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What Are Clover Mites?

Posted by: Cooper Pest

Most homeowners first notice clover mites when they catch them moving around quickly in large numbers that seem to pop up overnight. 


What do clover mites look like?

This dark reddish brown pest, which is smaller than a pinhead, does not pose a threat to human health or cause major damage to homes, but it can be a severe nuisance when it invades structures.  Are these crawling red spots really something to worry about? It’s a common question that residents in New Jersey and Pennsylvania ask. Read this quick guide to learn more about clover mites and their potential impact on your property.

Clover Mite Infestation

Photo Credit: NPMA

Where do clover mites come from?

Clover mites are small pests, widely found throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Our particular region in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is susceptible to clover mites each year. All clover mites are females, meaning that they hatch from unfertilized eggs. Each female lays an average of 70 eggs in the spring when the weather warms up, before it gets hot in the summer, to lay dormant over the winter. Clover mite activity increases as temperatures start to drop, during which time they pay homage to their name by feasting on clovers, over-fertilized grass and many other plants. In fact, clover mites eat more than 200 different plant species, including some flowers. Their activity peaks in the cooler, early spring months when they can become the greatest nuisance to homeowners – so be prepared to see clover mites en masse this time of year.

Clover mites crawling on wet wood between concrete slabs


Do clover mites bite?

Clover mites are not aggressive towards humans and will not bite. When an army of clover mites enter your home, it can seem intimidating, but in reality, they will quickly die off. Human-made structures are not conducive to clover mite breeding and living with the lack of direct sunlight and moisture.

Clover mites are not wood-destroying pests nor do they cause structural damage to homes. The harm they cause is towards your house plants, yard, and other outdoor vegetation. Clover mites eat leaves and various types of flowers, leaving behind what looks like streaky gray marks. In the case of large populations, clover mites can destroy grass, leaving behind dry patches as shown in the photo below.

Clover Mite Damage

Evidence of clover mite damage      Photo Credit: University of Nebraska – Lincoln


How can I prevent clover mites?

Because clover mites are turf pests, they thrive on moisture and plant materials. To avoid clover mite infestations, use these tips to reduce moisture and prevent clover mite activity at your home.

  • Keep grass at least 6 inches away from the foundation of your home.
  • Regularly clean leaf litter from around your home, paying attention to areas such as wells around windows.
  • Clean around areas such as river rocks used for landscaping that touch your home.

Clover Mites In Landscaping

Large river rocks can trap moisture                                                    Photo Credit: http://www.sabialandscaping.com

  • Trim back landscaping and vegetation that touches your home. Clover mites can use branches or leaves as a bridge to climb from plants to your home.
  • Seal the gaps around window frames and door ways to close up potential entry points.
  • Speak with your landscaper. There are specific fertilizers that clover mites prefer to feed on, and some that can help repel them.

Due to the small size of clover mites, it’s impossible to completely prevent them from entering your home. There are tiny cracks and crevices that you might not be able to see where they can squeeze into. However, taking precautions can greatly reduce the risk of infestation.


Cooper Can Help

Clover mite treatments are highly effective and will quickly reduce their populations in and around your home within 24-48 hours.

One-Time Clover Mite Remediation

When a Cooper technician visits your home, they will inspect to determine the source of the existing clover mite activity. A typical service involves treating about 1 foot up and 2 feet out from the exterior of your home to both stop existing and prevent additional clover mites from entering. They will pay special attention to window areas where lots of small entry points can exist. Your technician may also indicate areas that you can take care of yourself in the future such as removing leaf litter from wells around windows.


Home Traditional Program

Cooper’s Home Traditional Program is a yearly general maintenance program that proactively protects your home against over 20 common household pests such as spiders, crickets, mice, stinging insects, and ants. Clover mite services can be added to the Home Traditional Program on request. This program includes quarterly services and inspections to target the prevention of seasonal pests. Unlimited service calls are provided along with our signature WOW service.


Home Intensive Program

Cooper’s Home Intensive Program is also a yearly general maintenance service that encompasses all of the features and benefits of the Home Traditional Program, and more. Clover mites services can be added to the Home Intensive Program on request. This program includes the sealing of cracks and crevices around your home that provide pests with a potential entry point into your home. There are also additional pests covered such as fleas, hornets, grain pests, silverfish, and structures on your property such as mailboxes, play sets, pool houses, and storage sheds.

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