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Elimination

To get rid of these tiny creatures, start by treating indoors with a liquid insecticide such as Maheu&Maheu Crawling Insect Killer applied to infested surfaces only. Then vacuum up the dead mites.

It’s important to treat the foundation of the house as well as door and window frames in order to prevent clover mites from entering. You should also treat a strip of lawn out to about 4.5 to 6 m (15 to 20 ft.) from the foundation, as well as the bases of trees. You can treat with insecticidal soap diluted with water.

Actions

  • Put out glue traps inside the house
  • Spot treat with insecticide indoors if pests get in
  • Spray or treat the outside perimeter of the house with an insecticide as well as the outsides of windows and doors if a lot of pests are getting in

Prevention

  • Seal the outsides of windows, doors, eaves, chimneys, etc. as completely as possible
  • Carefully inspect plants before bringing them inside

Description and development

Clover mites (Bryobia praetiosa Koch ) are, by definition, not insects. Mites generally have four pairs of legs whereas insects have three. Clover mites are reddish brown, the nymphs being redder than the adults. They measure about 0.75 mm, no bigger than the head of a pin.

This species is parthenogenetic, in other words the female can lay eggs without being fertilized by the male. The pale red eggs are deposited singly or in groups in cracks in the wall or foundation or under tree bark.
Overwintering eggs hatch very early in the spring. One generation is produced in the spring and early summer. Most of the eggs laid by females of that generation will incubate until September, although a few will hatch in early summer and produce a few summer generations. Only one generation is produced in the fall.

Clover mites can tolerate near freezing temperatures, but the eggs hatch only when the temperature is 7°C to 30°C. The female lays an average of 70 eggs, and there are usually three to five generations a year.

Habits

Clover mites can overwinter at various stages in their lifecycle (egg, nymphs, and adults), but generally do so as eggs in the oviposition sites mentioned above. They appear either in late fall or early spring.

Their main food source is sap from herbaceous plants, including lawn grass. They move back and forth from the shelters where they molt to the plants on which they feed. Clover mites can be a pest due to their mere presence and because of the red stains they leave when crushed.

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