Tiny Red Bugs Invading Your Home?
If you find these small pests coming in your home through south and west facing windows and doors right now, you are not alone. What are these little mites that are marching in? Clover Mites!
Although clover mites don’t pose any danger to humans or pets, they are a major nuisance. They can invade by the hundreds and leave a red stain on surfaces when crushed.
Clover mites go through four life stages- eggs are deposited in dry protected areas like wall voids in the fall. They begin to hatch out in early spring when temps reach around 40°. This is when we start to see the first invasion. Even when temps are much colder outside, the convection from the sun shining on a wall will heat the interior very quickly. This is why you can see clover mites active inside even when there’s snow on the ground!
Once hatched they find their way to the lawn and feed on the grass. They will mature into adults in about 30 days. Clover mites will actually go dormant during the summer in hot, dry conditions. Second generations will complete in the fall.
So How Do I Keep These Little Invaders Out?
As a homeowner there are several things you can do to keep these pests at bay.
First, make a 2-foot vegetation free zone around the foundation of your home. This is most critical on the south and west sides where clover mites are most likely to invade. Stone or pea gravel are the best materials to use because they don’t retain moisture like mulch and they pose a physical barrier.
Second, don’t over water or over fertilize the lawn. Remember clover mites thrive in moist, thick grass. Let the grass dry between waterings.
Third, seal up gaps and cracks on the exterior. Look for access points around windows and doors. Seal gaps under siding and cracks that form between bricks as the mortar cracks over time.
What If Those Actions Aren’t Enough?
Sometimes even after everything you do to prevent these pests, the professionals still need to be called in. If the clover mites are migrating inside during the spring they are probably hatching out from inside the walls. A pest control professional will need to treat the home. There are several types of treatments that can be done at different times throughout the year that will help keep these pesky critters out.