In spite of their charming name, clover mites are considered a nuisance pest throughout many American households. They infiltrate our properties in very large numbers, sometimes causing patchy lawns and other times raiding our homes to hide out in cracks and crevices.
An individual clover mite may be as small as a pinhead, but an infestation can grow into the hundreds of thousands inside your home if not taken care of early on. Worse, if crushed, their tiny red bodies leave behind red stains that can damage lighter colored furniture, wall paper, carpeting, and artwork.
Are you dealing with an abundant amount of clover mites in your yard or home? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, we are going to talk more about clover mites, what they are, how you got them, and how to get rid of them once and for all.
What Are Clover Mites?
Clover mites are arachnids related to ticks and spiders.
Related to spiders and ticks, clover mites are eight-legged arachnids that are considered a nuisance pest throughout the United States. They are the largest of the mite family and are known to feed on over 200 species of plant life and vegetation.
Though they are some of the largest of the mite family, they are still very small. In fact, clover mites are often no bigger than the size of a pinhead.
For the most part, clover mites spend their time in overly fertilized lawns and gardens. They feed on a number of food sources including algae, moss and mold, as well as other plant life and vegetation. Clover mites are harmless to people and pets, though they can cause damage to plants and yards in very large numbers.
However, lawn damage is rare and clover mites generally go unnoticed in our lawns until the weather takes a turn or their food sources dry up.
It is then that these tiny creatures become overwhelming pests, entering homes to seek out other food sources and shelter. Luckily, clover mites are not considered long term pests and are not known to breed or lay eggs indoors.
This is good news when you learn that female clover mites can lay up to 70 eggs in her lifetime. While this may not seem like a large number compared to many other home-invading pests, considering that an entire colony of clover mites can contain over one hundred thousand mites, that’s a lot of eggs.
Newly hatched clover mites go through four life stages before becoming mature, and then the process begins again. If not taken care of, a clover mite infestation inside generally handles itself often with the pests dying or heading back outside once the conditions become ideal again.
Still, even if the infestation handles itself after a few weeks and even if clover mites are harmless, we’re pretty sure you don’t want them crawling around inside your home. But why do you have clover mites at all? What has attracted them to your lawn and, subsequently, into your house?
Let’s find out.
What Attracted Clover Mites To Your Home Or Yard?
As their name suggests, clover mites feed on clover and other vegetation
Clover mites are commonly found in overly fertilized lawns and gardens, as we mentioned above. They suck sap and live on food sources like algae, mold, and moss, but also feed on ivy, trees, grass and clover.
These critters certainly have it made out in your yard and often go unnoticed since they’re generally harmless to plants, people and pets. It’s once they get inside the house that they usually become a nuisance.
But why are clover mites inside your home?
While it is true that clover mites prefer to live outdoors and thrive in healthy lawns and gardens in cooler weather, once the temperatures take a turn they don’t like or their food source is removed, they will make their way inside your home.
Homes that have a perimeter closely lined with vegetation are often the easiest homes for clover mites to enter. Remember, these pests are as tiny as a pinhead and can enter through cracks and crevices barely visible to the naked eye.
Furthermore, clover mites aren’t too keen on travel. They typically live on or right next to their food sources. This means that, once the weather takes a turn or their food source dwindles away, they will move on in search of the next best thing. This is when your house becomes a target for a clover mite infestation.
The good news is that clover mites do not breed indoors. In fact, they will often die out from dehydration or starvation within a matter of days upon entering your home. Any survivors who make it through will head back outside once the weather becomes ideal again.
Since clover mites are not dangerous or unsanitary pests, some people choose to just wait them out and then move forward with preventative measures to keep clover mites from returning in the future.
However, if you would prefer to work on kicking clover mites out of your yard and home now, we have you covered. There are plenty of different methods and products you can use to control and eradicate clover mites and keep them from entering your home in the future.
But before we get into the best methods for getting rid of clover mites, let’s talk about how to identify a clover mite infestation below.
How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites – Identifying A Clover Mites Problem
Usually clover mites won’t damage your plants, but in very large infestations they can lead to lawn and garden damage like the patchy or yellow grass patches you see above.
There are many different types of mites in the US that cause problems for people, pets, and vegetation. Luckily, clover mites are not those mites.
Clover mites will likely go unnoticed in your garden or lawn unless a severe infestation breaks out. When this happens, lawns can die out in patches. However, usually the most common sign of clover mite activity is the physical sighting of them.
These pests are small, growing to be only 1/30th of an inch long. They have small red or brown bodies, eight legs, and are bright red or brown in color. Clover mites are often confused for chiggers and while they do look very similar, they do not bite humans and can be identified by their smaller size and longer forelegs.
Clover mites prefer cooler weather but will often infiltrate homes if their food source is eradicated or if the weather conditions take a turn that is not ideal to them.
