On warm sunny days in the spring and fall, when the light hits just right, you might see them—swarms of clover mites sunning themselves on the side of your house or on your windowsills. These tiny red bugs are considered a nuisance pest. While they pose no danger to you, your pets, or the structural integrity of your home, there is no question that these creepy crawlies are unwanted guests. Here is what you need to know about clover mites in the St. Louis, Missouri area.
Identifying Clover Mites
Fully grown clover mites are tiny red bugs the size of a pinhead. They have eight legs—the front two of which are long and antennae-like—but these are not visible to the naked eye. The bugs are only easy to spot because they tend to gather in large numbers, with their bright red pigmentation causing crowds of them to stand out. When crushed, they leave behind a red stain, so you need to be careful when handling an infestation.
Mite Life Cycle
The mites are active throughout spring and fall in ST. LOUIS, when temperatures are in the 70s. They live in or near their food source: grassy areas with clover. Female mites reproduce without a mate through a process known as parthenogenesis, which means there are actually no known male mites. When it is time to lay their eggs, the female mites will crawl into cracks and crevices in your home to find a safe place. You will often experience an infestation when the eggs hatch months later and begin crawling around your house. Though individual mites only live for a few weeks, you may find the invasion lasts all season because multiple generations hatch every year.
Treatment for Clover Mites in St. Louis, Missouri
Once you notice an infestation in your home, you will want to take immediate action to remove them. Never crush or swat these bugs, however, unless you want red stains all over your home. One of the cleanest, most effective methods for removing the mites is with a vacuum, though you need to seal and dispose of the vacuum bag immediately upon completing the job. Call an experience pest removal specialist in the ST. LOUIS area to learn what spray treatment options are available as well during the mites’ active period.
Clover Mite Prevention
Getting rid of the initial infestation is not enough; there are several key preventative steps you need to take to ensure they do not come back. First, close off all potential entry points, being as thorough as possible. Because these mites are so small, however, you cannot rely on this method alone. Another preventative step you can take is to create a non-grass barrier between the foundation of your home and lawn. This can be left bare, filled with gravel, or planted with flowers or shrubs that do not attract mites like zinnia, roses, spruce, and others.
Are you facing a clover mite infestation in the ST. LOUIS area? Call McCarthy Pest & Termite Control today!