How to Kill Grain Mites

Updated February 21, 2017

Grain mites infest food and feed products, cereals, cheese and dried fruits. Grain mites flourish in high moisture conditions and are often found in the same areas as fungal growth. The presence of small brown insects in cupboards or on counters is a good indication that you have a grain mite infestation. If you look farther, you might also find them in opened packages or containers of food and in cracks or crevices of cupboards. If you suspect you have a grain mite infestation, first locate the source. Once you can see where they are coming from you can then rid them from the area and take steps to prevent their return.

Remove the grain mites' food source. Go through your cupboards and pantry to look for infested packages and throw them away. If the grain mites no longer have a food source they will die.

Use hot soapy water and a rag to wipe up and kill the mites on flat surfaces. Wash out the rag repeatedly and keep it soapy.

Vacuum the cracks on counters or in shelving with a crevice tool attachment to rid the area of grain mites. To be sure they die, take the bag from the vacuum, put it in a plastic bag and seal it. If you have a canister vacuum, empty the canister into a plastic bag outside; seal the plastic bag. Put talcum powder or cornflour in the vacuum bag or plastic bag (if your vacuum doesn't have a bag) to suffocate and kill the mites.

Store dried foods in canisters that have a screw top, heavy plastic or metal containers that have tight sealing lids to make sure the grain mites cannot access the food and to prevent further infestation.


If you purchase packaged foods, make sure the containers are not damaged and seals are not broken.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Rag
  • Hot Water
  • Vacuum (with attachments)
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