What Are Clover Mites and How To Get Rid Of Them?
What Are Clover Mites?
Clover mites are small not insects even though they are very close relatives to spiders and ticks. While they are a nuisance, they are not able to bite and therefore not dangerous to humans or pets.
An adult clover mite is about the size of a pin head, oval in shape, bright reddish to reddish-brown in color, and has eight legs. Often confused for antennae, the mite’s front legs extend forward and are as long as its entire body.
Behavior, Diet, and Habits
• As arachnids, clover mites are close relatives of spiders and ticks. They can be found throughout the United States.
• These mites go through four life stages including the egg, larvae, nymph, and adult stages. During the spring, each adult female lays about 70 eggs, often crawling into cracks, crevices, or under tree barks to molt and lay the eggs. Clover mite eggs do not hatch above 86 degrees F or below 40 degrees F.
• Once hatched, a clover mite takes about 30 days to mature. They reproduce by parthenogenesis, which means females do not require fertilization by males to breed.
• In the egg stage, these mites either hibernate or aestivate during adverse weather conditions in dry, protected locations such as under loose tree barks, on foundation walls, around window frames, under the sheathing of buildings, and beneath sidings.
• Since they are not blood feeders, these mites feed on plants commonly found in lawns around the home such as grass and clovers. They suck plant juices to get their nutrition. These mites live close to or on their sources of food and are associated with the growth of moss. Apart from the ability to live off algae and mold, these mites are also known to infest more than 200 different types of plant.
• These mites usually build up large populations around buildings surrounded by lush shrubbery and well-fertilized lawns. Large populations can occur on flat roofed commercial buildings.
Although these mites do not injure humans and pets or damage buildings and furnishings, they can become a real nuisance once they migrate into your home. These mites also leave a red stain when crushed, which is not blood, but the mite’s natural body pigment. Massive migrations into houses often occur in early summer and fall.
Signs of Infestation
These mites usually appear in large numbers around doors, curtains, drapes, furniture, windows, and siding. Observance of these red mites crawling on some of the surfaces mentioned above, especially on the sunny sides of homes, is the most obvious sign of infestation.
Elimination and Control
When it comes to elimination and control, different techniques and products are applicable depending on whether the mites are inside or outside your home. It is, however, important to note that you cannot use chemicals to eliminate these pests from inside the house. Below are tips to help you to reduce the nuisance.
When the mites are outside or around your house
As good sources of food and shelter, the plants around your home attract these mites. Applying products such as Bifen I/T, a professional pest control product, is one of the best ways to eliminate clover mites. This product provides a quick knockdown and long-lasting effects. Using a hose end sprayer makes the task much easier and also helps to ensure consistent application. Ensure you treat every side of your home, from the lower foundational exterior walls to the first-floor window and all the infested plants. As an alternative, Backyard Bug Control by Cutter also provides excellent pest control results that last up to eight weeks. This ready to spray insect repellent is not only effective but also easy to use. Thorough treatment is necessary for desirable results, which means you need to spray the plants until they are entirely wet and your exterior surfaces to the point of runoff.
When the mites are inside your home
For starters, you need to find out where the red pests are coming from since they often come in from any available entry point be it the ceiling, window frames, or doorways. By knowing their entry points, you can get quick results once you start direct treatment. Elimination measures when the mites are inside your home include:
• Using diatomaceous earth around entry points such as windows, doors, and cracks is one effective mode of treatment. Diatomaceous earth coats and kills these mites. Since it is a natural product, you can use it anywhere inside your house.
• Using Whitmire Tri-Die Aerosol is another effective clover mite control technique since its naturally derived active ingredients make this product an excellent weapon against such pests, particularly those inside your house.
• While taking extra care not to crush any mite to avoid the resultant reddish stain, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to pick up any live mites inside your home. In such a case, you can always use a crevice attachment or wet sponge.
It is best to leave the control of clover mites to pest management professionals. Pest control professionals usually start with an inspection and then use the findings to come up with an integrated pest management plan. Using their Knowledge and expertise, pest control professionals recommend the most suitable control measures. The recommended control program usually includes some helpful preventive measures such as:
• Removing all the vegetation such as grass and weeds from around the perimeter of your home’s foundation and leaving a vegetation-free strip about 24 inches wide is arguably the most effective mode of prevention.
• These mites cannot move through bare, loose soil with the same ease with which they can move through plant-supporting soil. As such, placing a plant-free band of wood chips, coarse sand, gravel, lava rock, or marbles around the foundation discourages movement, helping to keep these mites away from the structure since they usually find it difficult to cross such barriers.
• Discourage these mites from entering your home by sealing every hole, crack and gap in your windows, doors, and foundation walls. It is also important to ensure the window screens you install are tight fitting. You must treat and seal every exterior hole and crack if you have a regular clover mite infestation issue since these areas are where they usually deposit eggs.
• Avoid lush growth of lawn or ornamental plants, particularly those located close to your house. You should, therefore, avoid over-fertilization and excessive watering. Clover mite populations tend to excel in lush, well-fertilized lawns.
This non-toxic spray kills larvae, eggs, and adult insects by breaking down their exoskeleton. It is safe to spray around the home and works only on the insects. Feel good about spraying indoors around pets, plants and children.
All Natural Non Toxic Insect Killer Spray by Killer Green