Clover Mites 101: Everything The Bay Area Homeowners Need To Know

Clover mite in the dirt

When clover mites get into homes in the Bay Area, we get calls to deal with little red bugs. Most residents don't know what their little red bugs are. If you're in that boat, we have good news. Today, we're going to start with a short introduction to clover mites and share some essential facts to help you understand these pests better. We'll tell you when they're active, what they do, and some mistakes to avoid that could prevent a clover mite problem if you don't have one yet. This article is all about prevention. If you currently have a clover mite problem, contact us for advice. Bay Pest offers advanced pest control in the Bay Area, and our service technicians deal with these little bugs all the time. We'll help you find the right solution for you.

What Are Clover Mites?

The primary concern residents have about pests is whether clover mites bite. So, that is a good place to start with our discussion on clover mites. Do clover mites bite? We have some very good news for you. Clover mites in the Bay Area have no interest in biting you. They don't eat blood. They feed on clovers and other vegetation. However, these tiny red pests look like another kind of mite that does bite people. They're called chiggers. Here are a few things you need to know about both of these pests.

It is easy to get chiggers and clover mites mixed up. They are both tiny red bugs with eight legs. Is there a way to tell them apart? We could give you a detailed description of each, but both of these pests are nothing more than little specks. It is better to tell you how to identify them based on where you'll see them. 

If you find lots of tiny red specks crawling around inside your home, those are almost definitely clover mites. Chiggers don't enter homes in large numbers except under very specific conditions. And, if you find them outdoors, you may tell them apart by their habitat. Clover mites are like aphids; they want to crawl on plants and live in your landscaping. Chiggers are more like ticks. While they can live in your landscaping, you're more likely to find them in tall grass and wooded areas, places you would find rats, mice, and other small animals, which chiggers bite. If chiggers get into your landscaping, it is because your landscaping reminds them of woodland areas due to mulch, leaf litter, grass, and weeds. But they don't act like clover mites when they explore your landscaping. One big difference is that chiggers stay near the ground. You'll rarely find them on plants above about a foot, which is not the case with clover mites. They climb all over your plants.

When considering which of these two pests you have, you may think that you can easily tell them apart by the fact that one will bite you and the other won't. But this isn't as cut and dry as you might think. If you offer your skin to chiggers, you may think they're clover mites when they don't bite you. But chiggers stop biting people once they reach their nymph stage, which is when chiggers go from having six legs to eight legs. Only the larval stage will bite you, and they do this by scaling your skin and finding a location where clothing is compressed against your skin. They're not likely to do it out in the open. So, you can't directly use bites as a way to tell these two pests apart.

Now that you know a bit about clover mites, and you have a few ways of telling them apart from chiggers, let's look at when clover mites are active and what they do when they come into your yard. The more you know, the better your chances are of preventing a clover mite problem.

When Are Clover Mites Active Around Bay Area Properties?

Clover mite on plastic

Clover mites usually appear in spring or fall. What happens is clover mites lay their eggs when temperatures reach about 80 degrees. Then, they grow dormant. The eggs sit for a while and hatch when the temperatures rise again. They may lay eggs in the cracks and crevices of your home in the fall, and an army of clover mites can appear in the spring. Or they may lay eggs in summer and hatch in the fall. You'll see large numbers at these two times of the year.

How bad is it when they appear in these large numbers? Is it time to immediately contact a service professional? Maybe. But maybe not. 

The primary issue with clover mites in your yard is that they'll attack your grass and suck the life out of it. When they get into your landscaping, they'll do the same to your plants. You'll find them feeding on the sunny side of your home as they're looking for higher temperatures and a suitable place to lay eggs. They'll gravitate to tall grass, weeds, dense vegetation, and other places where moisture is trapped. You can wash them off your exterior walls using soapy water and eliminate them. If you only have a small issue, doing this may provide all the control you need.

When clover mites get into your home, they can present a few problems. They'll cause trouble with indoor potted plants, they are unsightly, and they can stain your belongings. The last one is the worst. They can stain carpets, clothing, sheets, blankets, wallpaper, and more. Their ability to stain your stuff is one of the biggest reasons to contact a service professional to deal with a clover mite infestation. The second biggest reason is that it is incredibly difficult to keep them out. These little arachnids can get through the smallest entry points imaginable. Control products are required to create a barrier on your exterior walls and foundation. For the best results and to avoid harm, contact Bay Pest for an appropriate perimeter treatment.       

Mistakes To Avoid To Keep Clover Mites At Bay

Why do residents get clover mites, and are there ways to avoid getting them? There are some conditions that can increase the likelihood that clover mites will cause trouble for you on your property or in your home. If you don't have these pests yet, here are some facts to consider.

  • Fertilizer is an attractant for clover mites. If you have a new lawn or one you're revitalizing with fertilizers, you may invite these pests into your yard.
  • Clover mites will thrive in landscaping with grass, weeds, and other extra vegetation. Removing weeds can help to deter problems with clover mites.
  • Tall grass and other organic debris next to your foundation will invite clover mites.
  • Entry points in your exterior, such as gaps around pipes or missing door sweeps, can let these little critters into your home.

While some clover mites are unstoppable, there are ways you can deter their progress. Here are a few ways to apply pressure to keep these pests off your lawn, away from your landscaping, and out of your home.  

  • You can't keep clover mites out of your lawn, but pest control materials can help manage pests when applying fertilizers. Have a service provider suggest options to treat your lawn as you make your grass healthy.
  • You can't stop clover mites on plants, but you can deter them. They prefer mulch, so why not replace mulch with pea stones? They prefer dense vegetation, so remove weeds, grass, and other unwanted vegetation from your landscaping.
  • You can wash clover mites off your exterior, but it is best to deter them from getting on in the first place. You can do this by creating a two-foot area next to your foundation free of grass, weeds, and other plants.
  • You may not be able to prevent clover mites from getting into your home, but you can deter them with pest-proofing. Use a caulking gun to seal gaps and make repairs to your home, such as installing door sweeps and new weatherstripping.

A layered approach to yard work and home maintenance will yield sustainable results and help you keep clover mites from creating a problem. When you are in need of clover mite control, contact Bay Pest for assistance. Our service technicians know how to get rid of clover mites. But you don't have to wait until you have a problem. You can get help to prevent these pests from causing issues on your property. 

Don't Let Clover Mites Invade Your Bay Area Home

Every home can benefit from a year-round pest control service plan. Clover mites are only one of many pests that cause trouble in our yards and homes. Some of the pests we deal with in the Bay Area are a danger to health and a serious threat to property. Why not get all the control you need and stop annoying clover mites while you're at it? If you've been thinking about getting pest control for your Bay Area home, let these little red bugs inspire you. Reach out to Bay Pest today to learn more about how ongoing pest control can make your yard a nicer place for recreation and your home a more peaceful place to live. When you have pest concerns, we have your pest solutions right here.

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