Clover Mites

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Identification

  • Colour Reddish-brown, olive, pale orange, or even greenish-brown after feeding
  • Size Rarely exceed 0.25 mm in length
  • Also known as Bryobia praetiosa
  • Description Formerly on the periphery of the pest control industry, clover mites have become a greater concern due to suburban sprawl and the increasing use of lawn fertilizers. While clover mites are not particularly dangerous to the health of humans or the structural integrity of buildings, they do invade in very large numbers, which makes them a serious nuisance.

How to identify Clover Mites

Smaller than the head of a pin, adult clover mites rarely exceed 1/4 mm in length. They are most commonly reddish in colour, but may also appear reddish-brown, olive, pale orange, or even greenish-brown immediately after feeding. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic is their long front legs, which are frequently mistaken for antennae.

Signs of an infestation

Given their microscopic size, clover mites are challenging to spot with the naked eye. Residents of infested buildings may notice tiny, moving spots on walls, drapes, and window shades, but definitive identification is impossible without a closer look. The occurrence of red stains on carpets, draperies, papers left out in the open or other lightly coloured surfaces points to some kind of clover mite infestation. Because clover mites die shortly after invading homes, residents may not even notice any signs of infestation until the problem is already negligible.

Clover Mites Removal

Once a clover mite infestation becomes established inside the home, the best method of removal is to vacuum up the pests while taking care not to crush them to avoid the risk of staining. Additionally, professional pest control experts can apply various treatments to infested lawns and homes.

How to prevent Clover Mites from invading

Clover mites live in and travel on grassy lawns. They infiltrate homes by taking advantage of the grass that brushes up against the exterior walls. Therefore, the most effective form of prevention is to trim back all vegetation around the home and leave a 45 to 60 cm perimeter of soil. Growing flowers to improve the appearance of the perimeter of soil is acceptable as long as a reasonable distance remains between the edge of the lawn and the plants.

Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle

Habitat

Nearly worldwide in distribution, clover mites live on every continent except Antarctica. Adults congregate on vegetation and building walls, especially when exposed to sunlight. Clover mite eggs and nymphs can often be found in cracks in concrete, between building walls, under the loose bark of trees, under shingles, and in other protected areas.

Diet

Clover mites feed by sucking nutrients out of lawn grasses, clover, dandelion, ornamental flowers, and other forms of vegetation.

Life Cycle

Clover mites reproduce via parthenogenesis and are always female. They lay approximately 70 unfertilized eggs at a time in a protected space. Traditionally, clover mites overwinter as eggs and hatch in early spring. During summer, the new generation of mites will go into warm-weather hibernation, and another generation is produced in the fall.

Commonly Asked Questions

How worried should I be about clover mites?

More of a nuisance than a danger, clover mites earn their pest status by invading homes in
overwhelming numbers. They do not bite but they do feed on human food, spread disease, harm household pets, or even compromise the structural soundness of buildings. Clover mites leave bright red stains where they are crushed, with makes them unsightly in homes and hard to control.

Other pests related to Clover Mites

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