What Are Mould Mites?
Mould is a fungus that’s found growing naturally outside, where there’s damp and rotting plant material. It propagates itself by releasing tiny seeds called spores that are light enough to travel through the air, enter a home through an open door or window, and colonize any space that’s either damp or humid.
Everything has its purpose in life, and that goes for mould too. In this instance, its part of the food chain of a tiny creature called the Tyrophagus Putrescentiae, or mould mite. A scientist first noted the tiny, hairy small white insect in Austria in 1781. Since then, it’s spread world-wide, and is found crawling inside homes all over Toronto.
Must I Move Out?
No, that’s not necessary. In fact, Tyrophagus Putrescentiae doesn’t even bite (although it does shed its long hairs – and these can cause irritating allergic reactions when inadvertently inhaled). However it is also an indicator of a far more serious problem. Somewhere in your home you’ve got damp, and that can cause permanent damage to your largest investment by far.
Can I Get Rid of Them?
It’s not always practical to spray mould mites, because they share your favourite spaces like your vegetable rack, computer keyboard and even television. However, if you get rid of the things they live off, they’ll likely vacate your space without even giving notice. By all means, wipe the ones you see away with a damp cloth. For a more permanent solution, consider doing the following:
- Get rid of any plant matter that’s not completely fresh. This could be a tired flower arrangement, or fresh broccoli left out overnight in the kitchen. Chances are that both are harbouring spreading mould.
- Ventilate your home on a daily basis to get rid of accumulating humidity. Inspect your attic, living space and basement for any signs of damp. Appoint a damp-proofing specialist to address any problems that you notice.
- Eliminate all mould by wiping it away with a solution of one cup of household bleach to a five gallon bucket of water, remembering to use a facemask and waterproof gloves just to be sure.
In the Long Run
It’s a fact of life that once you’ve got mould in your home, it can be difficult to get rid of it completely – and that means that from time-to-time you’re going to find mould mites too. This does not mean you cannot manage the situation though. You just need to ventilate your home, eliminate mould when you see it, and arrange a for a certified mould inspector or contractor to conduct a proper inspection, to prevent deep-seated problems from developing undetected.