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What Are Mold Mites?


While mold is a common substance that is common knowledge, mold mites may be something most have not heard about. Mold mites may be an insect or term you have yet to hear regarding mold.

Mold mites are actually part of a larger family of species that specifically eat certain substances. For instance, along with the mold mite exists cheese mites, dust mites, and bird mites. 

United Water Restoration Group would like to discuss the topic of mold mites to give you a better understanding of these insects. Mites are fairly common creatures around the world that exist in every major ecosystem around the world. 

What Are Mold Mites?

Tyrophagus putrescentiae is a tiny, hairy insects that eat and thrive on mold, it’s their main source of food. The scientific name of these insects is tyrophagus putrescentiae, they are classified as a cosmopolitan species. This simply means that they are found all around the world.

There are several different types of mites related to the tyrophagus putrescentiae, with their names typically corresponding with their main source of food. Where there’s a mold outbreak, there are very likely some hungry tyrophagus putrescentiae mites getting their fill.

How Do I Spot Mold Mites?

As we mentioned above, mold mites are tiny insects. Mold mites are so tiny that they are actually nearly imperceptible to the naked human eye. If you notice a mold colony in your home or business, you may be able to spot a mold mite colony as well. These tiny insects are typically a whitish, tan.

A colony of tyrophagus putrescentiae can create a tan splotch near the mold colony or on the colony itself. They appear as a discolored patch or splotch. 


If you have access to a powerful camera, you could take a photo of the splotch and zoom in. If the camera is strong enough, it will reveal a tiny insect with a plump, wingless body that features lengthy, hair-like setae.

Their hair-like setae is more like a bristle than hair itself, these parts of their body are used as sensory organs. These parts frequently break off and can become airborne.

Getting Rid of Mites

Getting rid of a colony of tyrophagus putrescentiae is a lot easier than you may think. The first step to getting rid of these mites is to take away their food source. Which, in the case of mold mites, is simply getting rid of the mold colonies in your home or business.

Are Mites Dangerous?

Oddly enough, a tyrophagus putrescentiae is actually not dangerous to humans. Mold mites do not bite, they do not scratch humans, and they do not carry any diseases one should be worried about. The biggest concern surrounding mold mites is the fact that you have a mold outbreak in your home or business. 




While mold mites may not bite, they can cause irritation or allergic reactions. These reactions can be caused by a tyrophagus putrescentiae shedding its sensory hairs from its body. These sensory hairs become airborne and can aggravate one’s allergies and cause respiratory problems.

While these insects may not pose an immediate danger, the mold itself can cause many different symptoms. From a runny nose to irritating your lungs, mold exposure should be avoided.

When Should you Get Help?

A colony of tyrophagus putrescentiae can be spotted without visible mold present. Just because they primarily feast on mold does not mean they necessarily only live beside colonies. A tyrophagus putrescentiae colony can be spotted outside of a wall or in a visible area while the mold colony itself may be hidden. 

If you notice a colony that spans several feet, it is recommended that you seek professional assistance. United Water Restoration Group can assist you! Our service line at (800) 430-5838 can place you in direct contact with a professional, certified technician. These technicians can help assess your situation over the phone and schedule an onsite assessment to better determine your problem.