Clover mites usually appear during the spring and fall, and extreme numbers of these tiny insects can be seen during the late spring as well. Generally, they enter houses close to thick vegetation and can invade houses in very large numbers, so it is important to do a proper preventative clover mite control to keep them from entering.
How to Identify a Clover Mite
Clover mite adults are tiny, oval shaped arachnids. They are less than a millimeter in diameter, about the size of a poppy seed. They have eight legs, and the pair of legs pointing forward is slightly longer and often mistaken for antennae. Adults are reddish-brown; younger ones and their eggs are bright red. When crushed, they leave a red mark that looks like blood, but it’s actually just a stain from their natural pigmentation.
These little insects are not a danger to human health and they do not destroy clothing, furniture, or food items. Once inside your home, they like to take up residence in areas that are generally unseen. That coupled with the fact that they are so tiny, their activity can go unnoticed for quite some time. Once their numbers get large enough, they will migrate to and, because of their large numbers, they become a general nuisance.
Clover mites feed on plants by sucking their juices. Their diet includes a variety of plants, such as ornamental flowers, strawberries, daffodils, salvia, clover, and other plants common to lawns. They do not cause any harm to your lawn, but their feeding activity can turn the green of your grass into a silvery color. They can also infest multi-story buildings where they can live on rooftops, where mold or mildew is a food source.
A clover mite goes through four life stages: eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. In the egg stage, it needs to grow in a dry and protected environment. Cracks, walls of buildings, or logs are a perfect location for this stage. The overwintering eggs hatch early in the spring, and as soon as they are ready to climb and walk, they begin to produce the second generation. Females can lay up to 70 eggs, each of which becomes an adult in 30 days’ time, so the population can grow fast. Females reproduce by parthenogenesis and are able to reproduce without being fertilized by the males. During warm and dry summer days clover mites are inactive.
Signs of a Clover Mite Infestation
The most obvious indicator of an infestation is simply spotting multiple clover mites. They are usually found around windowsills and on sunny sides of homes.
Clover Mite Control
There are some measures you can undertake to reduce your problems with clover mites.
- Seal all cracks, crevices, and gaps around windows and doors to prevent them from entering your home.
- Remove grass and foliage from immediately around the foundation perimeter.
- Use tight-fitting window screens.
- Avoid excessive watering and fertilization of the lawn near the structure, since clover mites tend to thrive in well-fertilized areas and lawns.
Clover mite control is best left to your pest control professional. Remember that preventive measures are not helpful if there is already an infestation, so a pest control professional will do a proper inspection and use their knowledge to reduce your clover mite problem.
Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of clover mites and use that knowledge when developing a clover mite control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.