Clover Mites: Identification, Damage, Prevention and Control

Clover mites are tiny arachnids that belong to the spider mite family. These minuscule pests, measuring only about 1/30th of an inch in length, are often reddish-brown in color. While they may not pose significant harm to humans, clover mites can become a nuisance when they invade homes and gardens in large numbers. Understanding these creatures and knowing how to manage their infestations is crucial for maintaining a pest-free environment.

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of clover mites, exploring their characteristics, habits, and the steps you can take to prevent and control their presence. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of clover mites and the tools necessary to combat their infestations effectively.

Clover mites are particularly relevant to homeowners and gardeners who want to protect their properties from potential damage. We will examine the signs of clover mite infestations, methods to identify and differentiate them from other pests, as well as explore the various prevention and control measures available. Additionally, we will discuss the implications of clover mites on human health, debunk common misconceptions, and provide guidance on safe handling techniques.

Whether you’re already dealing with a clover mite problem or simply want to be prepared, this article will equip you with the knowledge and resources needed to address these pesky invaders effectively. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of clover mites and discover the best strategies to keep them at bay.

Clover mites

What are clover mites?

Infestations of clover mites are most prevalent during cool seasons. Do moving red dots appear on your living room or bathroom wall? Those are clover mites. They are also known as “walking dust specks.” Occasionally they are observed in groups. You may also find them in your garden or lawn if you look closely.

Bryobia praetiosa is the scientific name of clover mite. They belong to the Tetranychidae family. The Bryobia praetiosa are parthenogenetic (eggs are fertilized without mating).

Clover mites cannot fly because mites lack wings. However, they, like some other mites, can spread by wind. The larval stage of clover mites resembles bugs but lacks wings.

Why clover mites are red?

Clover mites do not have hemoglobin. They do not drink human or animal blood. This red color is caused by pigmentation in their body. When you smash them, you will see red fluid oozing from their bodies.

Are clover mites always indoor pests?

Clover mites are pests that live indoors. They can be found in your living room, kitchen, bathroom, or storage room. However, unlike indoor spiders and bed bugs, they only seek refuge in your home during seasons when they cannot survive outside.

Bryobia praetiosa or Clover mites can be found on walls, furniture, and even carpets and beds. They come from the vegetation around your house. They come to your house for shelter during certain seasons of the year, mostly in the spring. They migrate from weeds to your home in order to survive harsh environmental conditions.

Bryobia praetiosa migrate from the host plants to your house in large numbers when the temperature outside is too cool or too hot, or to avoid heavy rain. These red mites are so small that they can fit through a tiny opening in a window corner.

Clover mites will invade your home when the population is at its peak in early summer and late spring. They mostly stay on weeds otherwise.

Damage caused by clover mites

While clover mites do not directly threaten human health, they can cause damage to plants and become a nuisance when they invade homes in large numbers. Understanding the potential harm they can inflict is crucial in determining appropriate measures for prevention and control.

1. Plant damage:

Clover mites feed on plant sap by piercing the plant tissues with their mouthparts. This feeding behavior can result in several visible signs of damage, including:

  • Yellowing or browning of leaves: Clover mites can cause foliage to discolor and wither due to their feeding activities, leading to an unhealthy appearance.
  • Stunted growth: Infested plants may experience reduced growth rates and fail to reach their full potential.
  • Distorted or deformed leaves: In some cases, clover mite feeding can cause leaves to become misshapen or develop abnormal growth patterns.
  • Wilting or premature leaf drop: Severe infestations can cause leaves to wilt, dry out, and fall prematurely from the affected plants.

2. Household nuisance:

Clover mites may invade homes in large numbers, especially during hot and dry periods when they seek shelter and moisture. While they do not bite or spread diseases, their presence can be bothersome for homeowners. Some issues associated with clover mite infestations indoors include:

  • Staining: When crushed, clover mites can leave behind reddish-brown stains on surfaces such as walls, furniture, and fabrics.
  • Crawling sensations: The tiny mites crawling on floors, walls, or furniture can create an uncomfortable sensation for individuals living in infested homes.
  • Entry points and gaps: Clover mites can enter buildings through small cracks, gaps, or poorly sealed windows, highlighting potential areas for structural vulnerability.

It is important to note that clover mites are considered more of a nuisance than a destructive pest. However, if their populations become excessive or they repeatedly infest plants or homes, it is advisable to take appropriate action to minimize their impact. In the following sections, we will explore how to identify clover mite infestations and differentiate them from other similar pests.

