Pest Information: Clover Mites

Mites are tiny microscopic eight-legged relatives of insects that feed on plants by sucking juice from them. The Clover mite (Bryobia praetiosa) is a nuisance pest inside and on the outsides of homes and has been known to cause significant injury to turf in home lawns. It prefers to feed on clovers but may also attack other herbaceous plants and turfgrasses. The clover mite is often concentrated in the grass areas next to the foundation of a building and will invade a structure, especially around windowsills and doors.

Clover mites are most plentiful in the early spring and fall when daytime temperatures are moderate. They tend to congregate on South-facing walls, sometimes in great numbers, and may enter the home through open windows or holes in the house perimeter. Once inside a structure, clover mites congregate in large numbers in warm areas. Clover mites will not bite, transmit any disease, or feed in the house, but when crushed, they leave a reddish stain. These insects are a nuisance pest and are a concern to homeowners and managers due to their large numbers.

Adult mites are less than 1 mm in length, with a reddish brown to greenish body and four pairs of legs. The unusually long front pair, extending in front of the body, is their most prominent feature. Their eggs are bright red and spherical and are laid on the walls of buildings, on the bark of trees and other plants. Clover mites prefer to be active during the cool spring and fall periods. They usually oversummer in the egg stage. The summer eggs hatch when cool fall temperatures return, and the mites will be active until freezing temperatures cause the mites to go dormant. Several generations can occur during the fall, winter and spring seasons.

Pest Best Management Practices