While there are many bugs who enjoy spending time in warm weather, others prefer the milder climate of spring. One of these pests is the clover mite. After spending time nibbling on plants, these pests have been known to invade homes in large numbers. We’ve gathered information to help you identify and eliminate a clover mite infestation.
Clover mites, Bryobia praetiosa, are tiny, bright red arachnids that like to hang out in your yard. These mites complete four life stages—egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Clover mites are bright red at all stages of life. Adults have an oval body and are about 1mm in length. Since they are so small, they often appear as tiny dark red specks when crawling around your home. Their front two legs are longer than their other six legs. They are also close to the mite’s head, which causes them to be mistaken for antennae.
Clover mites emerge in the spring when temperatures reach the mid-40s. These pests do best in the cooler temperatures of early spring and fall, which is why populations are highest during these times. They will overwinter as an egg in areas that are dry and protected. They often stay dormant when temperatures rise in the summer. Clover mites can be found on or near the plants they feed on including clover, grass, and trees. They are attracted to lawns that are well fertilized. Clover mites make their way inside through small cracks and crevices, especially near windows and doors. They are frequently seen on the sunny side of homes. These mites are found throughout the United States.
While clover mites can be a nuisance, thankfully they aren’t considered dangerous. Unlike other mites, they don’t feed on blood and won’t bite. Instead, they suck the juices from plants. The main concern with clover mites is their ability to reproduce quickly. Female clover mites don’t require males to reproduce and populations are actually all female. These mites can lay up to 70 eggs a day and once hatching, they will mature within 30 days. Though they aren’t harmful, these pests can cause damage to household items. If they are crushed, they will leave behind a red stain. This often occurs on walls, curtains, furniture, and rugs.
Prevention & Treatment
There are a few things you can do to prevent a clover mite infestation. Since these pests love vegetation, you’ll want to avoid keeping plants close to your home’s foundation. Placing gravel or wood chips around the perimeter of your home can help deter clover mites from coming inside. Examine your home for any cracks and holes, especially near windows and doors, and seal them with caulk. Repair any window or door screens with holes. If these pests start invading your home, resist the urge to smash them. They can be removed with a wet rag or a vacuum. You can also apply a natural, plant-based insecticide spray to your yard. Not only does our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Yard Bug Spray kill on contact, it also provides you with residual repellency. Spraying around the perimeter of your yard can help prevent an infestation.
The sudden arrival of clover mites in your home can be frustrating. The good news is that there are things you can do to keep these pests from taking over your house. If you’re dealing with a pest problem, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.