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Tiny red bugs, called clover mites, are plant feeders that will sometimes invade homes by the thousands. Though they do not bite humans and are not known to spread diseases, they can cause issues and are usually an indication of bigger problems for a home. And, since the end of World War II, these mites have become much more common as a household invading pest.
Adult clover mites are one of the largest mites that are found infesting plants. They are oval-shaped, 8-legged, and are either greenish in color, or red. Clover mites measure around .75 mm in length and have a greatly elongated first pair of legs that are sometimes mistaken for antennae. And they have feather-like plates, or scales, which are sparsely arranged on the abdomen.
Clover mites typically lay eggs in sidewalk cracks, in cracks on building walls and in other dry, sheltered places. A population of clover mites can grow rather quickly since female clover mites are able to lay up to 70 eggs, which become mature in as little as 30 days.
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A Few Interesting Facts About Clover Mites
- Clover mites love being in the sun and tend to gather on the sunny side of structures.
- Female clover mites do not need males to reproduce.
- When clover mite eggs hatch, they are virtually identical to their mothers.
- United States clover mite populations are 100% female.
- They can become a real nuisance when they move inside dwellings.
- Most invasions of these tiny red bugs occur in spring or fall.
Problems Clover Mites Cause
While these tiny mites do not bite humans or cause any significant health issues, they can be problematic in other ways. When squished, these red bugs leave a red pigment which can stain whichever material they happen to be on. Windowsills, drapes, couches, clothing and the like, are all at risk of being stained during a clover mite infestation. And once they have invaded, they can be difficult to get rid of quickly. Here are a few reasons they are a complicated pest to deal with:
These creatures are extremely tiny and can be very difficult to completely seal out of a home.
Clover mites can get into wall voids and other hard-to-reach places which can be challenging to reach when trying to treat for them.
These mites are hard to control with any of the chemicals which are safe to use inside a home.
Clover Mites May Be An Indication Of Bigger Problems
While clover mites may not be a serious pest to deal with, their presence could be an indication of issues that you should be aware of. When you have hundreds or thousands of bugs coming into your home, it could mean that your home has entry points or areas that are allowing pest to get in. And, if clover mites are getting in, other pests may be getting in as well--some that aren't as harmless as clover mites.
Steps That Can Be Taken To Seal Clover Mites Out
While it is extremely difficult to totally exclude insects as tiny as clover mites from getting into your home, there are some steps you can take which can help to seal these--and other, more harmful pests--out of your home.
Make sure the perimeter is free of grass and weeds. It is best to have at least 2 feet that are free of any vegetation.
If you have mulch surrounding your home, consider replacing it with a dry substance, such as crushed rock or pea gravel.
Carefully inspect the outside of your foundation and walls and seal up any entry points you find.
Make sure you have weather stripping around all of your windows, doors, and foundations.
While these steps are a good first step, keeping clover mites out is best done by a certified pest professional. When you have an expert deal with your problem, you'll not only have your bug problem dealt with but you'll get valuable insight into what is causing these bugs to gain entry. This could help to reveal water damage and other structural problem.
If you're in our Western South Carolina service area, let the QualityPro certified team here at Aiken Pest Control help you with your clover mite infestation. The QualityPro seal of excellence, awarded by the National Pest Management Association, is your assurance that you'll receive the highest level of pest control service for your clover mite issue. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.