What Are Clover Mites? – How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites

If you have observed numerous small, red insects in and around your residence or workplace, you may be wondering what they are. These are known as clover mites. This guide aims to explain what exactly clover mites are and how you can eliminate them from your surroundings.

Clover mites are found in nearly every state in the United States and are very common. They are referred to as nuisance pests and are most commonly found on sunny days in the Spring and Fall. When you see one of these little red bugs, you’ll often find many others because they are colony pests. They are closely related to spiders and ticks and have similar anatomies as well. That being said, although they’re in similar families, they are quite different and are actually considered mites rather than insects.

What Are Clover Mites?

Clover mites are tiny arachnids, relatives of spiders and ticks, known for their reddish-brown color and very small size (often no larger than the head of a pin). Here are some key points about clover mites:

  1. Appearance: Clover mites are oval-shaped and have eight legs like all arachnids. Their front pair of legs are noticeably longer than the others and often extend forward, sometimes being mistaken for antennae. Their most distinct giveaway is their reddish color though.
  2. Habitat: They are typically found in lawns and gardens, especially in areas with well-fertilized grass. Their name “clover mite” comes from their fondness for clover, but they also feed on various plants, grasses, and even algae.
  3. Indoor Invasion: While they primarily live outdoors, clover mites can become a nuisance when they invade homes and other structures, often in large numbers. They are especially active in the spring and fall. When crushed, they can leave behind a reddish stain due to their body pigments.
  4. Diet: Clover mites feed on plant juices, but they are not considered harmful to plants. Their feeding might cause some stippling on leaves but generally doesn’t lead to significant damage.
  5. Life Cycle: The life cycle of the clover mite is quite rapid. Under favorable conditions, they can develop from egg to adult in as little as one month.
  6. Control: Managing clover mites involves creating a barrier around buildings, such as a gravel or stone strip, which they are hesitant to cross. Sealing gaps and cracks in building exteriors can also help prevent their entry. Additionally, over-fertilizing lawns can increase the likelihood of infestations since they are attracted to well-fertilized grass.
  7. Non-threatening: Clover mites don’t bite humans or pets and aren’t known to transmit diseases. Their main downside is the potential nuisance when they invade homes and the stains they can leave behind, especially when squished.
what are clover mites

As you might have gathered from their name, clover mites often feed on clovers in your lawn, but will eat pretty much any grass or plants in your yard. So if you have any sort of green in your lawn, there’s a good chance that you’ll be seeing clover mites in the spring and summer.

What Do Clover Mites Look Like?

Clover mites are about the size of a pinhead, red-colored they have four pairs of legs with larger front legs than the back sets. Along with this, they are generally oval-shaped with thicker plated skin on the bottom of their stomach.

Clover Mites are the small red bugs that you’ll often find crawling on the outside of your home, they seem to love crawling around brick and wood-like fences and railings, and they often are attracted to these areas because of the warmth provided.

Are Clover Mites Dangerous?

When you see a huge colony of pests, your first thought will probably be if they’re dangerous or not, and the same stands with Clover Mites.

clover mites on concrete

Thankfully have no fear, clover mites are not dangerous to humans or pets, and they are simply classified as nuisance pests because they are annoying rather than dangerous. They don’t bite, they don’t transmit disease, and it is safe to say that clover mites are not dangerous.

That being said, because clover mites feed on plants and flowers, they can pose a threat to your lawn, plants and flowers. If you notice them around, then they’re feeding on something!

How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites?

If you’re dealing with clover mites around your home or property, don’t fear too much, because they can be controlled.

  • Inspect your property along the perimeter of your home and lawn and attempt to identify large amounts of clover mites. This can be difficult because they are so small, but if you see one or two, chances are that there are quite a few nearby.
  • Treat your lawn with a lawn pesticide such as Bifen LP Granules. Because clover mites live where their food source is, you’ll have to treat your lawn specifically if you want to keep them under control. A lawn pesticide such as Bifen LP Granules, is safe for your lawn while effective against pests such as clover mites.
  • Use a perimeter insecticide such as Reclaim IT around your lawn and home perimeter. Although clover mites live in your lawn and plants, they’ll often wander onto the side of your home or your fence and railings. To help ensure they don’t wander towards your home it’s a good idea to use a perimeter solution such as Reclaim IT to spray the perimeter of your home and give a bit of protection.
  • If clover mites are entering your home, attempt to find their point of entrance and seal it with caulk to seal the opening.

Final Thoughts On Clover Mites:

Overall clover mites can be extremely annoying, but at least they’re not directly dangerous to your family or pets. That being said, they do feed on plants and flowers, so you’ll want to ensure they stay under control. Thankfully with a little bit of planning and some well-placed products, you can keep your clover mite infestation under control in no time!

Resources:

https://www11.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/insects/clover_mites.htm