Do you have clover mites? If so, keep an eye out for small, red “insects” crawling around on indoor surfaces. The most common places you’ll find clover mites once they are inside the home are around window sills, on the siding of your home where the sun shines, or along baseboards.
Still not sure if you’re dealing with clover mites?
The below video talks more about how to identify and take care of a clover mite infestation in and around your home.
If you see clover mites outside, don’t worry. They won’t hurt you and usually will not harm your vegetation. If you see them inside, still don’t panic. Remember, clover mites are completely harmless to you and your loved ones. That said, we still suggest refraining from squishing them.
When crushed, clover mites leave behind a bright red stain that is difficult to remove. For this reason, experts suggest vacuuming them up as you see them to avoid dealing with a difficult clean up.
How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites – Most Popular Methods
You can get rid of clover mites using a combination of natural ingredients, repellents, and insecticides.
Though clover mites are harmless and often leave on their own, most people don’t want their homes invaded by hundreds of thousands of spider-like pests.
Luckily, harsh remedies of removal and treatment are usually not needed and there are plenty of affordable, natural, and safe ways you can go about removing and preventing clover mites.
Some of the most common methods for getting rid of clover mites include natural repellents, home remedies, insecticides, and professionals.
Natural products and preventatives generally use plant-based ingredients that are safe for people, pets and the environment like essential oils and plant-based ingredients. Clover mites are sensitive and can be deterred by the overwhelming scent of peppermint oil and other botanicals.
That said, while you can buy commercial repellents and products to naturally get rid of clover mites, you can also get rid of them using home remedies. Many people choose to use products they already have in their homes to control and eradicate a clover mite infestation.
However, if you have tried using natural products and home remedies and still find you are battling a severe clover mite infestation, you may need to turn to insecticides. Though clover mites are not true insects, they can be eradicated quite effectively with the use of miticides and insecticides that control and reduce their population inside your home.
Last but not least, a professional may be called in to manage and reduce the number of clover mites on your property both inside and out, especially if you find you are dealing with an exceptionally large clover mite infestation.
But before you invest in a professional, we have some tips and methods you can use for clover mite control. We have even listed some of our favorite products for how to get rid of clover mites yourself. Let’s start with our favorite products for how to get rid of clover mites naturally below.
How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites Using Natural Products
Many natural products work just as effectively as insecticides to control a clover mite problem.
Like many pests, clover mites are sensitive to certain natural ingredients and organisms. There are so many different types of natural products you can use to not only control and reduce clover mites but also other pests using natural products that are safe for people, pets, and the environment and work just as effectively as insecticides or other chemical products.
Some of our favorite types of natural products for clover mite control use ingredients like essential oils, natural dusts and more.
Wondering which type of product would be right to protect your home from clover mites this fall and winter? We have listed five of our favorite natural products for how to get rid of clover mites below.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
First on our list for how to get rid of and control clover mites both inside and outside of your home is a product called Diatomaceous Earth. This is a natural dust insecticide made from fossilized algae that works by penetrating the pests exoskeleton, which dehydrates and kills them.
Diatomaceous Earth is completely safe to use inside the home and out and is harmless to people, pets and the environment. You can use it to get rid of and control mites inside while using it as a perimeter and garden dust to keep the population outside under control.
Wondercide Indoor Spray
For clover mites inside your home, we recommend using a product called Wondercide. You can spray this natural spray directly on clover mites to kill them on contact and the essential oils used in the ingredients will also help deter future clover mites from coming around as well.
Wondercide comes in a few different essential oil choices including lemon grass, peppermint oil, clove oil and cedar oil. For clover mites specifically, we suggest purchasing the peppermint oil spray and using it as often as you need to in order to get rid of and control indoor clover mites.
Wondercide Outdoor Garden and Perimeter Spray
Wondercide also offers an outdoor perimeter spray you can use to control the population of clover mites in your yard and garden. You can spray this natural insecticide directly on garden plants and it again is safe for people, pets and the environment.
The ingredients kill pests like clover mites on contact and can also help prevent them from entering your home when used correctly. Wondercide also helps prevent other pests from entering like roaches, spiders, ticks, fleas, and more.
Mighty Mint Insect Spray
Since clover mites are strongly deterred by peppermint, we recommend using Mighty Mint insect spray to help kill and control them inside your house. Mighty mint uses peppermint oil and other natural ingredients to repel not only cover mites but also spiders, fleas, mosquitoes, roaches and carpenter ants.
It is safe to use in the home with children and pets and you can use it in areas where food is stored and prepared like kitchens and pantries. You can also spray this directly on clover mites to kill them as you see them and vacuum them up to avoid the red stain left behind when they are squished.
Monterey All Natural Mite Insect Control
For a product specifically designed to control and eradicate mites naturally, we recommend using Monterey All Natural insect spray. This spray uses natural ingredients like essential oils including rosemary oil and peppermint oil to control insects like clover mites as well as other garden and vegetation-eating insects.
This product is safe for people, pets and the environment but it is best used outdoors and in spring and fall while clover mites are active and before they enter into your home.
Bonide Mite-X Inside/Outside Mite Killer
With a name like Mite-X, you already know this Bonide product is designed to help eradicate mites like clover mites, spider mites and more. It is a natural insecticide for mite control that you can use both inside your home and outside your home to prevent and eradicate large mite infestations.
It also helps to control other pests like aphids and thrips using organic and natural ingredients that are safe for people, pets and the environment like clove oil, garlic oil and more. It can be sprayed directly on house plants and garden plants and even works on edible plants like fruits and vegetables.
How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites Using Insecticides
Though they do contain chemicals and toxins, insecticides containing permethrin are considered some of the most effective for getting rid of clover mites.
Though it is true that clover mites are often easy to eradicate using natural ingredients, very large infestations can require a bit of a more intensive treatment and sometimes require the use of chemicals.
While insecticides are an effective form of pest control for both inside and outside your home, keep in mind that many insecticides contain ingredients that can be dangerous to people and pets and may also be harmful to the environment if not used correctly.
The chemicals considered to work best against clover mites are insecticides known as permethrin, bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, or diazinon.
That said, there are a few insecticides that work well for clover mites inside the home that you should give a try if you are suffering from a serious infestation. Take a look.
Ortho Home Defense Indoor Spray
Ortho Home Defense for indoor use is recommended for use on clover mites during very large infestations indoors. Since this spray is designed to be used inside the home, it is safe when used as directed and can effectively help kill and control mite infestations, roaches, spiders, sugar ants, and more.
It includes a spray wand to help you reach cracks and crevices where clover mites like to hide out, helping you to further eradicate them in problematic areas that are otherwise hard to reach.
That said, this spray does contain toxic chemicals and insecticides that can be harmful to people, pets and the environment if not used correctly.
Ortho Home Defense Insect Defense Cracks and Crevices
Another Ortho insecticide product that works to get rid of clover mites is this aerosol spray that is specifically made to reach cracks and crevices. It comes in a smaller can but is easier to use to get into much tighter spaces and is designed to reach clover mites, spiders, roaches, fleas, ticks, and ants.
It can last for up to 18 months depending on the pest you are trying to eradicate and is excellent for indoor use but can also be used outside your home and along the perimeter to defend your home from clover mites.
Control Solutions Permethrin SFR
Last, if you’re dealing with a very large clover mite infestation in or around your home, experts recommend using Permethrin SFR. Permethrin is an insecticide proven to work against clover mites and other pests like roaches and spiders, but it is meant to specifically be used outdoors.
While permethrin is a good insecticide to use in large insect infestations and to help keep clover mites from coming into your home, remember that it is also a toxic insecticide that can be dangerous to people, pets and the environment and should be used only as directed.
Best Home Remedies For How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites
Vacuuming clover mites is better than squishing them to avoid the red stain they leave behind.
We love do it yourself pest control remedies for how to manage a clover mite infestation in the home because they often save you time and money. Best of all, many of these home remedies, ingredients, and recipes are natural and safe to use around people and pets.
Are you wondering how to get rid of clover mites using ingredients you already have in your home pantry, refrigerator or medicine cabinet? Then take a look at these common ingredients, household items, and recipes you can use right where you are to get rid of these annoying pests.
If you see an abundance of clover mites inside your home, the first thing we suggest you do is go about vacuuming them up. Refrain from squishing them because, as we now know, doing so will leave behind a rust-colored stain that is hard to remove.
If you want to make your vacuum a bit more effective in handling clover mites, you can first sprinkle some Diatomaceous Earth powder on the ground or over the mites before sucking them up. The Diatomaceous Earth will help kill them once they are in the vacuum bag.
Wipe Them Up With A Wet Sponge or Towel
Along with using a vacuum to get rid of clover mites, you can also use a wet sponge or towel to wipe them up. For a bit of extra killing and cleaning power, you can add some white vinegar to the wet sponge.
However, make sure you wipe clover mites up gently so you don’t squish them as you go, because those red stains are seriously hard to get rid of, especially on lighter colored surfaces.
There are plenty of essential oils that pests hate, and peppermint oil is one of the most popular. Peppermint oil is also the most popular essential oil to use when it comes to getting rid of clover mites.
You can make your own peppermint oil spray for clover mites by adding ten drops of oil to two cups of water and mixing the solution in a spray bottle. Then spray this directly on clover mites and along windowsills, baseboards, and entry and exit points to keep clover mites at bay.
You can also soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and leave them around entry and exit points, windowsills, etc to help deter any future clover mites from entering your home.
Liquid Dish Soap Spray
Liquid dish soap is a popular pest control method many people use at home to kill and control nuisance pests because it works. Simply add a few drops of liquid dish soap to two cups of water into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the clover mites.
The dish soap will coat the clover mites and kill them. Then you can go about vacuuming or wiping them up as you see fit.
Baking soda is another safe DIY method we like for controlling and removing clover mites. Sprinkling a protective barrier of baking soda around the perimeter of your home can help repel clover mites from entering your property at all. Clover mites won’t pass the chalky substance because it is drying to their exoskeleton and can kill them.
Last, you can try using an alcohol spray. Use equal parts rubbing alcohol and mix it with equal parts water to create a spray that can kill clover mites instantly on contact. This spray can be dangerous to people and pets, however, so it should be used with caution. That said, once the alcohol spray is dry, it is harmless.
How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites – When To Call A Professional
If clover mites continue evading you and your methods of control, it may be time to call in the pros.
You won’t always need to contact a professional pest control expert to help with clover mites, but sometimes very serious infestations require more than natural repellents, home remedies, and even insecticides can offer.
If you find you are repeatedly dealing with clover mites inside and outside of your home and cannot seem to manage or control the problem using the above methods, a professional may be needed.
Most pest care experts cost between $100 to $500 depending on your region and the severity of your infestation. That said, while professional pest control is an effective and often quick way to solve problematic clover mites, it will not be permanent.
Once you have figured out how to manage your clover mite infestation, your next step should be to focus on taking preventative measures to keep them from coming back.
How To Prevent A Future Sugar Ant Problem In Your Home Or Yard
Though it may look pretty, homes with plants and flowers along the perimeter are more likely to suffer from clover mite infestations indoors.
Getting rid of clover mites usually isn’t too difficult, especially if you catch an infestation in the early stages. However, preventing a clover mite infestation and keeping their numbers under control in your yard is often much easier and less expensive than trying to find ways to get rid of them once they infiltrate your home.
The good news is that using preventative measures to keep clover mites out of your home can also help keep other pests from becoming a problem as well.
The most effective steps you can take to prevent a clover mite infestation from recurring in the future are listed below.
Keep Your Lawn Landscaped and Mowed
Clover mites feed on lush, long grasses, molds, algae, and other vegetation in your yard. For this reason, landscaping and keeping your lawn trimmed will help reduce a number of pests, including clover mites.
This may also help reduce the amount of moisture that stays in your lawn and will reduce mold, fungus, and other organic matter from forming that clover mites feast on.
Keep Vegetation At Least Three Feet From The Perimeter Of Your Home
All indoor clover mite infestations begin outdoors. Remember that clover mites aren’t heavy travelers and often stay right on or right beside their food sources. This means that if you are growing vegetation near your house that clover mites like, you are more likely to suffer an infestation when the weather takes a turn.
In order to keep clover mites and other pests like earwigs, crickets, mice, and ants from having easier access to your home, keep vegetation trimmed and tidy and at least three feet away from the perimeter of your house siding.
Seal and Caulk Gaps, Cracks and Crevices
Clover mites are very small, so caulking and sealing cracks and crevices may not be a full proof way of keeping these pests out of your house, but it can help.
Along with using a perimeter repellent product or natural spray containing essential oils to repel clover mites, we also suggest going around your home and checking for openings that pests like clover mites can get through. If you find them, seal them quickly.
Make Sure Windows and Doors Shut Securely
Gaps in doorways and tears in screens mean easy access to small pests like clover mites. They can also get in through ill-fitted screens as well, so make sure you are keeping up on necessary repairs around your home and that doors, windows and screens shut and seal completely to keep pests out.
Do Not Over-Fertilize Your Lawn or Garden
Clover mites are highly attracted to over-fertilized lawns because their food sources are most abundant in those conditions.
With that in mind, try and fertilize and water your lawn only as needed, and keep it properly landscaped to help keep clover mites at bay.
Plant Clover-Mite Repellent Plants In your Garden
While you may never be able to completely eradicate clover mites from your yard or lawn, you can help repel them. There are a few plants that deter clover mites, including:
That said, some of the above plants can be harmful to pets if ingested or even touched, so make sure you do your research before planting pest-repellent vegetation in your yard so you know how to keep your loved ones safe while defending your home against clover mites and other pests.
And remember, if worse comes to worse and you cannot get rid of clover mites completely using the above methods, these pests will often die out inside your home or move on to live outside again once the weather conditions become right.
When that happens, take that time to use the above preventative measures to keep them from coming back again next season.
We hope this article has been a helpful guide on how to get rid of and control problematic clover mites in your home and yard.
Best of luck and happy gardening!