Identifying Clover Mite Infestations

Identifying a clover mite infestation is crucial for implementing effective control measures. By being able to distinguish clover mites from other pests, you can take appropriate actions to manage their presence. Here are some key indicators to help you identify a clover mite infestation:

  • Appearance and size: Clover mites are tiny arachnids, measuring about 1/30th of an inch in length. They have a reddish-brown color, which can vary depending on their feeding activity and life stage. When crushed, they may leave behind a characteristic reddish stain.
  • Seasonal patterns: Clover mites are most active during cooler months, especially in spring and fall. They tend to become more noticeable when they gather in large numbers on surfaces such as walls, windowsills, or outdoor plants.
  • Habitat preferences: Clover mites typically inhabit lawns, gardens, and areas with lush vegetation. They often gather near clover patches, grass, or other plants they feed on. When they invade homes, they seek moisture and can be found near windows, on walls, or crawling on floors.
  • Movement and behavior: Clover mites move in a distinctive pattern known as “clover mite crawling,” characterized by their slow and deliberate movements. They tend to cluster together in large groups and move in a coordinated manner.
  • Staining and residue: Clover mites can leave behind reddish-brown stains on surfaces when crushed or squashed. Look for these stains on walls, windowsills, furniture, or other areas where they have been active.
  • Inspection of plant damage: If you notice signs of plant damage such as wilting, yellowing, or distorted leaves, closely examine the affected plants. Look for the presence of tiny, reddish-brown mites crawling on the leaves, stems, or buds.

It’s essential to differentiate clover mites from other pests that may resemble them, such as spider mites, chiggers, or other small arthropods. Spider mites, for example, are more likely to be found on the undersides of leaves and produce webbing. If you are uncertain about the pest you are dealing with, consult with a professional or a local extension service for accurate identification.

You can confidently identify their presence by familiarizing yourself with clover mites’ physical characteristics, behavior, and habitat preferences. In the next section, we will explore the distinctions between clover mites and other similar pests to help you accurately identify and address the infestation.

Differentiating Clover Mites from Other Similar Pests

When dealing with tiny pests, it is important to identify the culprit and implement appropriate control measures accurately. Here are some key points to help you differentiate clover mites from other similar pests:

Illustration of a clover mite and a spider mite
Clover Mite vs. Spider Mite

1. Spider Mites:

Spider mites are often mistaken for clover mites due to their size and appearance. However, there are a few notable distinctions:

Location: Spider mites are commonly found on the undersides of leaves, where they create fine webbing. Clover mites, on the other hand, are more likely to be found crawling on surfaces such as walls, windows, or floors.

Color: While clover mites are reddish-brown, spider mites can vary in color, including green, red, or yellow. Spider mites may appear speckled or have a translucent appearance.

Feeding behavior: Spider mites feed on plant sap, similar to clover mites. However, spider mites often cause more noticeable damage, such as yellowing, stippling, and webbing on leaves.

2. Chiggers:

Chiggers are another pest that can be mistaken for clover mites due to their small size and reddish appearance. However, there are distinguishing factors:

Habitat and behavior: Chiggers are typically found in outdoor areas with tall grass, brush, or dense vegetation. They are known to bite humans and animals, causing itchy and irritating welts. Clover mites, on the other hand, do not bite and are not a threat to human health.

Lifecycle: Chiggers have a complex life cycle that involves parasitizing hosts in their larval stage. They are not typically found crawling on surfaces like clover mites.

3. Other arthropods:

  • It’s essential to consider other pests resembling clover mites, such as springtails, booklice, or tiny beetles. Carefully observe their physical characteristics, behavior, and habitat preferences to identify the pest in question accurately.

If you are uncertain about the pest identification or need assistance, consider contacting a pest control professional or contacting your local extension service. They can provide expert guidance and help you determine the best course of action based on the specific pest you are dealing with.

By understanding the distinctions between clover mites and other similar pests, you can make informed decisions regarding pest control and implement targeted strategies for effective management. In the following sections, we will explore prevention, control measures, and removal methods to help you combat clover mite infestations.

Prevention and Control Measures

Preventing and controlling clover mite infestations requires a comprehensive approach that combines both proactive measures and targeted interventions. By implementing the following prevention and control strategies, you can significantly reduce the chances of clover mites invading your home or garden:

To control clover mites (Bryobia praetiosa) some collective outdoor and indoor controlling strategies are required.

  • Destroy their host plants. As well as controlling weeds check for mites on the desired plants also. Check your ornamental/vegetable/fruit plants or grasses in your garden, yard or lawn and destroy the mites found on them.
  • Overwatering or over-fertilizing will make grasses, herbs and shrubs more tender to facilitate clover mite’s population growth. So, make proper use of water and fertilizer to control these tiny mites.
  • High-pressure water flow towards mite-infested vegetation is sometimes effective.
  • Keep a distance between the vegetation of the yard, lawn, or garden from your house. The distance maybe 0.5 to 1 meter.
  • Grow plants around your house that do not attract clover mites.
  • Block unwanted holes in your house to check their entrance into your home.
  • Smashing red clover mites will leave a stain on the surface. Instead, you can use a vacuum cleaner to collect them at your home and then destroy them.
  • Neem oil can be applied to your garden plants to save them from mites, including clover mites and spider mites.
  • In case of a large infestation, clover mites may be required to be killed for control.

