If you kill a clover mite, the next thing you see staining your carpet is blood. Oftentimes, this little scenario gets people to think that clover mites, like bed bugs, are bloodsuckers. But then, they are wrong about that and many other things as well. In this article, we will tell you every fact there is to know about clover mites.
What Are Clover Mites?
You see, clover mites, aka, concrete mites, may indeed look like small red bugs. But then, they are not. This is because clover mites are more related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions than bugs. In the scientific pedigree, insects are in the group Hexapoda. As for ticks, mites, scorpions, and spiders, Arachnida is their group name.
With that said, clover mites can be described as tiny arachnids with bead-like bodies. Their hind legs are longer than their forelegs. Oftentimes, they can be bright red in the juvenile and egg stages. But in the adult stage, their skin tone tends to be reddish-brown. Likewise, they prefer the cool atmosphere that occurs in late spring. For that reason, clover mites are often seen outdoors during late spring in places like North America.
However, sometimes, clover mites tend to invade our household when they have the chance. They sneak in through wall crevices, open windows, and unclosed doors. But since they kind of hate shady regions, we often see them near window ledges and on carpets. When you kill them by squashing, their carcass tends to eject some red pigment that stains carpets and window sills. As such, people use this characteristic as a diagnostic feature for identifying clover mites.
READ MORE: 8 Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs.
What Makes Clover Mites Red?
Try it; get a clover mite and squish it with your slippers. The next thing you see is a rush of blood-like fluids. Oftentimes, many people think of this fluid as blood. But then, it is not. Instead, the red fluid is a result of their body pigmentation.
This pigmentation is a cocktail of chemicals produced within their body. In the same vein, it is also responsible for the redness in their skin tone. You can compare this pigmentation with the melanin in human skin. This melanin is responsible for our skin coloration too. But then, in clover mites, their own pigment still roots to the color of their body fluids.
Where To Find Clover Mites
Clover mites prefer sunny regions to darker ones. So, to find clover mites, two places should be on your checklist; sunny spots and areas rich with their type of food.
Since clover mites feed mostly on plants, any outdoor region with rich vegetation is a perfect place for clover mites. From lawn grasses, clovers, and flowers, to primrose, daffodil, and dandelions, any plant is yum-yum for clover mites.
Oftentimes, we find all these kinds of plants outside the house; on playgrounds and golf courses to be precise. But then, some houses are built close to dense vegetation. Some of us even have lawns and gardens with turfgrasses. When the conditions are right, clover mites can sneak in via wall cracks, open doors, and windows. But since they love sunlight, they remain very close to the window ledges and door spaces. Sometimes, they tend to even crawl over your carpets.
Clover Mites vs Chiggers.
Well… let’s first get this out of the way; Chiggers are different from Jiggers even though the two terms sound the same. On one end, “jiggers” is a general name that refers to a particular kind of flea known as the Chigoe flea, aka the Sand flea. This flea is a notorious parasite in Africa and America, causing a deadly disease called Tungiasis.
On the flip side, Chiggers, aka berry bugs, are microscopic mites that suck blood from humans and other animals. Oftentimes, when chiggers bite, they attach their mouth firmly to the human skin. In the end, the affected person is left to suffer intense itching. In some cases, chigger bites may also lead to a skin condition called Dermatitis. However, these chiggers prefer to live outdoors; like in lawns, parks, forests, berry bushes, and even on golf courses. But when in search of food, they can sneak into our homes.
Like chiggers, clover mites also prefer to stay in lawns, golf courses, and other areas with a dense plant population. Then again, both clover mites and chiggers are small and reddish in color. However, certain factors set them apart. For one, clover mites are much bigger than chiggers and they can be seen with the naked eye. However, for you to see a chigger in its full form, you would need at least a good magnifying lens.
Aside from the size, clover mites are also different from chiggers in terms of their bite activity. You see, chiggers suck blood, whether humans or pets. Their bites, of course, are very painful and itchy. On the flip side, clover mites are plant feeders. So, they have a strict no-blood-sucking policy. In fact, after feeding, clover mites still tend to leave the plants virtually unharmed.
However, what clover mites lack in damage capacity, they make up for in numbers. That’s because clover mites attack in thousands of numbers. When that massive number of clover mites feed on turfgrass, the plant leaves may turn silvery and variegated. But despite their number, the activity of clover mites is so small that buildings, furniture, pets, and even humans remain intact when they leave. We can’t say the same for chiggers, which are destructive and nasty bloodsuckers.
READ MORE: How big are Bed Bugs Compared To Other Bugs.
How to Get Rid of Clover Mites.
