Your Guide to Tiny Red Bugs (Clover Mites)
Tiny and invasive is the clover mite. In fact, clover mites are so small that you might not even notice them until they are all over your windows, curtains, furniture, and door. Clover mites are found all over the country and tend to come out during the spring and summer months. While clover mites might not be a cause for concern when they are outdoors, they can find their ways indoors and multiply, leaving you with a significant infestation problem.
Once you notice an abundance of tiny red bugs all over your house, you might wonder how they got there, how you can get rid of them, whether or not they’re dangerous, and if they will continue to be a problem or not. This guide will not only answer all your questions about the clover mite, but will also offer you a few tips that you can use to get rid of them.
What Do Clover Mites Look Like?
Clover mites are tiny red bugs, especially small when compared to other types of bugs that you might have noticed in your house before. However, despite their small size, clover mites are actually easy to identify. They tend to be about 1/30th of an inch in length and are a reddish-brown color. They have eight legs, similar to a spider.
Clover mites do not move very fast, which can make it easier for you to notice them. Additionally, the fact that clover mites tend to be in large groups can draw your attention to an infestation of them in your house. Noticing an infestation can be alarming, but you don’t have to worry, they are actually very harmless.
Can Clover Mites Bite Humans?
Although inconvenient, clover mites do not bite humans. They are also not known to carry any diseases that humans should be worried about. There are a few types of mites that can bite humans and leave itchy, red bumps, but these bites are not from clover mites.
How Do You Get Rid of Clover Mites?
It doesn’t matter that clover mites will not bite you, it is normal to want them removed from your house from the minute you notice an infestation of them. Fortunately, you have a few options available to get rid of clover mites:
- Household spray: Household sprays will often include pesticides that will remove clover mites from your house. If you choose this route, make sure you choose a product that is safe. You don’t want to use a harsh chemical that puts your family at risk just to rid a few tiny bugs from your home.
- Deep cleaning: While deep cleaning and vacuuming up the clover mites that you can see will likely not get rid of them for good; it can help you to control the infestation until you have a better option. It is also important to vacuum the areas around where you found the clover mites. There may be other clover mites or eggs that you can’t see visibly. Avoid pushing or smashing the bugs as they can leave red stains on your curtains or carpet.
- Pest prevention: The best and most effective way to get rid of clover mites for good is to work with a professional pest control company. Professional pest control companies use techniques that not only get rid of clover mites effectively, but will also prevent other types of pest infestations. Additionally, pest control companies tend to use products that are not as harsh or dangerous.
With the right techniques and assistance from a professional pest control company, you can get rid of the pesky clover mites from your house or yard for good.
What Do Clover Mites Eat?
You might wonder what clover mites eat and why they are coming into your house. Typically, clover mites eat sap off of outdoor plants. They tend to prefer clover and grass. They don’t consume much so you might not even notice that you have a large population of clover mites in your garden. If you have plants indoors, it is possible that the clover mites are coming indoors to feed on them. Clover mites tend to prefer plants and lawns that are well-manicured and well-fertilized.
If you have an infestation in your lawn, then it is possible that you will have areas of browned grass. This can be an important step in identifying an indoor infestation. A large amount of clover mites outdoors could mean that they are moving indoors and the key to getting rid of them is to manage the outdoor population first.
If clover mites find a good food source indoors, they will come inside. If they lay eggs while indoors, then you are likely to notice a significant increase in them. Another thing that encourages clover mites to come indoors is with rainy weather. In fact, any excessive weather conditions including rainfall, heat, or humidity can bring clover mites to move indoors for a while.
How to Identify a Clover Mite
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify a clover mite problem. This is especially true since they tend to have odd behaviors. While the majority of clover mites tend to be most noticeable during the spring and summer months, it is also possible to notice them in the fall or even mild winter months too. Clover mites have a better chance at surviving during cooler temperatures. When the weather is too hot, they are less active and less likely to reproduce.
Clover mites can easily be confused with Balaustium spp, also known as a sidewalk mite. Although these bugs do look very similar to a clover mite, sidewalk mites tend to be near flowers as they feed on pollen instead. Clover mite eggs can be even more difficult to identify. The eggs are even smaller and cannot often be seen to the human eye.
Are Clover Mites Dangerous?
Despite their bright red coloring and eight-legged body, clover mites are not actually dangerous. They do not present any risk or harm to humans, pets, or small children. The biggest damage that can be caused by clover mites is a discoloring of your lawn. Clover mites do not often do any damage to your home unless you squish them as you are trying to get rid of them.
A squished clover mite can be alarming as the bright red color it leaves behind might remind homeowners of a mosquito who is full of their blood. However, despite its color, the bright red left behind is not actually blood. It is the pigments of the pest and the larvae that they leave behind.
Should I Attempt to Get Rid of Clover Mites on My Own?
One of the first reactions that homeowners may take upon noticing a clover mite infestation is to remove them on their own. While you may be able to get rid of a few clover mites, it is important to keep in mind that there is also likely an abundance of them that you don’t see. They might be in your windows, walls, or behind your curtains. Of course, you can remove the visible clover mites on your own, but be careful not to squish them or you will be left with permanent stains.
Preventing Clover Mites
Prevention is the best method in getting rid of clover mites. If you already have a clover mite infestation, then a pest control technician can assist you in removing them and then preventing them from coming indoors again.
The following prevention tips are important:
- Remove vegetation from the area directly surrounding your house: Vegetation that is too close gives clover mites a source of food. Once the weather changes, they can come indoors.
- Treat lawns: Treating for clover mites should also include a treatment of your lawn.
- Identify and treat cracks: Additionally, you will also want to treat any cracks or crevices around your house.
- Avoid plants that attract them: If you have a large clover mite infestation, then you might want to avoid plants like dandelions or shepherd’s purse. These plants, along with daffodils and strawberries tend to attract clover mites.
With the right prevention and pest removal company, you can get rid of your clover mite infestation. While they will not harm you, then can be an inconvenience in your house.