No one wants to suddenly find their home overrun with mites, but it happens. Of all the mites to make your home their own, wood mites aren’t necessarily the most dangerous or most nauseating. They don’t bite and unlike termites who can cause huge damage by eating through wood, they simply snack on existing decay. Still, there are nicer house guests to have around. Fortunately, wood mites are visible to the naked eye so you shouldn’t have too many problems spotting an infestation. Once you do, there are several quick and easy ways to get rid of them. Here’s what you need to know about how to remove wood mites from a wood table.
What Are Wood Mites?
Wood mites are small, white, and have more legs than the average insect – 8 in total. Although tiny (most adults grow to around 0.5 mm in length), they’re still discernible to the naked eye. Wood mites are voracious eaters and can wreak havoc on your plants when they live outdoors. They’re no party to have around indoors either, making light work of decomposing wood and woody materials. The one upside is that, unlike termites that will actively destroy wood by chomping through it, wood mites simply get to work on areas of existing damage and decay.
They can infest a whole array of household areas, from the structure of the house to its fixtures and furniture. Usually, they prefer damp, old wood to anything else, so tend to congregate in piles of old woodpile or wood scraps in the garage. They also love to tucker down in piles of old books, drawers crammed with old papers, or junk-filled cardboard boxes. They don’t like new, they don’t like clean, and they much prefer old, neglected areas to anything that’s dusted and vacuumed regularly.
How to Get Rid of Wood Mites
If you’ve noticed some unwelcome houseguests making themselves at home on your wood table, it’s time to take action. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult – as Hunker says, getting rid of wood mites is similar to removing other mites and providing you’re not too squeamish, won’t require professional assistance. As to the methods, you have two options available to you – anti-mite pesticide spray or predator mites.
Method 1: Anti-Mite Pesticide Spray
- Step 1 – The first step in the process is to buy an anti-mite pesticide spray. These are widely available at home and garden stores, along with home improvement stores. You might even be able to find a solution that’s specially formulated to tackle wood mites. If you can’t, don’t worry – a general-purpose anti-mite pesticide will still do the trick. Be sure to read the guidelines for use carefully, and check whether the instructions warn of any potential damage or stains to textiles or furnishings surrounding the area to be treated.
- Step 2 – As h2ouse.org (www.h2ouse.org/how-to-get-rid-of-wood-mites/) notes, before you start applying the anti-pesticide, be sure to clean the area to be treated carefully. Run a small vacuum attachment over the table to gather up any dust and as many wood mites as possible. Proceed to wipe the table down with warm water and mild soap.
- Step 3 – Once the table has been cleared and cleaned, you can move on to applying the pesticide spray. Be sure to wear a face mask to avoid inhaling the pesticide. Follow any other safety measures advised in the instructions carefully. Holding the spray at arm’s length, spray it directly over the table. Pay particular attention to the areas the mites have been active.
- Method 2: Predator Mites
As Yard Work HQ points out, an alternative to using anti-mite pesticide spray is to get a predatory mite like hypoaspis miles to eat the wood mites. Once they’re set free, hypoaspis mites will make light work of tracing, tracking, and consuming every last wood mite and wood mite egg in the house. Once there’s nothing left to eat, they’ll simply die off, so you don’t have to worry about being tasked with another ongoing mite problem. You can buy the mites at gardening supply stores or even online. It doesn’t take them long to finish off the wood mites and then finish off themselves, so the problem should be done and dusted in just a couple of days.
How to Prevent Wood Mites
Once you’ve dealt with your current wood mite problem, you can start taking steps to ensure they don’t come back.
Check For Moisture
Start by checking for moisture problems around the table and any other areas you’ve had problems with mites. Mildew and mold are all ripe breeding grounds for mites: if you want to tackle the mites, you’ll need to tackle the moisture first. Check for any poorly insulated areas, along with any drips and leaks. You might also want to check that the spaces around doors and windows are thoroughly sealed and that the foundation of the house isn’t cracked. It may sound like a lot of work for just a few wood mites, but where one type of mite finds a home, others are quick to follow – and not all are quite so benign as them.
No one likes spending hours of their free time dusting and cleaning, but if you want to make sure your home remains free of mites, it’s worth doing. Keep any surface, whether it’s furniture, windowsills, picture frames, or handles, clean and dust-free. Make sure to use a damp cloth when you wipe things down: a dry cloth will simply send the mites in a new direction rather than picking them up.
Clean the Nooks
Wood tables and other furniture tend to have hard-to-clean grooves that provide a welcoming home for mites. Use a furniture cleaner, brushes, and rags to ensure you clean every inch. Try to do it at least once a week to keep things as clean and unattractive to mites as possible.
If your table or anything else is stacked with piles of books, papers, and other types of detritus, get rid of it. Although it’s easy for clutter to build up, it’s also easy for mites to see it as an open invitation to move in. If you do have certain books or papers that don’t have anywhere else to go, make sure you shuffle them around regularly – mites like stagnant spots.