Customer: “I’m seeing these little red bugs ALL over my cement patio by my pool… They’re grossing me out!”
STOMP: “Stay calm, those are just Clover Mites.”
We have this conversation with one of our customers at least once a week during the early-summer and fall months. Don’t feel bad if this happens to you. This is a very common household pest, especially in situations where new lawns have been established and where a heavy growth of succulent, well-fertilized grass exists close to foundation walls.
- These mites are smaller than a pinhead, usually bright red, and have front legs as long as the body and much longer than the other six legs. (I would be very impressed if you could see any other characteristic besides them being tiny and red! The Avengers would probably call you for a new position on their squad.)
- These tiny pests do not feed exclusively on clovers. They attack a number of grasses and other plants commonly found in yards.
- Migrations into homes is triggered by overpopulation or by the onset of unfavorable feeding conditions, which may occur during periods of drought, or by the onset of cold weather.
Do they bite???
- They do! Just kidding, they DO NOT!
- Clover mites often occur in extremely large number, and although they do not bite people or pets or cause damage indoors, they are extremely annoying and leave red stains when crushed on light-colored walls or drapes.
5 steps you can take to decrease Clover Mite population:
- Closely mowing grass, clovers, or other ground covers that support mite population build-up will greatly reduce mite numbers.
- Avoid excessive watering or fertilization, so that lush growth of these host plants is not encouraged.
- The use of bark or other mulches below shrubs will discourage mite populations around foundations.
- Where clover mite populations seem to build up to high numbers repeatedly, creating chronic problems, determine what types of plant material are supporting these mites. These plants should then be removed, if possible.
- STOMP them out!