What's round and red and can fit on the head of a pin? A clover mite! They are tiny reddish to dark brown pests often seen on sunny days in early summer months. Clover mites are not insects, but belong instead to the arachnid group of arthropods - meaning they have 8 legs. They are very small (1/30 of an inch), oval-shaped and red colored. They make their way into buildings and homes through window screens, cracks in bricks, and under door sweeps. In some cases they will invade a structure in large numbers. Clover mites usually appear in May and June, but can also reappear in the early fall. They cause no damage and no not bite, however, if squished on a lightly colored wall or on a piece of fabric such as a curtain or pillow, they can leave a red stain.
Colver mites feed on well fertilized grass and lawns or on rooftops where there is mold or mildew growth. Once the summer temperatures heat up to above 85 degrees, clover mites will naturally die back, as their food source also dies back and they cease to be a problem. Sometimes they will reappear briefly during the early fall months until temperatures drop below about 50 degrees.
To prevent clover mites, keep your home free of grasses and vegetation from around the structure's perimeter foundation...this also helps to pest proof you home from several other pests! Here are some great tips that not only work for clover mites...but are pretty universal for pests in general. Seal up gaps, cracks and other points of entry into structures and around mortar and sidewalk areas near the foundation. You can close up openings with tight-fitting screens and tight fitting door sweeps.
If you have clover mites in your home, you can sucks them up with vacuum. Make sure you seal up the bag or empty the bin immediately and take the trash out because they can easily crawl out of the garbage. If the problem persists, we can treat for clover mites easily and effectively...but just remember, that the hot weather is around the corner and once the temps go up - the mites should no longer be a concern. :)