites.

2- Diatomaceous Earth:

These particles have sharp edges which will cut into the wood mites and cause them to dehydrate and die.

Sprinkle them around the plants and they will provide good protection.

3- Essential Oils:

Cinnamon is a great essential oil to use on your plants because it does not harm, drives away the wood mites, and it has a pleasing scent.

Additional methods include dusting and cleaning your home, especially around the areas where wood mites enter and gather.

Vacuum the carpet and furniture frequently to lift up and remove any wood mites that get through.

Along with cleaning, using one of the three natural methods mentioned here will eliminate the wood mites and help drive them away.

If you can seal up the entrance from the outside, that will help as well.

Also, inspect any wood that you bring into the home or garage for signs of wood mites.

Keep any wood that is infested outside until it can be cleaned and heated which destroys the wood mites.

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