Bryobia praetiosa, or the clover mite, as it is more commonly known, is a very common arachnid pest throughout the US. Clover mites inflict damage to garden plants and turf grass, but they become most problematic when they enter homes in large numbers where they often pose a considerable nuisance. This species is among the largest yard mite pests in the US, and they tend to become most abundant on well-fertilized lawns where vegetation is prevalent. Clover mite activity in yards causes turf grass and foliage to wilt and become yellowish or brown in color, but this symptom is often mistakenly attributed to the effect of decreasing humidity during the fall and winter. These large mites invade homes once vegetation sources in yards dry up late in the year, but several climatic and environmental factors can prompt clover mites to gravitate indoors. While clover mites do not transmit diseases, damage indoor items, or consume human food sources, their presence within homes is a persistent annoyance, and infestations can be a challenge to eliminate.
Clover mites seek shelter in homes in response to bouts of rainfall, intense summer heat, and dwindling sources of vegetation. For reasons that are not well understood, the changing of the seasons prompts clover mites to naturally migrate into homes in the thousands. Although clover mites grow to become only ¾ mm in body size, they are frequently seen crawling across walls, and around window and door frames. Clover mites have a dark exterior, and their red-colored bodily fluids are well known for staining carpets and clothing when the pests are crushed. Clover mites invasions are most common during the spring, summer and fall months, and they may invade homes during the winter in southern states. The arachnid pests are sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuations, as adults die when the temperature drops below 75 degrees or exceeds 102 degrees. Unless clover mites establish a presence within a climatically suitable indoor area where moisture content is high, the pests normally die off within two weeks following their arrival indoors.
Have you ever spotted tiny bugs skittering around your home out of the corner of your eye?