An educational guide to help you get rid of unwanted Mites.
How To Get Rid Of Mites
There are actually thousands of different types of mites, although some are much more likely to be in your home than others. Mites are actually arachnids with eight legs, but you probably can’t tell since they typically measure less than one millimeter long. Mites are able to survive both in water or on land, but luckily most aren’t parasitic. That being said, some can transmit diseases or simply cause irritation, making it better to get rid of them as soon as you notice their presence.
Are There Mites In Your Home?
The best way of detecting a mite will depend on the species and is made harder by their small size, which makes them hard to see without magnification. Sometimes, however, you will be able to see them moving across a species. Certain types of mites that feed on plants produce webbing or silk while others will cause leaf discoloration. In the case of mites that feed on people or animals, you can typically guess their presence due to the skin irritation, although a doctor would have to diagnose it.
How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites
Dust mites are the biggest concern for a lot of people as they are the ones that most commonly affect those with allergies. The best way to eliminate dust mites is to keep your home very clean and choose the appropriate fabrics for furniture. The least toxic options for treatment include sweeping and vacuuming regularly, dusting your furniture, shampooing the carpets, and dry cleaning any fabrics. Sometimes, you may notice a reduction in dust mites by choosing cotton sheets with a high thread count or non-organic fabrics. You should also put a latex rubber mattress cover on your bed.
If possible, swap out your carpets for hardwood floors or tiles. Since carpets are where the most organic dust matter (which dust mites feed on) accumulates, getting rid of carpets can do wonders for your dust mite problem. Also take steps to lower your home’s humidity as dust mites thrive in warm environments with high humidity.
How To Get Rid Of Ear Mites
Another common type of mite is ear mites, which will commonly affect dogs and cats. Luckily, these are fairly easy to treat and there are numerous vet-approved products. You can just apply some mineral oil using an ear syringe or eye dropper then gently massage your pet’s ears on the interior portion. Finally, let your pet shake out the excess oil (which is why this is best done outside).
How to Get Rid Of Scabies Or Itch Mites
Itch mites and scabies mites are the same thing and you can easily treat these on your skin with sulfur. Just apply it topically for a natural method that is non-toxic. Your doctor can also offer other suggestions.
How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites
Another common type of mite that people deal with are spider mites, sometimes known as two-spotted mites. Interestingly enough, the most effective method of eliminating these harmful mites is with predatory mites. You can easily find predatory mites that are safe for your greenhouse and will take care of the spider mites without any chemicals.
Use Hot Water
Hot water is the solution for killing a range of insects and smaller pests, including mites. If you had to treat a pet for ear mites recently, you should wash their bedding (and yours if they go on the couch or sleep in your bed) with hot water. You should do the same with dust mites. In fact, those concerned with dust mites should consider steam cleaning their carpet as well.
Some Natural Control Methods
Before getting into chemicals that take care of mites, consider a more natural approach that doesn’t pose any health risk. Sulfur is good at killing mites, but you can’t use it on sensitive skin. Tea tree oil is another good treatment, particularly for itch mites as it is a natural astringent.
Using Chemicals To Control Mites
Of course, you can also use chemicals to get rid of mites in addition to the more natural methods mentioned above. Permethrin is a common pesticide for treating mites as well as other small pests, but you should never use it by cats or fish as it is toxic to both. It has also been linked to lung cancer in lab rats, meaning that you definitely want to take safety precautions before using a pesticide with permethrin and consider other options first.
In the case of mites in the garden like broad mites, two-spotted mites, or spider mites, consider using an insecticidal soap. These are essentially a mild soap such as dove or castile soap that has been diluted in plenty of water. If you apply this to plants with mite problems, the mites will experience disruptions in their cellular functions, leading to their death. The soap will also kill other harmful bugs such as aphids.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.