The Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

What's Hot at the P&PDL for
April 30, 2010

Clover Mites in the Home

Tim Gibb, Insect Diagnostician, Department of Entomology, Purdue University

Clover mites can become annoying household pests, especially in and around homes where new lawns are being established or where there’s a heavy growth of well-fertilized grass close to foundation walls.

Clover mites feed on grasses, clovers and certain other plants in the lawn and around the home. They often crawl into cracks and crevices to molt and lay eggs. Typical “hiding places” are under the loose bark of trees, on foundations walls, beneath siding and around window frames.

Clover mites are most abundant in the fall and spring and are relatively inactive during the hot summer months and again during cold weather. They migrate into homes either when population pressure becomes too great or when feeding conditions become unfavorable, such as the onset of hot or cold weather.

The mites are very tiny creatures (smaller than a pin head) and may occur in countless numbers. They usually appear first around windows, but later may overrun the entire home. They do not bite people nor cause any damage indoors, but are extremely annoying and may leave a red stain when crushed.

Probably the best way to clean them up indoors is to vacuum them up and dispose of the bag or clean out the dirt container immediately afterward.

Click image to enlarge

Clover mite

Clover mite by penny for size comparison

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service