A. Creating an unfavorable environment for clover mites:

  1. Remove excess vegetation: Trim and mow your lawn regularly to keep it short, reducing the availability of food sources for clover mites.
  2. Clear debris: Remove fallen leaves, grass clippings, and other organic debris from your yard, as they can serve as shelter and breeding grounds for clover mites.
  3. Manage moisture levels: Proper drainage and watering practices can help prevent excessive moisture, which can attract clover mites. Avoid overwatering and address any leaks or standing water issues.
  4. Seal entry points: Inspect your home for cracks, gaps, and openings that may serve as entry points for clover mites. Seal these areas with caulk or other appropriate sealants.

B. Landscaping and gardening tips to discourage clover mites:

  1. Diversify your plants: Avoid monocultures and incorporate a variety of plant species in your garden. This can help reduce the attractiveness of your garden to clover mites.
  2. Use mulch wisely: If using mulch, opt for non-organic materials like gravel or stone, as organic mulch can create favorable conditions for clover mite infestations.
  3. Consider barrier plants: Planting barrier plants such as marigolds, chrysanthemums, or garlic around susceptible areas can help deter clover mites due to their natural repellent properties.

C. Natural and chemical control methods:

  1. Beneficial predators: Encourage the presence of natural predators like ladybugs, lacewings, or predatory mites, as they can help keep clover mite populations in check.
  2. Soap and water: For localized infestations on plants, you can use a solution of mild liquid soap and water to wash off and control clover mites. Ensure the solution reaches the undersides of leaves where they may be hiding.
  3. Insecticidal treatments: In severe cases, insecticides may be necessary. Consult with a professional or local extension service to identify suitable insecticides and follow the instructions carefully. Use insecticides sparingly and as a last resort, considering their potential impact on beneficial insects and the environment.

D. Safety precautions and considerations:

  1. Read product labels: When using any chemical treatments, carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  2. Personal protective equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate PPE, such as gloves and protective clothing, when handling or applying insecticides.
  3. Environmental impact: Consider the potential effects of any control methods on the environment, including non-target organisms and water sources. Opt for environmentally friendly options whenever possible.

By implementing these prevention and control measures, you can minimize the risk of clover mite infestations and effectively manage their presence. In the next section, we will provide tips for removing clover mites and discuss when it may be necessary to seek professional pest control services.

Tips for Clover Mite Removal

Removing clover mites from your home and garden requires a combination of physical removal methods and targeted treatments. Here are some effective tips to help you eliminate clover mites:

1. Vacuuming:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to gently remove clover mites from surfaces such as walls, windowsills, and floors.
  • Pay close attention to areas where clover mites congregate or where you spot the highest concentration of mites.
  • After vacuuming, immediately empty the vacuum bag or canister into a sealed plastic bag and dispose of it outdoors to prevent mites from escaping.

2. Soapy water solution:

  • Mix a solution of mild liquid soap and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution directly on clover mites to immobilize and kill them.
  • Wipe away the mites using a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Repeat this process as necessary, focusing on areas where clover mites are most prevalent.

3. Barrier methods:

  • Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or a sticky barrier product around windows, doors, and other potential entry points to prevent clover mites from gaining access to your home.
  • Use weather-stripping to seal gaps in windows and doors to reduce the likelihood of clover mites entering your living spaces.

4. Outdoor treatments:

  • If clover mites are present in your garden or lawn, consider using a hose-end sprayer to apply an insecticidal soap or a specifically labeled pesticide to the affected areas.
  • Follow the instructions provided by the product manufacturer and take appropriate safety precautions.
  • Treat the areas where clover mites are active, including vegetation, grass, and other favored hiding spots.

5. Professional pest control:

  • If clover mite infestations persist despite your efforts or if the infestation is severe, consider consulting with a professional pest control service.
  • Pest control professionals have the expertise and access to stronger treatment options that can effectively manage clover mite populations.

Remember, prevention is key to avoid recurring clover mite problems. Regularly inspect your home for potential entry points, maintain good landscaping practices, and address moisture issues promptly. You can successfully remove clover mites from your environment by combining prevention, physical removal, and targeted treatments.

6. Chemical treatment

To kill clover mites, you have to follow chemical treatment procedures.