Clover mites are not bloodsuckers like bed bugs and other mite species. In fact, they don’t damage furniture and are not harmful to pets and humans. But then, their bright red and aposematic skin tone can be scary and disturbing. Likewise, if you squish clover mites, a deep red pigment is often left as after-stains. As such, clover mites are considered pests.
So, oftentimes, many people look for ways to get rid of them. To help with that, we have compiled a list of natural, homemade, and chemical means to get rid of clover mites. We will look at each technique with relevant sections as follows:
How to Get Rid of Clover Mites Naturally.
Like most pests, certain natural substances can help to get rid of clover mites. In this section, we’ll look at a few of them thus:
- Boric Acid – Boric acid can kill clover mites. To use it, sprinkle boric acid powders on focal points for clover mite infestation.
- Vinegar – Like boric acid, white vinegar works as an effective clover mite killer and repellent. To use it, spray a cocktail of vinegar and water on focal points.
- Diatomaceous Earth – With diatomaceous earth, you can kill clover mites in your garden and still nourish the plants. To use it, add sprinkles of diatomaceous earth all over the lawn.
- Baby powder – In a house with kids, baby powder is one of the most readily available repellents. To use it, sprinkle it at focal points. However, it should be noted that “baking soda” is ineffective when it comes to killing clover mites. But it can help ward them off.
What kills clover mites instantly?
Normally, clover mites would later die off in a house that’s free of plant materials they need to feed on. In fact, their death usually comes within a few days of dehydration. But then, some of us can’t wait to get clover mites off our household. To get rid of clover mites instantly, the following 4 strategies can help:
1. Make sure you have ascertained that the tiny red bugs you have in your house are clover mites. Most often, clover mites are red with tiny dots. And when you squish them, red stains that look like blood ooze out. Likewise, you can check for clover mite pictures to help with identification.
2. Try to identify the focal point of the infestation. Is it your lawn or the window ledges in your parlor? Knowing this, you will know which part of your house to concentrate your treatment on.
3. Wear protective clothing like gloves. If the infestation is indoors, mix water and vinegar in equal ratios and spray the focal point as required. Alternatively, you can use Pyrid aerosol.
4. If outdoors, apply a combo of powder insecticides on the focal point and scatter as required. You can also spray liquid insecticides using a handheld sprayer.
How to Get Rid of Clover Mites Manually.
- Use a vacuum cleaner instead of crushing the clover mites. This will help kill them without staining your floor.
- Sometimes, vacuum cleaners also leave tiny stains behind. To remove them, wear protective gloves and then scrub the affected area with fragrant soaps. Alternatively, you can use a cocktail of essential oils to wash the area.
How to Get Rid of Clover Mites Using Prevention Strategies.
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. As such, one of the most effective ways to get rid of clover mites is to prevent them from coming in the first place. To prevent clover mites, the following can help:
- Always make sure that your gardens, lawns, and golf courses are not “super-fertilized.”- This is because over-fertilizing your lawns tends to make your grass look very serene but filled with certain chemicals. This chemical could act as attractants for clover mites. So, to make your lawn uninhabitable, make sure you don’t apply too much fertilizer to your lawns.
- Always place your gardens at a distance from the main house – Clover mites always tend to infest houses that are built close to lawns and golf courses. This is because these regions serve as niches for clover mites. If you place your plants and gardens at a reasonable distance from your house, you tend to reduce the chance of clover mite infestation in your house by half.
- Mount up wood barriers around your house – It’s habitual for clover mites to move over plants to get to other places. If you wall up a barrier of woodchips around your house, there’s a chance that this would deter clover mites by reducing their seam of movement. Yes, woodchip barriers can make the house look ugly. But if you arrange them neatly in patterns, consider it a natural beautifier.
- Steek all wall crevices – The fastest route that clover mites take to infest your house is via gaps and wall cavities. You can clear the safe of clover mites if you close up these gaps. Try to pay more attention to window sills and doors. Also, make sure your window screens are in good working condition.
READ MORE: How to Treat Bed Bug Bites.
How long do clover mites live inside?
As said earlier, clover mites survive on plant materials; nothing else! Oftentimes, they invade our house because their residence (lawns, gardens, golf courses, and the like) is nearby. But then, when they get in, clover mites tend to die of starvation. This is because the kind of food they need is not usually present within our house.
Outside the house, clover mites can survive up to about 30 days. Inside the house (which is like a desert to them), adult clover mites can only last about 14 days before they starve and thirst to death. If they can’t survive, that means that they cannot reproduce. Good news for house owners, right?
With that said, we conclude that clover mites are tiny red bugs. But unlike most mites, clover mites do not suck blood. But then, they can become nasty pests that need to be removed. To remove them, you can use natural substances like boric acid and vinegar. You can even kill clover mites manually with vacuum cleaners and chemically with pyrid aerosols.