Last Updated on February 26, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Clover mites, also called concrete mites, are small oval-shaped arachnids with 8 legs. Fully grown, a clover mite is a little smaller than a pinhead and has a red to reddish-brown coloring.
Clover mites are usually found in the garden and feed on lawn plants. These tiny critters are difficult to see with the naked eye and when crushed, they can leave a red stain on your furniture, floor, walls and other surfaces.
Are Clover Mites Harmful to Humans or Property?
Clover mites are not dangerous to human health. They do not bite like chiggers and other mite species or suck your blood. They do not cause any damage to your property or destroy clothing, furniture and foodstuff; however, if left unchecked they can invade your home and become a huge nuisance.
If crushed, clover mites leave behind red stains (their pigment not blood) on your furniture, wallpaper, carpets, rugs, walls, floors, etc. Clover mites feed on plants and derive their nutrition from plant juices.
They feed on plants, flowers, clovers, over-fertilized grass, and other vegetation and in large numbers, can cause a lot of damage to your garden.
If clover mites invade your home, they will eventually die when they don’t find any plant matter to feed on. However, they may thrive in areas such as patios, rooftops, etc. where there are sources of food available for them such as algae, mold and mildew.
Why Do I Have a Clover Mite Problem?
Your yard probably offers a favorable environment for clover mites to build their nest and thrive. When this occurs, you can see uneven patches of grass on your well maintained lawn and you may even see clover mites on the fences, the exterior of your home, on the concrete and even inside your home.
Thick shrubbery and vegetation around your home are perfect for clover mites. They do well in cooler weather and their activity peaks as the temperatures drop. Clover mite populations peak in spring and early fall, when the plants in your garden are thriving.
Clover mites flourish in well-fertilized lawns and can enter your home via the cracks and crevices in the windows and doors. Because they are so tiny, clover mites can enter through the tiniest of gaps. They can get into your home through the opening by climbing the home siding and get into the attic and upper levels of your home.
How to Get Rid of Clover Mites?
There are many home remedies and techniques that you can use to get rid of clover mites such as:
Remove the Clover Mites Manually
Although the clover mites are tiny, you can spot them moving around because of their color. You can simply use a vacuum cleaner for clover mite control because if crushed, they will leave a red stain on all the surfaces. This is a good method to clear clover mites; however, this won’t get rid of them permanently.
Sponge the Area
In a cup of water mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Using a sponge, wipe across the tables, walls, chairs, concrete and other surfaces. This will help to kill the mites and remove them. The fragrance of the soap will also act as a repellent to prevent the mites from coming back.
You could also add some essential oils to the mixture for a lasting fragrance that repels naturally. However, while wiping the surfaces with the sponge, take care not to press too hard, or you will end up with streaks of red and a huge mess where the mites are crushed, which will be very difficult to clean.
Boric acid kills clover mites and can help to eliminate them. Sprinkle the boric powder in all the common areas in and around your home. The mites are repelled by the boric acid and act as a barrier and help to keep the clover mites out.
You can sprinkle the boric acid powder along the perimeters of the rooms, rugs, carpets, under the appliances, couches, on windowsills, patio doors, door gaps, walls, around the yard fence, outdoor furniture, around the foundation and around the perimeter of your home.
However, you must reapply the boric acid frequently because it can get washed away by the rain or blown away by the wind.
Mix some white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the clover mites or any surface infested with the mites. You can spray the mixture on your lawn, which can help to kill any clover mites that may be hiding in the grass.
However, since vinegar is highly acidic, you should test out the mixture on a small area before spraying it on the entire lawn.
Mix a few drops of dishwashing detergent in water and fill in a spray bottle. Spraying the mixture over the clover mites will suffocate and kill them. Remove the clover mites using a vacuum cleaner or a microfiber cloth. Take care not to crush them or they will leave red streaks behind.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural mite repellent and you can purchase pure, food-grade DE and sprinkle it in strategic locations around your garden and home.
The DE creates a barrier that clover mites will not walk across and this will prevent them from entering your yard. You can also place the DE under the doors to prevent the mites from entering the rooms in your home.
Baby powder acts as a very good deterrent for clover mites. Simply sprinkle the talc in the perimeter and corner of the rooms. You can also line the bed frame and mattress with baby powder to prevent the mites from crawling up the bedpost into your bed.
What Is the Most Effective Prevention?
Any thick vegetation around your home can be an entry point for clover mites and the best way by which you can prevent clover mite infestation is to remove all the plants and thick vegetation that may attract them. Remove an 18-24-inch band of vegetation around your home.
Inspect the structure of your home including window frames, siding and foundation and check for cracks and crevices which may act as entry points for the mites. Make sure to seal all these spaces properly to prevent clover mites from entering your home or laying eggs.
Does Baking Soda Kill Clover Mites?
Baking soda does not kill clover mites; however, it is an excellent way by which you can restrict the clover mites to a specific area naturally and prevent them from entering your home.
If you notice clover mites in your yard or garden, you can use baking soda in a boxed pattern, bordering your yard. This will help to lock the mites in the area, which you can then deal with and also prevent new mites from entering.
Sprinkling baking soda around window sills, under doors and around the room can also help to keep the clover mites under control, allowing you to manage them more easily.
Using Bifen IT
If you have a clover mite infestation and have exhausted all the natural and home remedies that we have discussed earlier, then you may have to use chemical controls like Bifen IT to solve the mite problem. You can apply the Bifen IT from the lower foundation exterior walls of your home to the window of the 1st floor.
The area of lawn around the house of 10 to 20 feet (3m – 6.1 m) must also be sprayed. For proper results, you must spray thoroughly. Using a sprayer will help to make the job easier and also the application will be consistent. You must spray until the foundation, walls up to the runoff and also the vegetation is completely wet.
You will require around 15 to 20 gallons of finished Bifen IT for every 1,000 sq. ft. area to be covered. Using a vacuum cleaner, pick up all the dead and live clover mites without crushing them to prevent staining and then the vacuum bag should be disposed of.
What Plants Attract Clover Mites?
Clover mites mainly feed on the vegetation growing on lawns and the most common plants that attract the mites are clovers, flowers, lawn grass, weeds, trees, ornamental plants and shrubs. They love full and over-fertilized grass.
Even if there is no vegetation, clover mites can survive by eating fungi, mildew, mold and other types of organic matter.
While clover mites do not kill their host plants because in small numbers, they do not cause a lot of damage; however, if the infestation is very large, then the damage can be significant. You will notice the plants wilting, drooping, yellowing or having stunted growth.
The lawn may have uneven patches, brown or darkened patches and yellowing vegetation where there is a concentration of clover mites. Clover mites may not damage turf grass, but the grass can be stunted in their growth and even turn gray.
Where Do Clover Mites Lay Eggs?
The eggs of clover mites are tiny, red colored and spherical shaped. The female clover mites lay around 70 eggs in places such as under the tree bark, foundation walls, cracks of fence posts and other protected areas with sufficient exposure to the sun, overwintering them during the cool months and protecting them from the freezing temperatures of the winter months, as well as from the summer heat.
The eggs that are laid in spring are usually dormant during the summer months, and they then hatch during fall.
Signs of Clover Mite Infestation
Clover mites are so tiny that they can be quite difficult to spot. Tiny dots of the red bugs hanging around in your plants and grass or mites crawling on the siding and window sills of your home indicate clover mite infestation.
You can also find large populations of clover mites near foundations of buildings or areas like tree trunks, windows, walls, etc. that offer safe places to hide. Usually, clover mites invade your home during the colder months seeking shelter and warmth so it’s a good idea to check the entry points around your home such as windows, doors, cracks in the wall, vents, etc.
If you have plants inside your home, then check for clover mites around the potted plants. If you’re unable to spot the mites, then look for red stains that may be left in curtains, rugs, furniture, walls, etc. This is a sign that the mites have been active in the area.
How Can I Prevent Clover Mite Infestations in the Future?
If you have taken steps to eliminate clover mites from your property, then you must ensure that they don’t return. Here are some preventive measures that you can take to prevent the clover mites from returning and re-establishing themselves in your home:
- Keep the perimeter of your home free of grass, remove weeds and other vegetation to keep clover mites away.
- Avoid over-fertilizing your plants, because this provides additional nutrients and attracts clover mites into your garden.
- Avoid over-watering your plants because the stagnant water makes the soil very soft and erodes surfaces that encourage clover mites to build their nest.
- Mow the lawn and trim the thick vegetation, prune tree branches and shrubs around your home to prevent clover mites.
- Seal all entry points into your home such as doors and windows. Repair, caulk or replace all the portions which may serve as entry points to these pests.
- Use tightly fitting screens on the windows to keep clover mites and other pests out.
- Use sticky tape to trap the clover mites by applying the tape in areas such as doors, windows, walls and other entry points. The clover mites will stick to the sticky tape, get trapped and die.
- Dig a strip of 24 inches (0.61 m) at least around your home that is free of any vegetation or plant matter. Fill this with dry soil, coarse sand, pebbles, pea gravel, lava rock, marbles, wood chips or landscape rocks, which will help to prevent the clover mites from entering your garden or home.
If you have a clover mite infestation, don’t panic. They can be controlled; however, it requires effort and patience. If one technique does not work, don’t give up.
You may have to use multiple remedies to get rid of the mites effectively. And, if all the remedies don’t work in controlling and getting rid of the clover mites from your home, then it may be time to call a professional pest control specialist to do the job.