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Clover mites sometimes invade homes in enormous numbers, mostly in the spring in the Boise area. They can be on walls, floors, drapes, window sills and furniture, even getting into beds and clothing. If crushed, they leave a reddish stain that can be quite an eyesore. They are a nuisance by their presence but do not bite humans or animals, transmit disease nor damage homes.
Clover Mites live outdoors feeding on vegetation. Clover mites are about 1/30 inch long (just a little bit smaller than a pinhead), oval-shaped arachnids. Their color varies: Typical color is reddish-brown to black. Clover mites normally invade the home where the sun is warmest, normally on south and southwest facing walls. On the inside, they tend to cluster around windows, sinks, & drains.
Females can lay up to 70 eggs each in cracks and faults in concrete foundations, crevices, between the walls, under tree bark, and other protected places. Eggs lay dormant during the hot summer, hatching in early autumn when temperatures fall below 85 degrees F. Most mites overwinter as eggs, but all stages can be present. Overwintering eggs hatch in early spring.
With Clover Mite problems, it is important to do a few things around the house:
- Keep all vegetation well trimmed and at least 1 foot away from the home. Lawns should be cut to a proper height, and cut regularly.
- Seal cracks in foundation, install screens on doors and windows, assure doors & windows are properly sealed, etc.
- Clear out debris from around the home: Woodpiles, construction materials, should be as far from the home as possible
- Standing water in the lawn and landscape should be avoided
- Standing water indoors, even miniscule amounts, should be avoided. Drains should be dried, moisture kept away from widow frames, etc.
In addition to these items, regular perimeter treatments are necessary to control and prevent infestations.