Entomology (Study of Bugs)/grain mites

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Question
I had an infestation of grain mites 8 yrs. ago within my house and property.  I thought I had been rid of them when I recently located another outbreak in my home.  A back bedroom had gotten too moist and mold was growing on the back side of the dressers. I was not aware until now that they could simply survive and thrive on just mold of any type.  I'm currently drying out the remainder of the house through dehumidification.  I have no other food sources available to them.  I'm of a scientific background and am aware of there life cycle.  The question(s) I have are: through dehumidification will the eggs and dormant stage mite dry up?  I also live in an old home with half having a dirt crawl space.  I'm concerned that they could hybernate or survive in this area.  Is there any product or something I have not found yet that can help me from having any reoccurances outside of dehumidifying year around?  Thank you very much for you time.

Answer
Bess,

Reducing moisture by any means is definitely the best thing you can do. The dirt in the crawl space should be covered with Visqueen (plastic sheeting) to reduce this source of moisture. The mites themselves are so abundant that if mold is available they will probably become a problem, take a look at this page http://www.livingwithbugs.com/mold_mites.html for a bit more about the mites. The only other option would be to treat small areas like the dresser with one of the botanical insecticides (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/botanical_insecticide.html) but this step probably is not necessary, reducing moisture is the key.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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