Do you have red bugs on your concrete? If so, clover mites (Bryobia praetiosa might be the culprit. These tiny pests are red or reddish-brown in color and are barely visible to the naked eye. While they don’t bite humans or animals, clover mites can be a nuisance because of their large numbers and their ability to stain surfaces with pigments from their red bodies.
These red bugs can frequently be seen on sidewalks and concrete walls during the spring and early summer.
How To Identify Clover Mites? Quick Tips
Clover mites can be identified by their:
– red or reddish-brown color
– small size (about 1/30th of an inch long)
– oval-shaped body
– eight legs
If you happen to crush clover mites you will often see a red or reddish-brown smudge on surfaces. This is one of the easiest ways to be sure you have clover mites in addition to the physical characteristics above.
What Countries or Regions Are Clover Mites Found In?
Clover mites are found in nearly every country in the world. I live in New York and commonly see them. I also have some friends in Australia who have seen clover mites. You will be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen them before (even if they don’t know the name of the “little red/orange bugs”).
Since most of our audience resides in the United States, you will be happy to know clover mites reside in every state of the United States.
While they prefer a humid climate, they can survive in colder climates (like Western New York). During the cooler months, clover mites will often hide in cracks and crevices around the home (they love tight spaces) and have been known to come into homes and buildings in large numbers seeking warmth.
The Lifecycle Of Clover Mites – Explained
As with most insects, clover mites go through four different stages in their lifecycle:
– nymph and
Clover mites are parthenogenetic. Parthenogenetic means clover mites can reproduce without males, as clover mites are only females! The females lay eggs roughly about 70 at a time and these eggs will survive over winter. The overwintering eggs will then hatch the following spring producing that season’s clover mite population.
Adult clover mites only live outdoors for approximately two weeks. Those that migrate indoors can avoid weather that often will kill them outdoors and can live for up to a couple of months.
Common Areas You May See Clover Mites
As I stated clover mites love humid climates and during the summer months often times you will see them near:
– ponds or
– other sources of water
Clover mites also frequent gardens and landscaped areas that contain clover, ivy, or other low-growing plants. The easiest place to see them is on concrete surfaces. They will be most active on sunny days and are attracted to the heat.
Clover mites often enter homes and buildings in large numbers in the late spring and early fall when they are looking for a place to overwinter. In most cases, they will be found around doors, windows, or other openings to the outside where they can sneak in.
What Do Clover Mites Eat?
Clover mites eat plants, they especially like well-fertilized grasses, which is why they often reside in gardens and other landscaped areas. You will typically see clover mites feeding on:
- other low-growing plants
While any one clover mite will not eat or damage plants, they tend to show in high volumes and combined could do significant damage to a plant.
Why Are Clover Mites Considered Pests?
Clover mites are considered pests because they often invade homes and buildings in large numbers and can be a nuisance. While clover mites do not bite humans or animals, their large numbers can be overwhelming. They can also leave behind reddish-brown stains on surfaces from their crushed bodies.
When outdoors clover mites can be a pest because they can cause damage to plants. According to Colorado State, clover mites can do serious damage to turf grass by consuming parts of the grass blades. Heavy clover mite concentrations may even kill the grass.
How To Deal With Clover Mites
Dealing with clover mites can be challenging. Often if you are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of having to deal with them it may be best to contact a pest control professional to help identify the problem and develop a plan to eliminate the clover mites.
Generally speaking, if you decide to deal with them yourself you have two options, prevention and control methods.
Clover Mite Prevention Methods
Prevention methods are typically things you do to keep clover mites from entering your home in the first place. Some common prevention methods include:
– Checking for cracks, gaps, and holes around doors, windows, and other potential entry points and sealing them with caulking or weatherstripping.
– Make sure screens on doors and windows are in good condition and fit properly to keep clover mites from entering your home.
Clover Mite Control Methods
Control methods include things you can do to get rid of clover mites that are already in your home. Some common control methods include:
– Use a vacuum cleaner to remove clover mites from surfaces. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag immediately after use to prevent clover mites from escaping.
– Wash infested soft goods such as area rugs, blankets, and or bedding.
When Should You Seek a Professional Pest Control Company To Help?
You should seek a professional pest control company to help with your pest issue when:
– you are unsure of what kind of pest you are dealing with.
– the pests have not responded to do-it-yourself methods.
– you are not comfortable or able to do the work yourself.
A professional pest control company will be able to identify the type of pest you are dealing with and develop a customized plan to eliminate the clover mites from your home.
In addition, they will often schedule a follow-up visit to ensure the clover mites are gone and will only be a quick phone call away if they return in the future.
Clover Mites Common & Frequently Asked Questions
We often get some common questions about clover mites so I wanted to put some of them below and grow this resource in the future as more come in from readers.
Are Clover Mites Harmful To Humans?
No, clover mites are not harmful to humans. They do not bite or sting and are not known to carry any diseases that could be harmful to humans.
Can Clover Mites Infest My Pets?
Clover mites do not infest pets. However, pets can bring clover mites into your home on their fur if they have been outside in an area where clover mites are present.
Can Clover Mites Infest My Food?
No, clover mites do not infest food. However, if you leave your food near a spot with clover mites they may crawl on your food.
Do Clover Mites Go Away On Their Own?
Clover mites do not go away on their own. If you have clover mites in your home, you will need to take action to get rid of them.