7 Tiny White Bugs That Look Like Dust And Lint & How To Get Rid Of Them?

The eyesight of our human beings may not be as powerful as we imagine. Sometimes, we can’t tell tiny white bugs from dust and lint.

Unlike dust and lint that can’t move by themselves, these creatures will survive and thrive, putting us at risk. For example, some little white bugs can cause allergic reactions and other respiratory issues. 

In this post, I will guide you on what are those little dust-like white bugs, how to identify them as well as how to get rid of them. 

1. Dust mites – the most common tiny white bugs at home

dust mites

When the room gets warm and humid, dust mites will thrive, causing allergic reactions or even asthma attacks that many people are familiar with. 

The allergies are not due to dust mites biting us or getting into our bodies. Instead, it happens when we inhale the feces, urine, or decaying bodies produced by dust mites.

Dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests. They measure about 0.2-millimeters which is invisible to most of us.

We can find these tiny bugs in the air. However, the most common place for them is beddings, mattresses, or any other upholstered furniture. They also appear on cloth and skin. This is because they feed on our dead human skin cells and these places are full of these substances.

How to deal with dust mites

Dust mites are everywhere. You are not able to eliminate them at home in most cases since we produce dead skin flakes every second. But there are a few days to control the level of them. 

1. Clean your home and change your beddings regularly can help you get rid of them.

When you vacuum your sofa, the dust mites landing on it will also be removed, and so do to other furniture.

In addition, hot water can kill dust mites. Therefore, you can wash your clothes and beddings in hot water if applicable. Sanitizing the upholstered furniture with a steam cleaner is also an effective way.

2. Regulate the indoor humidity level.

Dust mites can’t survive in deserts. The lower the humidity level, the higher likelihood you get can rid of them. But living in an arid place will also cause adverse effects. 

Therefore, the best for us is to live in a room with 30% to 50% relative humidity. When you find the room is damp, you can use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to suck up the extra moisture without creating an ideal place for dust mites to grow.3. Create fewer dust mite habitats. 

Carpets, curtains, and books are typical dust mite habitats. If you are sensitive to dust and dust mites, you should take measures to cut down these places in your home. 

2. Mold mites

Mold mites are small translucent bugs that people often confuse as specks of tiny white dust. As its name suggests, it feeds on mold and fungus.

As mold like to survive in warm and wet places, you can also find mold mites in these places. These bugs are translucent, and their color will change according to the color of their food, meaning that they will look white when the molds have a light color. 

Aside from that, they can ruin the grains in your pantry and that’s why they are also called grain mites.

How to get rid of mold mites

Mold mites accumulate in damp and warm places. Hence, if you want to reduce their presence, you have to pay attention to all the areas with high humidity levels.1. Remove all the molds. If mold mites can’t find any food here, they will likely move to other places. Therefore, the first thing is to remove all the molds at home. Anyway, molds pose health risks to us, and they should be killed as soon as possible.

2. Fix leaks. As a homeowner, you often have to deal with leaks here and there. The small leaks can lead to wet places, causing mold and mold mites to grow. Examining all the appliances and pipes frequently can prevent this problem. 

3. Lower the humidity level. This tiny bug will be short of food in dry places. So using a dehumidifier or ac that decreases the humidity level can drive them away. Note that overusing a humidifier can over humidify the room and attract bugs, which you need to avoid.

3. Booklice

Booklice is another type of tiny white bug that feeds on molds, mildews, and fungus. It is also called psocid. Different from mold mites, they often appear in the old books and bookshelves. 

It has the size of dust particles and a mixture of brown and white color. Some species also come with wings. Except for books, they also appear in grains. 

How to get rid of booklice?

1. Dispose of damaged books. Most of the booklice live in moldy books. Rather than trying to remove the molds on the book, you’d better dispose of books since these creatures are invisible. 

2. Control the humidity level. Again, you need to remove the moisture in the air so that mold and mildew, which is booklice’s food source of booklice will not thrive. 

3. Use commercial pest control products in infested areas to prevent them thrive again.

4. Woolly aphids – tiny white bugs on houseplants

You may have seen substances that look like lint on the branches or leaves of your houseplants, and these substances are likely woolly aphids. 

Woolly aphids are small, which is only 1/4 inch that has a fuzzy white coating. They feed on branches, foliage, and buds and feed in groups. 

How to control woolly aphids?

Usually, you don’t have to control woolly aphids because it will be kept on a low level with many natural predators.

You can cut off the infested leaves and branches if it triggers any attacks. 

5. Whiteflies


Whiteflies are common tiny and white insects you can find in any garden. They also present in clusters and be as small as 1/12 of an inch. Many people who don’t know them will think they are dust or lint on the leaves.

These insects feed on saps and produce honeydew, resulting in sooty mold or other fungus diseases. 

How to treat whiteflies?

A homemade solution of dish soap and water can help control the whiteflies. You can also use a water spray to dislodge them and their eggs.

6. Mealybugs

Mealybugs are similar bugs to whiteflies. They often show in clusters and look like cotton balls stick to the leaves or branches. It looks white is due to that it has a white waxing. 

Similar to many bugs mentioned above, mealybugs suck saps in the plant. They start to thrive in June or July but will die automatically in Summer the following year.

How to control mealybugs?

A 70% or less solution of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol in water can effectively kill mealybugs.

7. Assassin Bugs

Assassin bugs are larger than most bugs in this list, and they don’t look like dust or lint themselves. But they will hide in the dust particles when hunting for food. 

Assassin bugs eat smaller insects, so they are usually great for gardeners. 

How to get rid of assassin bugs?

To control the infestation of assassin bugs, you can process a broadcast treatment of Bifen LP Granules and then conduct a perimeter barrier treatment of Supreme IT.


Dust is not always dust, and it could be tiny white bugs that mislead you. This post summarizes 7 kinds of tiny white bugs showing in your cloth, skin, furniture, and garden and teaches you how to get rid of them. 

Most of them will not pose threatening risks to you and your house, so you don’t be too agitated. Keeping your home clean and at a proper humidity level can keep most of them at bay.

About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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