Clover mites are arachnids that belong to the Bryobia genus. Like all arachnids, clover mites have eight legs. The first two legs of the clover mite are long in comparison to the other six, and they may be mistaken for antennae. These red- to reddish brown-colored creatures are the size of a pinhead and have oval-shaped bodies.
These mites are found throughout North and South America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and Europe. Within each of these continents, clover mites can be located in well-fertilized lawns, in shrubbery around homes, and sometimes inside houses. Clover mites are nuisance pests and do not pose a threat to humans; they feed on the juices of plants such as grasses, clovers, and other vegetation commonly found in lawns.
Although they do not feed on blood or cause health issues, their presence inside of homes can be irritating. When they are crushed, the red pigment in their bodies can stain walls and furniture pieces; note that the red stains are not from their blood or the blood of a host animal, but from their body color itself.
Because clover mites are so small, they are able to get into cracks in homes with ease. To cut back on their presence, seal up cracks around your home’s foundation and make sure that your doors and windows seal properly. Try to keep vegetation at least two feet away from the side of your home and put down gravel in that interval to discourage the mites’ movement toward your house. Clover mites also love well-fertilized lawns, so do not over-fertilize.
If you find that you have a clover mite infestation within your home, you can remove some of them with a wet sponge or a vacuum cleaner, taking care not to crush and drag them (which will create stains). For more information on pest control or to schedule a free pest inspection, contact Palmetto Exterminators.