Clover mites are so tiny that they’re easy to miss, and that’s one of the reasons they are such a problem. These bugs are extensive plant feeders that sometimes invade homes and quickly multiply if left unchecked. Learn what these red bugs are, the signs of an infestation, and how to treat clover mites indoors and in the garden.
Here’s a fun fact. Clover mites lay unfertilized eggs, which means no males are needed for the life cycle process. Although interesting, this means that a pair of clover mites is not necessary to reproduce and become a clover mite infestation. It’s vital to monitor for clover mite activity to keep these tiny red bugs from getting out of control and destroying indoor and outdoor plants.
A clover mite’s size and reproductive habits make it seem impossible to control the clover mite population, especially since this nuisance pest deposits its eggs in small cracks and crevices. However, there are home remedies for removing clover mites that are effective at keeping these insects from becoming an infestation.
- Ways to Eliminate and Prevent Clover Mites
- What Are Clover Mites?
- Common Signs of Clover Mites
- Using a Chemical Clover Mite Treatment
- Get Rid of Indoor Clover Mites
- Treating Clover Mites on Pets
- How to Treat Clover Mites With Boric Acid
- Baking Soda Eliminates Clover Mites
- Destroy Clover Mites With Diatomaceous Earth
- Keep Clover Mites Out of the Home
- Prevent a Clover Mite Infestation in the Yard
Ways to Eliminate and Prevent Clover Mites
The clover mite is a common pest that hangs out in lawn grass, outdoor plants, and houseplants, causing leaf damage. It’s essential to eliminate them as soon as you discover their activity. Learn how to get rid of these bugs using a variety of treatments and stop clover mite infestations indoors and outside.
What Are Clover Mites?
You may be familiar with the bed bug, flea, and spider mite, but what is a clover mite (Bryobia praetiosa), and is it harmful? Discover what this insect looks like, its life cycle, and habits to help you decide whether to call a pest control service or remedy the problem yourself.
Clover mites are tiny red oval-shaped bugs with eight legs and are one of the largest mites to infest plants. Clover mite adults lay up to 70 eggs at a time in masses or singly and live about two weeks. They are most active in early spring and fall when the temperatures are mild.
Clover mites suck the sap from leaves and are drawn to moisture, sometimes multiplying inside walls and other hidden areas. Unfortunately, smashing or crushing an adult clover mite leaves a red stain on surfaces, and it’s necessary to use an alternative treatment to eradicate them.
Common Signs of Clover Mites
The clover mite is very small, making it challenging to find in plants until it’s too late. Look for activity on the lawn and houseplants to determine if you have a clover mite infestation.
The damage from clover mites in house plants is similar to damage from soil mites. Discover more ways to get rid of soil mites in indoor plants by keeping your soil pest free.
A lawn with brown spots may result from clover mite damage, and the larger the infestation, the bigger the brown patches.
If they feed on garden or indoor plants, you may notice a small silver streak in an irregular pattern on flowers and leaves, eventually turning yellow, brown, and wilty. They tend to congregate on exterior walls on the sunny side of the house.
Using a Chemical Clover Mite Treatment
The most straightforward clover mite treatment is a chemical insecticide. While it’s not as good for the environment as a natural remedy, it’s convenient, especially if you’re not a DIY person. Find out which insecticides are most suitable for treating clover mites and how to apply them.
Clover Mite Insecticides
A pyrid aerosol or broadcast product is the best clover mite insecticide for outdoor and lawn applications. Wear protective gear if necessary, and spray around the perimeter of your property to deter the pests and in foundation wall cracks to keep them out of the house.
Use an indoor-safe insecticide, like diazinon, permethrin, chlorpyrifos, or bifenthrin, to eliminate mites in the house. Insecticide is also the best way to kill chiggers at home. Follow the directions and spray the bugs directly as you see them.
Get Rid of Indoor Clover Mites
The first thing you should do when performing clover mite treatment is to clean the house to remove adult mites and eggs. Eliminate clover mites without smashing the bugs, which leave behind red stains.
