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Timothy J. Gibb, Extension Entomologist
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During spring many homes throughout the state have been invaded by very tiny red "BUGS" that crawl on the walls and curtains. These are clover mites and can become an annoying household pest, 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.
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 or cause any damage indoors, but are extremely annoying and will leave a red stain when crushed. 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 foundation walls, beneath siding, and around window frames.
Clover mites are most abundant in the spring and fall and are relatively inactive during the hot summer months and again during cold weather. They will 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.
Once inside a home, clover mites are difficult to control. Although those present can be killed with certain sprays, more are likely to show up. Thus, prevention is better than cure--that is, keeping the mites from ever entering the home. Following are preventive and control measures that have proven to be effective.
Plant and Pest Digital Library and Digitally Assisted Diagnosis, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.