Have you ever noticed tiny red bugs crawling around your home after heavy rainfall? These little creatures are clover mites, and they have a tendency to invade our homes during the wetter months. They’re known for their bright red color and their preference for warm temperatures.
When the weather is cold or wet, clover mites will seek shelter in warm places, such as inside our homes. In this article, we’ll explore more about them and how to prevent them and other mites from invading our living spaces.
Table of Contents
Despite their small size, adult clover mites are one of the largest types of mites that infest plants. Measuring at around .75 mm long, these tiny oval-shaped creatures have eight legs and are reddish-brown in color. Female clover mites can reproduce without a male through parthenogenesis, allowing them to rapidly increase their population. This can be problematic for homeowners trying to eliminate these pests as infestations can quickly spiral out of control if left unchecked.
Bryobia praetiosa Koch, also known as the clover mite, is a relatively large mite species that feed on plants in the surrounding landscape. However, when heavy rain, excessive heat, or seasonal changes occur, these mites can become a nuisance indoors as they are stimulated to enter buildings in massive numbers.
Clover mites can be identified by their small, dark, and moving appearance as they crawl around walls, windows, and doors. They are often mistaken for tiny spiders or ticks due to their eight legs and oval-shaped body. However, if you crush them by hand, they will leave a small bloody spot as they have a reddish-brown coloration that comes from the pigment in their body fluids.
Fortunately, clover mites do not reproduce indoors and are unable to complete their life cycle without access to the outdoors. As a result, they will eventually die of dehydration if they remain inside for an extended period of time. This means that while they may be a temporary annoyance, they will not establish a long-term infestation indoors but may kill your houseplants in the process.
The lifecycle of clover mites
Clover mites are parthenogenetic, which means that they are able to develop from unfertilized eggs. This allows them to reproduce rapidly and establish large populations in a short amount of time. Female clover mites can lay up to 70 eggs at a time, which hatch within a few days and reach maturity in about a week.
Clover mites have a unique life cycle where overwintering eggs hatch in the early spring to give rise to a new generation. Once this generation is complete, they will aestivate during the summer months. In the fall, another generation will be completed and the resulting offspring will be genetically identical to their mother. This allows for rapid population growth and can make controlling clover mites difficult without proper intervention measures.
The lifespan of a clover mite is relatively short, with a generation lasting only about 2-4 weeks. During this time, they will feed on plants and potentially cause damage to lawns and gardens.
Temperature plays a crucial role in the survival of clover mites. They are highly sensitive to heat and may not survive if exposed to temperatures above 39°C. This information can be useful for pest control measures, as exposing infested areas to high temperatures can potentially help reduce or eliminate the population of clover mites.
Spider mites have a tendency to thrive in heavily fertilized lawns, as they find an abundance of hosts in such environments. It is important to keep this in mind while maintaining the lawn and taking steps to prevent over-fertilization or using alternative methods of lawn care that do not promote spider mite growth.
The main problems that spider mites cause
Here is a quick overview of the main problems that spider mites cause:
Leave a red stain
Clover mites are known to leave a red stain when crushed, which can be quite annoying and difficult to remove from carpets or other surfaces.
Could be an indication of excess moisture
Clover mites can sometimes serve as an indicator of underlying issues, such as moisture problems within the home. Pests are naturally attracted to areas with high levels of moisture, and if the wood on the exterior of your home is wet or rotting, it can create entry points for pests like clover mites to infiltrate.
If these entry points are not addressed in a timely manner, they can widen over time as larger pests attempt to enter through them, ultimately causing more damage to your home.
They can be in the walls
If you suspect a clover mite infestation in your home, it is possible that they may have made their way into the walls. These tiny pests can easily slip through small cracks and crevices, making it difficult to completely eradicate them without professional help.
A pest control company may be your best bet
Seeking help from a pest control company may be the most effective solution to address a clover mite infestation. Trained professionals can assess the severity of the clover mite problem and recommend an appropriate course of action to eradicate these pests from your home.
They have access to specialized tools and insecticides that are not available to the general public, which allows them to efficiently and effectively eliminate clover mites and prevent future adult clover mite infestations.
Clover mite treatment
Due to their incredibly small size, it can be challenging to completely seal clover mites out of your home. However, there are several preventative measures you can take that may help keep them at bay. These tips can also be effective in preventing other common household pests from entering your home:
- Replace mulch – One effective way to prevent clover mites from entering your home is to replace organic mulch with crushed rock, pea gravel, or a similar material.
- Keep house perimeter grass-free – Another effective way to prevent clover mites from entering your home is to keep the perimeter of your house grass-free. Clover mites are known to feed on grass and other plants, so by eliminating this food source near your home, you can significantly reduce their presence.
- Inspect outer walls – Inspecting the outer walls of your home is another important step in preventing a clover mite infestation. Check for cracks, gaps, or other openings in the walls where these tiny pests could enter. Seal any openings you find with caulk or another appropriate material to prevent clover mites from finding their way inside.
- Windows and doors condition – Checking the condition of your windows and doors is crucial in preventing clover mites from entering your home. Make sure that all screens are in good repair and fit snugly into their frames. If you notice any tears or holes in the screens, replace them immediately to prevent clover mites from slipping through.
So now you have more of an understanding of how clover mites live. We have learnt that clover mites are one of the largest plant-infesting mites, measuring around .75 mm long. These oval-shaped creatures are reddish-brown and have eight legs. Female clover mites can reproduce without a male through parthenogenesis, leading to rapid population growth and potential infestations if not controlled. Remember to:
- Replace mulch with crushed rock or pea gravel
- Keep the perimeter of your house grass-free
- Inspect outer walls for gaps or openings
- Make sure windows and doors are in good condition