Start by vacuuming the rugs and carpets throughout the house, and use the hose attachment to clean upholstery. Vacuum under furniture and all the floors, walls, and windowsills to pick up mite eggs and adult mites. Empty the vacuum bag into a plastic trash bag and discard it in the outside garbage can.
Treating Clover Mites on Pets
While clover mites are not harmful to animals, there is a chance your beloved cat or dog can get mites caught in their fur and bring them indoors. Bathe your pet to remove mites and keep them from invading your home.
Fill a tub with comfortable water for your pet’s skin, and bathe your furry friend with water and insecticidal soap. Ensure it’s a pet-safe product; do not use traditional insecticides harmful to animals. If necessary, use a comb, rinse your pet with warm water, and dry them thoroughly with a towel.
How to Treat Clover Mites With Boric Acid
Boric acid is used in small quantities in detergents like Borax and is excellent for treating clover mites. Use either boric acid or Borax to eliminate pests on carpets, rugs, and upholstery.
Slip on rubber gloves to protect your hands, and sprinkle a layer of boric acid or Borax over the carpets, rugs, and furniture. Let it sit overnight, and vacuum up the powder and bugs in the morning. Keep pets excluded from the area to ensure they don’t track the powder throughout the house or try to consume it.
Baking Soda Eliminates Clover Mites
Sodium bicarbonate is an alternative for treating clover mites if you don’t have any boric acid. You probably have a box in your home; it’s commonly called baking soda. Get rid of mites with this natural powder.
Shake a box of baking soda powder on windowsills, doorways, and foundation cracks. Leave it for a few days before sweeping or vacuuming. The mites walk across the powder, which cakes on their small bodies, making it difficult to walk and find food.
Destroy Clover Mites With Diatomaceous Earth
The best organic treatment for clover mites is diatomaceous earth or DE. This naturally occurring powder kills many insects and is safe around kids and pets. Use DE powder to eliminate mites.
On a dry and calm day, use your hands to sprinkle diatomaceous earth over the affected areas of your lawn and garden to kill outside mites. Or, apply DE into cracks, crevices, and other entryways in and around the house to kill the pests as they try to make their way indoors. This method is also suitable for flea and bed bug control.
Keep Clover Mites Out of the Home
Clover mites are not as big a problem as fleas and bed bugs, but sometimes they gain access to your home and become a nuisance. Prevent clover mites from making their way inside your house.
The best way to keep mites from having access inside your living space is to remove their food source. Dig up weeds, grass, clover, and foliage located within two feet of your house.
Cover the area with pea gravel or crushed rock for weed control. If you grow new plants, avoid planting dandelion, clover, daffodil, salvia, primrose, and alyssum. Install weather stripping around doors and windows, inspect the perimeter of your home’s foundation, and use caulk to seal cracks.
Prevent a Clover Mite Infestation in the Yard
An overpopulation of clover mites in the yard causes havoc on grass and plants. It’s crucial to keep these tiny bugs in check. Follow a few easy tips to control the clover mite population and stop them from infesting your lawn and garden.
There are plants that clover mites love and those they hate, and planting mite-repellent plants around your yard leads them to seek better places to feed. Consider planting barberry, chrysanthemum, juniper, geranium, rose, petunia, jew, and zinnia.
Avoid overfertilizing your lawn, and use one that repels mites. Water dry grass areas thoroughly where clover mites lay eggs to stop them from hatching. Clean up leaf litter and wood piles promptly.
Clover mites are a common pest, and you often don’t even know they are a problem until you notice a red stain on the window sill and plant leaves.
While they are not harmful to humans like stinging insects, they weaken plants, making them susceptible to disease. Luckily, there are easy ways to keep clover mite populations in check with the proper clover mite control method.
Now that you understand how to treat clover mites and prevent mite damage to your plants, why not share our tips for eliminating clover mites with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook?