Clover Mites Q & A What can I do to get rid of Clover Mite in my house? Clover Mite Pictures
Primarily in the late fall season, clover mites will begin to invade the outside and inside of structures by the thousands. Although they don’t bite people or animals, they are considered a nuisance pest because of their color. When clover mites are crushed, the bright red pigments leave behind a stain on white windowsills, wooden tables and other pieces of furniture, in the carpet and etc. Clover mite infestations are spread out all over the world and they can be found throughout the United States.>> Read More
Adult clover mites are about .75 mm long. Their bodies are oval in shape and although the rear end is thinner than the front part of their bodies, they are not pointed in shape. They are soft shelled and flattened from the top of their bodies to the bottom of their bodies. Often times, clover mites are dark red in color when they are fully mature and the other immature stages of clover mites are bright red in color. Fully mature clover mites might even be a rusty brown color and there are even some that may seem olive green in color. The chelicerae, or the pointed appendages that are used to grab food, are long and whip-like. They have a total of 4 pairs of legs. Their first pair is almost double the size of the second pair and expands towards the front of their bodies. Many people misinterpret them as antennae.
There are similar groups in the Arachnida family that many people might incorrectly identify as clover mites. Some of the species include the brown wheat mite and the winter grain mite.
Clover mites are plant feeders and will feed on over 200 different plant species which include trees, grass, agricultural crops, flowers, and other shrubs. Around homes and other structures, it’s noticed that they have a preference for heavily fertilized grass. Above all, they prefer the clover plant, which gives them their name, clover mite.
Clover mites reproduce parthenogenetically, which means they do not need to be fertilized by males. As a matter of fact, the male gender is unknown in the United States. A clover mite will lay close to 80 eggs that are bright red in color. Usually this happens all throughout the summer and into the fall season. The eggs are laid in the cracks and crevices of foundations. They are also laid on the leaf surfaces of plants. Sometimes, there are so many eggs that the plants give off a fuzzy, red appearance.
In the late fall season, as the vegetation begins to die, clover mites will migrate towards nearby structures. This is the reason for clover mite invasions in the fall season even though they can be found all year round. Sometimes, infestations are as large as hundreds of thousands of clover mites. Typically, they will remain on the outside of the structures, however, if the population is too large, they will invade inside structures and enter through cracks and crevices around the structure, window frames and door frames, vents and etc. Mainly, homeowners will consider them a nuisance pest because they leave a reddish spot or stain when they are crushed. Stains can be a big problem and will be hard to remove on materials like wallpaper, drapes, window shades and window sills, furniture, carpet, and other places. Moreover, the number of clover mites is overwhelming to many homeowners and although they do not attack people or animals, a heavy infestation may be aesthetically displeasing and aggravating.
Killing clover mites around your home will involve both chemical and mechanical control. Usually, exclusion is the largest method of protecting your home from a clover mite infestation. Indoor application of insecticides may provide relief for a short period of time, however, unless outdoor control is done, clover mite infestations will not be eradicated.
Outside, grass free bands around the structure’s perimeter should be made. The grass free bands or strips should be about 12 – 18 inches wide. Keeping the grass short and creating grass free bands around the structure will remove a large part of the clover mite population around your house. Also, regular maintenance to the lawn and landscape will prove to be effective in mite control as well. Keeping much away from the walls of the structure is one of the mechanical methods that a homeowner will have to do in order to keep clover mites away from the structure.
For the best results, timing of when the insecticide is applied is crucial. Application of insecticides should be done before the summer inactivity period begins, which is usually during the month of May. Properly labeled insecticides that have clover mites labeled as a target pest should be applied in a thorough, barrier treatment form around the house. This means that bands of insecticide will be applied on the structure and around the structure. From the base of the structure, insecticide should be applied 2 feet up the structure and about 6 feet out from the base of the structure. Also, focus on door frames and window frames. Inside, clover mites can be removed with a vacuum to prevent smearing or staining. Aerosols or liquid concentrate residual sprays that are applied indoors in conjunction with outdoor application will kill clover mites on contact.
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If you can find where they are coming from, we recommend using a dust, such as Delta Dust because it is waterproof.