Mites That Look Like Glitter (What To Know And How To Treat It)

mites that look like glitter

Most mites are so tiny you can not see them simply by looking at them. However, sometimes you can see certain species of mites under certain conditions, and some of them even appear to look like glitter.

Their glittery appearance could be caused by their microscopic size and translucent appearance or from the reflection of light on the mite’s tiny scales. Some actually look like glitter under a microscope!

In this article, we will discuss the few types of mites that look like glitter as well as a few other organisms that are glittery and shiny too! Keep reading to learn more!

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Three Mites That Look Like Glitter

1. Demodex Mites

Demodex Mites1

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Often known as the eyelash mite, the Demodex Brevis and Demodex Folliculorum are both species in the Demodex mite category that lives in the oil glands of hair follicles like your eyelashes.

These mites are microscopic, so you can’t usually see them with your naked eye. However, they sometimes glitter under sunlight, making them at the top of the list of mites that look like glitter.

What’s more, under a microscope, these little creatures look like they are covered in actual glitter!

Other than your eyelashes, these mites can be found on your scalp, in your eyebrows, or anywhere else that hair grows, even your face! They thrive in these areas because their main food source is sebum, which is found heavily in these areas.

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Demodex Mites Affect On Humans

Even though it makes your skin crawl, studies show almost all adults are living with a species of Demodex mites but don’t have enough to cause any irritation. However, if an infestation occurs, it could result in demodicosis.

Symptoms of demodicosis are irritated skin, intense itching, a burning sensation in the area, rough or scaly skin, and sometimes eyelash loss.

Luckily, you can’t treat this infection with medication creams, usually prescription. Your doctor may prescribe crotamiton, permethrin,metronidazole,benxyl benzoate, or sacyclic acid.

The Demodex mite has also known to be responsible for making a medical condition called rosacea worse. Rosacea sufferers experience redness in their cheeks, along with red patches and textured skin.

Rosacea doesn’t have a cure, but using one of the medications listed above can help keep the Demodex mites at bay and lessen the symptoms of rosacea.

2. Dust Mites

Dust Mites1

Image Credit: niehs.nih

House dust mites are tiny mites that hide in dust and also appear to glitter when in the sunlight! You are highly unlikely to see them appear glittery when there are just a few mites, but when you have a lot of these mites all over the surface, this is when you may see them glitter.

Dust mites don’t invade your skin, thankfully! They do, however, feast on your dead skin cells that wind up in the balls of dust they hide in.

Dust mites hide in pillows, carpets, rugs, curtains, the corners of floors, and anywhere else that dust accumulates. They can also latch themselves to your clothing and travel with you. Another thing about dust mites is they reproduce very quickly, laying over 80 eggs in their short, 100-day lifetime!

Dust Mite Affect On Humans

Although a dust mite infestation won’t directly cause an infection, they are known to cause serious allergens and can cause you to experience a plethora of symptoms such as an itchy, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing, among other things.

These symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter allergy medications such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine or prescription medications such as nasal sprays and steroids.

If you suspect you have a dust mite infestation, you may want to dust and clean your home thoroughly to get rid of them, especially if you have allergies or other complications such as asthma.

Dust mites may glitter, but that doesn’t mean you should keep them around!

3. Mold Mites

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Much like the name suggests, mold mites feed on fungi such as mold. Because of this, they are usually found on damp surfaces such as underneath sinks, on bathroom floors, in attics and basements, or in wet, rotting wood.

Their scientific name is Tyrophagus putrescentiae, and they are only 0.3 millimeters which is very similar to the size of dust mites. Although mold mites primarily feast on mold, they are also known to eat fungi, yeast, and high-protein foods. Because of this, they are often confused with cheese mites!

What allows mold mites to be on this list is that they appear to glitter under a microscope when on wet or damp surfaces. When enough of them accumulate on a moldy surface, they will appear like big white chunks on the mold.

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Mold Mites Affect On Humans

Mold mites, in general, have no negative effects on humans. However, the mold they live on is a different story.

Mold causes allergens that can bring on severe allergies in humans. Even worse, prolonged exposure to mold can cause serious damage to your organs, liver, and lungs. Some reports claim that mold exposure can also be linked to certain types of cancers.

If you have mold overgrowth in your home, it is important to get it under control as soon as possible to prevent serious, even fatal, complications to your health.

What Other Organisms Look Like Glitter?

If you are fascinated that a few species of mites resemble glitter, you would probably be surprised to know they are not alone! There are other organisms that glitter, sparkle, or shine!

1. Petal Worm

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Image Credit: ecology.wa

The petal worm glitters like gold and is extremely rare. They are part of the Chrysopetalidae family, which is literally the Greek name for gold! They are usually only found on barnacles, sponges, and seaweed found in the pacific ocean bordering Mexico.

They get their lustrous glitter appearance from their thick mane, which is made up of flattened hairs that resemble petals. These hairs are meant to protect their fragile little bodies from predators.

2. Asian Jewel Beetle

The Asian Jewel beetle is a fascinating beetle, resembling a beautiful gem. These Beatles are iridescent blues and greens and are found in Southern Asian countries in the forests during the summer months.

These beautiful beetles are also used to make jewelry because their coloring is so pretty!

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3. Phylum Placozoa

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These marine organisms, known as Phylum Placazoa, are extraordinary under a microscope. While these organisms seem intriguing by their characteristics and purpose, they look like flat, glittering blobs under a microscope! The two that glitter the most are the trithorax adhaerens and the Hoilungia hongkongensis.


Demodex mites, dust mites, and mold mites all appear to glitter under certain circumstances. Mites that glitter are sort of a phenomenon, as these creatures are so tiny and ordinary. Do you know of another mite that looks like glitter? We would love to hear about it! Let us know in the comment section below.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Thanks for reading!

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