What are the tiny red bugs you see around your home?
These colorful little creatures are clover mites, and you may wonder precisely what they are and if they are dangerous.
To explain the clover mite mystery and show you how to get rid of them, we put together this quick guide.
Pest infestations are a nuisance and often harmful. Knowing how to combat clover mites is smart as they can invade by the thousands, seemingly overnight, so read on!
What Are Clover Mites?
Clover mites are a subspecies that stems from the arachnid family and are relatives of ticks and spiders.
All clover mites are female and do not need to breed to lay eggs. The lifecycle of these mites spans about four weeks.
What do clover mites look like?
They appear as tiny red bugs with a flat, oval body. The insect has eight legs, but the long front pair are often mistaken for antennae.
The mites are only 1/30th of an inch long, which is smaller than the head of a pin.
What attracts them?
Clover mites have an attraction to more than 200 favorite varieties of grasses and plants. They are also fond of mold, algae, and moss.
If any of these food sources are close to your home, they’ll use the structure to lay eggs or escape hot or freezing weather.
Where are clover mites found?
Outside, these mites are most often hiding in cracks of sidewalks, in lawns, and under tree bark. You can also find them crawling around home exteriors or under siding looking for a place to lay their eggs in the spring.
Indoors, you are most likely to spot them on windows, curtains, carpeting, houseplants, and furniture.
Are clover mites dangerous?
No, they do not bite and are harmless to most humans and pets as they transfer no diseases. Some people with allergies or sensitivity may find them to be irritating to the skin.
Do clover mites cause problems?
Yes, these little critters can invade your home by the thousands and become a severe nuisance, but they don’t cause structural damage.
Once indoors, the mites will migrate to your houseplants looking for sustenance, but won’t survive long without water.
Aside from the creepy factor, these tiny little pests leave behind a red stain when they get crushed underfoot or if you try to smash them against a wall or furniture.
Many people mistake this red color for blood, but it’s just the natural pigment in their body.
How to Get Rid of Clover Mites
While the minuscule size of clover mites make them challenging to keep them out of your home entirely, here are the best ways to get rid of them and keep them away:
- Keep plants and grass at least 24 inches away from your home’s foundation
- Trim shrubbery so that no branches touch the exterior of your home
- Caulk or seal even the smallest cracks or holes on your home’s exterior
- Apply a pesticide that contains bifenthrin, permethrin, or diazinon regularly around the perimeter of your home
- Indoors, vacuum up mites to avoid crushing them and causing stains or spray the mites directly with pesticide
- Sprinkle boric acid powder in cracks or areas where you spot mites
- Use a lawn fertilizer that repels mites, as many brands contain ingredients that they find attractive
- Lay a two-foot perimeter of lava rocks, wood mulch, or gravel around your foundation which is difficult for them to traverse