Psocid mites are one of the most common bathroom pests, especially if the restroom space is new. But that doesn’t mean you want these tiny insects hanging around in the bathroom, where hygiene is a priority.
They are annoying pests that can crawl anywhere, including your bathroom towels and toothbrush.
If you’re tired of seeing and dodging those mites in your bathroom, it’s time to do something about it. You can get rid of psocid mites using a few different natural remedies.
What Should You Know About Psocid Mites?
Psocids are tiny pests that can infest a humid bathroom. Other people call them ‘bark lice’ or ‘book lice,’ although they are not lice and don’t feed on blood.
There are around 5,000 psocid species worldwide, which differ in size, color, and often physical features.
Psocid mites are incredibly tiny insects. The size of adult psocids ranges from one to six millimeters, depending on the species.
The color of psocids also varies based on their species. But you can spot them in colors ranging from translucent to gray and sometimes brown.
- Physical Features
Psocids have soft bodies with six legs, although their back legs are significantly thicker than their four front ones. They have slender antennae, which grow at least as long as their bodies.
Psocid mites that live outdoors will usually have wings. But for those you find in your bathroom, they either have tiny wings or none at all.
Although psocid mites have chewing parts, they don’t bite. These pests may resemble a lot of jumping insects, but they don’t jump either. You can only see psocid mites run very quickly, despite their tiny bodies.
They don’t spread diseases to humans and pets, but they can damage your bathroom wallpaper.
Female psocids breed during the warm summer months and will produce around 60 eggs at that time. They will cover their eggs with debris, which often makes them invisible to the naked eye. That’s why one psocid mite in the bathroom can quickly turn into an infestation when the weather is warmer.
Why Are There Psocid Mites in My Bathroom?
Psocids in the bathroom are pretty common, especially for newly constructed rooms. There’s only one reason why your bathroom makes a perfect location for psocids to infest: moisture. But they will also enter the bathroom for shelter, food, temperature, and overwintering.
You will find psocid mites anywhere where mold grows. It’s their primary food source, and it only happens that your toilet has plenty of moisture and humidity where mold and mildew can grow.
You might also find psocids feeding on your bathroom wallpaper, but only if there’s a presence of mold.
How do Psocid Mites Get into the Bathroom?
Psocids have tiny bodies that allow them to enter your bathroom from any inconspicuous cracks and holes. Among their surefire entry points to your toilet include wear and tear in window screens as well as damages and cracks in the wall, ceiling, and foundation.
You can typically find them crawling all over the place looking for food on bathroom tiles, sink, vanity, drain, and toilet. Anywhere you can spot a mold growing in your bathroom, it’s most likely the place where these buggers hang out to eat. That also includes plumbing leaks, bathroom exhaust fan, and along the sides of bathroom windows.
Do you have potted plants in the toilet? Psocids are likely hanging out in there, too, especially if the soil is often damp.
How to Get Rid of Psocid Mites in the Bathroom
There are two effective methods to eliminate bathroom psocid mites: natural/non-toxic and using chemicals that can kill psocid mites.
How to Get Rid of Psocid Mites in Bathrooms Naturally
Step 1: Turn Up the Heat
Altering your bathroom environment can help take out pests infesting the space. So, since psocid mites love moisture, turning up the heat inside the bathroom can help get rid of them within a few hours.
There are several ways you can heat your bathroom:
1. Set up a bathroom heater and let it run for a couple of hours.
2. Do you have heated bathroom floors? It’s time to take advantage of them.
3. Add a heat lamp for a small toilet space.
But don’t forget to trap the heat, so seal off your bathroom doors and windows.
Step 2: Drop the Humidity
Eliminate any standing water sources in your bathroom that might have attracted psocid mites to enter the room.
For those living in a humid environment, you can open the doors and windows or install a bathroom fan to help remove excess moisture in the air. If that isn’t enough, you can also run dehumidifiers in your shower after use to help collect moisture.
Dropping the humidity levels in your restroom also prevents mold and mildew growth, a surefire guarantee to get rid of mite infestation. Aim for at least 40% overall bathroom humidity, making it hard for psocid mites to breed.
Step 3: Remove Any Mite Infested Items
Take out any mold or mite-infested items from your bathroom. That includes damp rugs, clothing, and fabrics where spores may have developed.
You don’t have to throw them away. Presoaking your items in water with white vinegar and laundering as you would typically do will kill the spores.
Step 4: Get Rid of Existing Mold and Mildew
Since mold is the primary food source of psocid mites, getting rid of it is an excellent step into finally making your bathroom free of those pesky mites. But brushing mold with water is not enough to kill the spores and wash them away.
Instead, use soapy water with whatever detergent you have in the toilet. Don’t forget to include the cracks, crevices, and tight areas in your bathroom.
Step 5: Use Vinegar Solution on Infested Areas
Similar to a soapy solution, you can also use a 50-50 mix of warm water and white vinegar to wash out mold spores in the restroom.
Step 6: Pick Up Dead Psocid Mites
Vacuum the entire bathroom to pick up any dead psocid mites on the floor. Continue with the best practices to prevent excess moisture and mold growth in your bath: keep the environment dry by turning on your bathroom exhaust fan every time you take a shower or bath.
How to Get Rid of Psocid Mites in Bathrooms with Chemicals?
Sprinkling borax in moist areas in your bathroom, like the shower walls, will get rid of mold. Once there is no food supply, you can bet that your toilet is less attractive to psocid mites.
How to Use:
- Sprinkle borax on any visible molds around your bathroom. Ensure to cover the walls and corners of your shower and under the sink, where moisture is often always present.
- Line your toilet perimeter with borax to dehydrate any psocid mite that passes across it. This method will not kill mites immediately, but the borax will wring out any moisture in their body, ultimately killing them.
- You can also apply borax around your shower window, tiles, and above the sink, where mold can eventually build up.
How to Prevent Psocid Mites from Coming Back to Your Bathroom
One main reason you encounter psocid mites in the bathroom is moisture, which is also the secret to getting rid of them. If you take out moisture from your toilet, there’s nothing about the space that will attract those pesky mites to enter the area.
So, to get rid of psocid mites for good, you can follow these simple remedies.
- Keep all your bathroom windows and doors open, especially after a shower.
- Take shorter showers when necessary.
- Repair any leaky faucets and pipes.
- Avoid hanging damp towels or clothing in the bathroom.
- Put up and turn on the bathroom fan.
- Clean up water drips and spills immediately.
- Keep your drains clean of any dirt and debris.
These preventative measures can help maintain low humidity and moisture levels in your bathroom. They can help to avoid mold and mildew growth and make your bathroom less appealing to psocid mites, preventing them from coming back.