Spring Invasion of Clover Mites
By Chris Williams on April 6, 2015.
I’ve seen a bunch of very tiny reddish bugs that look like mites crawling on the inside of windows in my home. Could these be chiggers? M. O., Menthuen, MA
They’re probably clover mites. Chiggers are reddish mites but they are found only outside. Clover mites are reddish mites that are outside pests but can end up inside at certain times of the year and under certain conditions. Clover mites can invade homes on warm days in fall, late winter, or early spring. They gather by the thousands on the warm, sunny sides of buildings, crawl up the exterior walls, and find their way inside through window screens or tiny cracks and crevices.
Clover mites feed on grasses and other weedy plants that are common in lawns. Homes with lush, heavily fertilized lawns often have the biggest problem with an invasion of clover mites. Since clover mites can be confused with bird mites, brown dog ticks, and rat mites, you should have them identified by a professional. If you’ve had this problem before in fall or spring, that’s a good clue that you are dealing with clover mites.
How Can You Get Rid of Clover Mites?
Vacuum Up Indoor Mites – You can remove mites that have gotten indoors by vacuuming them up with a soft brush (they can stain surfaces if crushed). If mites are especially heavy indoors, you can have an exterminator treat infested sites.
Install a Plant-Free Border – Clover mites are more of a problem when grass is planted right up next to the foundation walls. Remove grass and all other plants from an 18-inch wide space next to the outside walls. Fill the space with pea gravel, bark (not shredded) mulch, or other ornamental mulch.
Lawn Maintenance – Mow grass short, especially grass near the foundation. Don’t overfertilize your lawn and do your fertilizing in fall, not spring. Prune back any foundation shrubs that are touching your house and remove any ivy growing on the exterior.
Schedule a Perimeter Treatment – A pest control professional can apply a preventive pesticide treatment around the foundation of your home that will intercept mites as they attempt to climb outside walls. At Colonial Pest, we offer a Preventative Maintenance Program that includes two scheduled barrier treatments per year. Give us a call today and keep those clover mites in their place!
For more on clover mites, check out these blogs: