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clover mite

Introduction

Clover mites are can be found living throughout the entire United States. They are a nuisance pest that can invade homes (especially in the fall and spring) in large numbers. Clover mites are a type of true mite, not an insect. They are close relatives of both spiders and ticks.

Recognition

Clover mites are tiny in size. They are no bigger than the size of a pinhead. Their oval shaped wingless body has four pairs of legs. Under a microscope you can see that their front legs are much larger than the other pairs of legs. Typically clover mites are red in color although some can be a more greenish brown color.

Biology

Clover mites are a species that reproduce parthenogentically, or without fertilization. Only female clover mites exist, there are no mites that are considered to be male. Each female clover mite lays eggs throughout the summer and fall. These eggs and some adults overwinter in dry and safe locations. In the spring when the weather warms to above freezing the eggs hatch and develop into adults. These adults continue the life cycle by eating and laying their eggs once again to develop into the next generation.

Damages

Clover mites are plant feeders and feed on clover, grasses, plants, and weeds. Large numbers of clover mites can damage lawns and plants. Clover mites are not a dangerous pest because they do not bite or sting people or pets. They can however, become quite a nuisance inside homes in the spring when there may be a lot of newly hatched adults crawling in, on, or around homes. Once again the fall they move back into your home in order to find a safe warm spot to overwinter in. Inside of homes clover mites can stain rugs, clothing, furniture, and curtains if they become squashed on them.

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Prevention

One of the best ways to prevent problems with clover mites is to make sure that you have a stone barrier that is at least 18 inches between your home’s foundation and any grass or mulch. You should also seal any gaps in the foundation or exterior walls of your home. Repair any crevices or cracks around windows and doors. If clover mites do enter your home the best way to remove them is with a vacuum cleaner.

Control

The experienced professionals at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions area ready to help you resolve infestations of clover mites and other pests. We do so by performing perimeter treatments with an appropriately labeled pesticide. It is important to note that the pesticides need to be placed before the summer inactivity period begins.

Source

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/mites/clover_mite.htm

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/clover-mites

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