Clover mites are tiny, the adults being smaller than the head of a pin.
The larva of the clover mite, freshly emerged from eggs, are bright red. The older stages and the adults are darker reddish brown.
Clover mites feed on plant fluids, such as grass and are common outdoors around most buildings. During the fall the mites may crawl onto building foundations in large numbers and deposit eggs within cracks found in the building exterior. In the spring, the tiny red larvae hatch and may crawl up the foundation and through cracks around windows and in walls and then into the building. Dozens, sometimes hundreds, of these mites then may be seen on window sills, curtains and on walls. When smashed, a red stain may result that may be difficult to remove from fabrics. Inside, the mites cannot find food and will soon die. These mites do not bite people or pets.
During most of the year, clover mites are found outside in lawns and on other landscaping plants. They may be seen inside during the spring.
Tips for Control
Obviously, removing all vegetation next to the home will eliminate clover mites; however, this is not practical.
Homes that have regular annual clover mite infestations will benefit from sealing exterior cracks and holes where the adult mites might deposit their eggs.
When clover mites are a significant problem, treatment of the building foundation and perimeter, together with treatment of cracks and holes in which mites may have crawled, can greatly reduce the problem.
Such treatments are best completed by a professional.