Bright red stains around the house may be an indicator of clover mites. Clover mites are tiny insects about 1/30 to one-inch long that start out red then turn brown upon maturing. They are part of the tick family, but they pose no threat to pets or humans.
However, they can be a nuisance to plants and crops. Follow these tips to get rid of clover mites.
Prepare to Do Pest Control
To get rid of the bugs, you will need:
- work gloves
- sponge or wet towel
- double-sided sticky tape
- vacuum and attachments
- crevice tool
- bug-repelling plants (petunia, geraniums, junipers, or roses)
- dust, baking soda, or baby powder
- boric acid (optional)
Learn where they like to hide. Clover mites may gather on roofs with algae or mold, or on tree bark. If you find them near sewers, in cracks, or on siding, they are likely in your home. Fix leaky roofs and damaged siding.
Control Clover Mites Outside
To control clover mites on the outside, don't overwater or overfeed lawns. Overwatering and using too much mulch or fertilizer often causes mold and algae, which attracts them.
Keep weeds and grass cut within two feet of the house foundation, especially on the east, south, and south-west corners. Plant roses, junipers, petunias, geraniums, and marigolds around the yard to repel the bugs.
Remove Bugs Inside
If you notice clover mites on indoor plants, treat them with an organic pesticide like neem oil. You likely have them on your lawn, too, so treat it as well. Dilute the pesticide according to directions, and treat the entire lawn during early morning.
Another natural mite-control product is boric acid, a laundry powder made from volcanic rocks. Its non-toxic nature makes it safe to sprinkle on carpets, around entrances, on windowsills, and on plants.
If you find clover mites inside, don't stomp or crush them because they can stain the surface. Dampen a paper towel or sponge, and scoop them up by hand or vacuum the mites. Place a layer of double-sided sticky tape on windowsills and crevices, and replace the tape when it gets full.
Block entrances around the home and windowsills with dust, baking powder, or baby powder to reduce their ability to get in the house. Baking soda and baby power causes the bugs to dehydrate. Using rocks as a barrier seldom works since they can crawl over them.
Fix cracks in screens with a repair kit, and seal holes in walls. Window screens should be tight around the window.
If you need help getting rid of the clover mites, call an experienced and professional pest control service.