They appear as a red wave when they invade your home and then panic sets in. Panic turns to absolute fear when you crush one and a red stain is left on the wall. There is no doubt in your mind that these invaders have been feeding on your family. But, have they? No they are not ticks or the dreaded bed bug. What are they? Do they bite?
This red mass is none other than the Clover Mite. They are about 1/64” long and brown to olive-green in color. The younger stages are bright red and their eggs are red, smooth and round. Their body shape is similar to that of ticks; however the very long front legs are the key identifying this pest. The females are (here’s that word again) parthenogenetic; laying eggs without fertilization by a male. They lay about 70 eggs during the fall in protected areas along the foundation of your home and under the bark of trees. The eggs will hatch when the temperature is around 40 to 70 degrees F.
Clover Mites are plant feeders, they will not feed on you. They enjoy lush, well-fertilized lawns and shrubbery. Clover Mites migrate outdoors in the spring as a result of recent mulching and the start of warmer temperatures. Though Clover Mites are harmless they are a real nuisance once inside your home, whatever you do “don’t crush them”. Doing so would result in red stains on your walls, floors and furniture.
But, what can you do to minimize their invasion? As part of an effective program to manage Clover Mites, you will need to create a plant free band of pea gravel or coarse sand (18 to 24 inches wide) around the exterior of your home. Establish a protective barrier around your home by applying appropriately labeled material along the perimeter of the foundation (2’ up) or up to where the siding begins, as well as treat all accessible cracks and potential entry points. The best results occur when treatment is performed in early May and late August.
If you have a clover mite problem schedule a pest inspection and we will rid you of them!