  • Use organic insecticide or miticide suitable for mite control can be used.
  • Any allowed inorganic insecticide or miticide might be applied to kill clover mites.
  • One application of any organic or inorganic substance may not be enough to destroy all of them. Because clover mites’ eggs hatch after rain, so, spray again after rain.
  • Mites mostly stay on the downside of leaves. So, apply the chemicals to both the dorsal and the ventral sides of the leaves.
  • They take shelter at home in extreme summer and winter, and their eggs on plants do not hatch. So, start applying the recommended chemical in the garden, yard or lawn at the beginning of autumn or spring.
  • Thiosol (30lb/acre) with water mixture can be sprayed to kill clover mites in your garden, yard, or lawn.
  • You can use baking soda, borax, soap or vinegar to control them. Do these kill clover mites? They will create a coating on the mites and suffocate them to die. A mixture of these ingredients with water will work better.

In the final section, we will address common misconceptions about clover mites and provide additional resources for further information.

Safety Notes for Using Chemicals

  • First of all, be sure that the chemicals you want to use are allowed for your area by the authority.
  • Must read the instructions written on the pack or manual carefully.
  • Wear protective gloves, dress, googles before applying any chemicals.
  • Be sure about the residual effects.
  • Avoid using chemicals in case of small infestation. Killing their natural enemies will give clover mites chances to increase the population.
  • Keep all chemicals in a safe place and out of the reach of children.
  • Keep your pets safe from chemical hazards.
  • In case of a very large infestation, please take help from experts. Some groups like Aiken Pest Control can help you.

Clover Mites and Human Health

Clover mites are generally considered nuisance pests and do not pose significant risks to human health. However, it is important to understand their potential interactions with humans to address any concerns. Here are some key points regarding clover mites and human health:

1. Biting and feeding behavior:

  • Clover mites do not bite humans or animals. They primarily feed on plant sap and do not have the ability to bite or sting.
  • While their presence may cause crawling sensations on the skin, they do not cause physical harm or transmit diseases.

2. Allergic reactions:

  • Some individuals may have allergic reactions to clover mites. These reactions are typically mild and can include skin irritation, redness, or itchiness.
  • If you experience any allergic symptoms after contacting clover mites, consult a healthcare professional for appropriate advice and treatment.

3. Staining and cleanup:

  • When crushed or squashed, clover mites can leave behind reddish-brown stains on surfaces such as walls, furniture, or fabrics.
  • Staining can be a cosmetic issue, but it does not pose any direct health risks. Proper cleaning and maintenance can help address staining concerns.

4. Personal hygiene:

  • Practicing good personal hygiene, such as regular handwashing, can help minimize any potential risks associated with handling or coming into contact with clover mites.

It is important to note that while clover mites are generally harmless, individual sensitivities and reactions can vary. If you have specific health concerns or experience severe symptoms, it is advisable to consult with a medical professional.

For more information and guidance, consider reaching out to local extension services, pest control professionals, or healthcare providers who can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

In conclusion, while clover mites may cause mild allergic reactions or staining, they do not pose significant health risks to humans. By implementing appropriate prevention and control measures, you can effectively manage clover mite infestations and minimize any potential interactions with humans.


Clover mites can be a nuisance when they invade your home or garden, but you can effectively prevent and control their presence with the right knowledge and strategies. In this blog post, we explored various aspects of clover mites, including their identification, damage caused, differentiation from similar pests, prevention and control measures, tips for removal, and their impact on human health.

By understanding clover mites’ physical characteristics and behavior, you can accurately identify their infestations and take appropriate actions. Implementing proactive measures such as maintaining a well-groomed landscape, sealing entry points, and managing moisture levels can significantly reduce the likelihood of clover mite invasions. Natural control methods, including beneficial predators and soapy water solutions, can also help manage localized infestations.

In severe cases or persistent infestations, the use of insecticides may be necessary. However, it is important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and consider the potential impact on the environment and non-target organisms.

We also discussed the importance of differentiating clover mites from other similar pests such as spider mites or chiggers to ensure accurate identification and appropriate control measures.

Lastly, we addressed common misconceptions about clover mites and their impact on human health. While clover mites do not bite humans and generally pose minimal health risks, some individuals may experience mild allergic reactions. Practicing good personal hygiene and seeking medical advice when necessary can help address any concerns.

By combining preventive measures, targeted control strategies, and proper removal techniques, you can effectively manage clover mite infestations and create a more comfortable living environment.

Remember, if you have any doubts or require professional assistance, do not hesitate to consult with pest control experts or local extension services for personalized advice and guidance.

Stay vigilant, take necessary actions, and enjoy a pest-free environment!

(Clover Mites vs. Bed Bugs, Clover Mites vs. Spider Mites, Clover Mites vs. Chiggers)

A B M Zahidul Hoque

I'm the owner of After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I have joined as a scientist at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh. I started Weeds in Gardens to make you familiar with different weeds and their positive and negative aspects.

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