I saw a whole bunch of white bugs crawling on my comb in the medicine cabinet, they didn't photograph well but I did manage to get a bunch of them in mineral oil and eventually take some micrographs.

The good news is that a dermatologist says I'm not infested with anything and, after nuking the bathroom with poisons and cleaning products, they haven't come back.

Here's 3 different specimens at 40X and 100X. The live ones seemed to be in the 0.2 to 0.8 millimeter range.

(Click for larger images)
2 bugs at 40X Bug B at 100X Bug C, light 1 Bug C, blue light

What are these things?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ excellent photos! Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jan 22, 2020 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnC (reacting to your comment below): your specimens do not appear to be the bird/rodent mites I'm familiar with. See Bug Identification: Tiny Bugs and Tiny white very hard cell bug! Please help to identify!. Your specimens seem morphologically different and smaller. $\endgroup$ Jan 28, 2020 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with the answer given below that these are mites (8 legs helps to confirm this), but I'm not convinced that they're dust mites. I think you could also rule out Sarcoptes scabiei. Also doesn't look like any species of Cheyletiella I can find. $\endgroup$ Jan 28, 2020 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any pets or have you been around any animals lately? Do you have any animals living inside or outside the home? (even pests?). Do you have any bite marks or irritation? (if so, can you describe it?) $\endgroup$ Jan 28, 2020 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist, no animals inside home, no evidence of recent pests, no obvious bite marks, although itching has always been a thing with me. I do work at an animal shelter, where are the animals have strong flea/mite/tick controls/medicines. $\endgroup$
    – John C
    Jan 29, 2020 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


Those look like they could be dust mites and are certainly some sort of mite. Dust mites are found everywhere in homes and are around 0.2 mm in length.

Dust mites image by Gilles San Martin: By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium - House dust mites Uploaded by Jacopo Werther, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24610945

Dermatophagoide pteronyssinus (European house dust mite): Dermatophagoide pteronyssinus (European house dust mite) from https://www.anallergo.it/

Dermatophagoides farinae (American house dust mite): Dermatophagoides farinae (American house dust mite) from https://www.anallergo.it/

You can learn more about dust mites from the BBC and the US NIH.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The leg configuration does not match and most of my beasties are 2 to 3 times bigger than a dust mite. (Can you even see those with the naked eye?) $\endgroup$
    – John C
    Jan 21, 2020 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ I've added a couple of images that appear to have been prepared more like to you did and which clarify that the leg positioning is very similar. Dust mites are visible (reported to be up to 0.3 mm) — if you are you sure yours reach 0.8 mm in size then they probably are a different species of mite. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Jan 21, 2020 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ I'm told elsewhere that my bugs are probably bird, or maybe rodent, mites. I want to wait a couple days for more answers, then I'll accept one here. $\endgroup$
    – John C
    Jan 22, 2020 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ Makes sense — there are also likely to be better sites for getting an answer than here. If you are in North America (USA or Canada) BugGuide seems like a good resource. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Jan 22, 2020 at 6:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .