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Clover Mites Q & A

4/15/2010 12:00:00 AM
Clover Mites Q & A

“Last week, I started seeing hundreds of tiny bugs on my window sills. What are they?”

They arrive in great numbers in the early spring, entering homes through doors and windows, where they quickly become a nuisance. Clover mites are reddish-brown arachnids (not bugs), smaller than the head of a pin, and usually feed on clover, grasses, algae, or mold. Their invasion of a structure is usually accidental. Once inside, they will soon die, but the steady migration of mites into a home can quickly turn into an ongoing problem. A female can lay about seventy eggs, which hatch when the temperature is between 40 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

“I live in a three-story house, and am finding them on all three floors. Are they coming in at the ground level, and traveling upward through the house?

No, clover mites can climb the outside wall of the house, and enter through windows, doors, or other gaps at any point.

“What if they bite my child and/or pet?”

The good news is that clover mites, while annoying, are not dangerous. They do not feed off of people or pets, do not infest pantries, and do not damage structures. Usually, they congregate on window sills, and prefer warm, sunny areas, which is why they often appear on the south side of a house.

“I tried to clean off a sill, and smashed some of the mites. They left behind a red residue. Is this blood? Is it safe to touch?”

The residue left behind when a mite’s body is smashed is not blood; it is simply its natural pigmentation. Unlike bed bugs or mosquitoes, clover mites are not blood feeders.

“Why are they here? What attracts clover mites?”

Clover mites are attracted to well-fertilized lawns, particularly those in large, new housing developments. A home on a golf course is more likely to be afflicted with clover mites than a home in town, surrounded by paved streets.

“What can I do to get rid of them?”

Clover mites can be cleaned up with a wet, soapy rag, or with a vacuum cleaner. Keep the lawn trimmed, and don’t allow grass to grow up around the foundation of the home. In fact, beddings of gravel, sand, or wood chips can be very helpful in deterring clover mites from entering the structure.

“What can Brasure’s do to get rid of them?”

Brasure’s Pest Control treats clover mites with an indoor-outdoor pesticide application. Window sills and problem areas are treated inside, while a chemical barrier is sprayed around the perimeter of the home. This residual treatment will eliminate current mite infestations, as well as prevent future ones. The best times to spray are in the spring and fall. Clover mites are also covered by our year-round Premium Protection Program.

For more information about clover mites, or Brasure’s treatment programs, feel free to contact us at 302-436-8140.

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