Soil mites are beneficial arthropods that help break down organic matter in the soil. This can include fungus, leaf litter, algae – basically any naturally occurring item that finds its way onto the ground.
Soil mites love organic matter. You’ll likely find them in your compost bin. It’s also possible you’ll find them in a bag of Miracle-Gro potting soil – even if freshly opened.
Soil mites are so small it can be hard to identify them based solely on appearance. However, it is still possible to identify whether or not your soil’s new inhabitant is a soil mite or something peskier.
The Good: Soil mites perform a vital role in decomposition, a process crucial to maintaining soil health. They eat ‘break down plant and animal residue’ and eat fungi and bacteria. The Bad: Ecosystems are complex, so assessing whether or not soil mites are “bad” is a little too reductive.