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Indoor Chiggers Are Really Clover Mites

By Chris Williams on August 5, 2016.

We have chiggers in our house! I thought they were outside pests but we’ve seen dozens of them crawling on our draperies and living room walls. They’re reddish and look like they’ve been sucking blood. My son reacts very strongly to chigger bites so I need to find out where they’re coming from.  J. J., Fitchburg, MA

Chiggers are outdoor mites which is why I’m quite sure you are dealing with a different pest (see Chiggers Are Not Inside Pests). Without seeing the creatures, my best guess is that you have a clover mite invasion. Clover mites live outside where they feed on grasses and plants. They can build up to high numbers in lawns that are heavily fertilized and they can be problems in new housing developments where lawns have just been installed (see Clover Mites Are Common in Lush Lawns).

Clover Mites Get Inside Accidentally

At certain times, often depending on weather, clover mites will migrate. This happens most often in the fall but can occur at any time. Groups of them can be seen crawling up outside sunny walls of a building. They get inside accidentally if their wandering intersects with some kind of a crevice or opening. They are so small that they can go right through window screens.

Clover mites and chiggers look similar. Both are tiny mites that are just barely visible to the human eye. Both can be reddish in color. Fortunately, clover mites don’t bite people or cause disease; they are strictly a nuisance pest.

While this indoor invasion may be short-lived, you might want to take measures to reduce your outside clover mite population to keep this from happening again (see Keeping Clover Mites Outside). Once a new lawn becomes established, clover mite problems usually decline.

6 Ways to Get Rid of Clover Mites in Your Lawn

  1. Mow grass short, especially grass near the foundation.
  2. Don’t overfertilize your lawn and do your fertilizing in the fall.
  3. Prune back any foundation shrubs that are touching your house.
  4. Remove any ivy growing on the exterior of your home.
  5. Install an 18-inch wide plant-free border next to foundation walls.
  6. Call Colonial Pest for help. We have a Preventative Program which includes a perimeter treatment around the outside foundation of your home. The treatment will intercept clover mites and other foundation pests that are trying to get into your home.

Photo Credit : By ZacheOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, wikipedia

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