If you have not been formally introduced, those tiny red bugs that you’re finding in or around your home are most likely clover mites. Clover mites are actually arachnids, closely related to ticks and spiders. As a mite, you may expect that these little creatures will climb on you and chew your skin, but that is not the case.
While they share a lot of commonalities with other mites, eating proteins isn’t one of them. Don’t let the red stains they leave when crushed scare you. That isn’t blood. It is pigment from their bodies. Clover mites eat grasses, clover, and other plants. Not blood.
Okay. They don’t bite humans or pets. That is definitely good. But just because they don’t bite doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous, right? After all, cockroaches don’t bite, but they can cause significant health issues when they enter homes and businesses.
Well, you can rest easy. Clover mites are not known to spread or carry infectious diseases. They are also not a pest known for carrying harmful bacteria from your trash cans to your stored foods or food prep surfaces.
Okay. So, they don’t bite and they don’t pose a health risk, but are they dangerous to my property?
Given the diet of clover mites, we know that they aren’t here searching for a blood meal. The only things that are in danger when clover mites are around are your belongings. Since clover mites are so small, it’s possible you may not even recognize them in your house until they spread.
What you’re more apt to notice are the red stains they leave behind. Being as small as they are, they can be squashed easily, leaving behind their bright red pigment. Your curtains, floors, rugs, furniture, walls, and other personal belongings can be subject to these stains that are nearly impossible to get out. You may wonder why there are suddenly small red stains everywhere. Even their eggs are bright red!
Unfortunately, clover mites are well-known for congregating in large numbers, especially in sunny locations. There could be thousands huddled up along your siding or your porch. If there is one thing clover mites are really good at, it’s sneaking through small cracks and crevices. As they congregate around your home, they will enter through small openings.
Their size means you may need a magnifying glass to find the crack. This makes them extremely hard to keep out of homes. A large population of these pests can mean they are hard to control on your own. It can be helpful to leave a grass-free strip of more than a foot around the edge of your foundation. Most of the time, professional pest control is needed to eliminate these nuisance pests.
If you value the items in your home, you’re going to want to keep these tiny red bugs out. But getting rid of clover mites and keeping them out of a home can be extremely difficult. Here are a few reasons why:
- Clover mites are small and hard to seal out.
- They can get into wall voids and other places that are hard to get at and treat.
- Mites are hard to control with any of the chemicals that are safe to use in a house.
- DIY control of clover mites often leads to continued frustration and damaged belongings.
At Moyer, we use EPA-registered products to eradicate clover mites and exclude them from homes and businesses. These products are administered by licensed technicians with specific training in the habits and habitats of these pests, and our programs are overseen by industry experts.