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Clover Mites in the Home

By Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension specialist, entomology

Clover mites make their appearance early each spring. These tiny, long-legged mites thrive during the cooler season, building up large populations on grasses and other plants. They may kill out grass near buildings during March and April, but they get our attention when they invade our buildings.

Clover mites appear as thousands of little walking dust specks. You might see them on walls, draperies and around south-and-west-facing windows. When crushed, they leave a reddish smear.

Clover mites do not bite, feed on household items or survive indoors for long. They may, however, use your home for shelter or lay eggs or shed their skin in exterior walls. When warm weather returns, they lay eggs that hatch after fall frosts begin.

To control, try removing grass in an 24-inch strip around the foundations of your home. Vacuum mite infestations in the home. For other recommendations, contact your local Cooperative Extension office.

Photos: Purdue University

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010