What are Clover Mites?
Clover Mite or Bryobiapraetiosa is a species of mite. Such mites are usually discovered during spring in North America.
What do Clover Mites Look Like
Clover Mites are usually oval-shaped insects and the size is between 0.75 mm to 0.85 mm. usually these appear in red color however black clover mites have also been found.
These carry eight legs out of which the front legs are comparatively longer than the rest of the six legs. The front pair of legs helps distinguish them from other mites. Also, they have antennas on the head and featherlike pleated texture on their abdomen.
Biology of Clover Mites
Clover mites prefer a place surrounded by thick vegetation. They reproduce parthenogenetically. The eggs of these mites are not required to be fertilized.
They develop from unfertilized eggs and the population comprises only females. The female mites lay around seventy eggs individually in dry areas and where’s adequate sunlight and a balanced temperature altogether.
The eggs of the clover mites are around 0.12mm in diameter and are spherical shaped, and are bright red. These eggs will be hatched, as a consequence of which, the spring generation will come into existence. The resulting generation is usually identical to the mother.
What do Clover Mites Eat?
Clover mites survive by feeding on a variety of plants. Such plants include various ornamental flowers, Salvia, Alyssum, primrose, dandelion, shepherd’s purse, and lawn grasses and clover.
Clover mites are polyphagous. They are commonly found at places where the growth of succulents is prominent. Due to their habit of feeding on grass, the fed grasses turn silver.
How long do Clover Mites Live?
They usually invade houses in large numbers. A change in the season stimulates the growth of such mites. These mites usually die within a few days due to dehydration. They do not reproduce indoors.
A particular generation of clover mites does not last for more than a month. The adult ones live around two weeks outdoors. Once these get a place indoors, they tend to stay on the higher surface to gather warmth and find a protected area.
In case the new area found is also not suitable they migrate towards another location. Clover mites are very sensitive beings. Temperatures above 39 degrees Celsius or below 24 degrees Celsius are unbearable for them and may lead to their demise.
Where Do Clover Mites Come From?
For people whose living places are surrounded by dense shrubs, clover mites are a natural invitation. It is because such shrubs form an ideal dilemma for these tiny creatures to infest. Especially, when it’s the time of spring, most of such insects find it easy to gather.
The plants are likely to be destroyed and injured turning brown or yellow at places where the population of clover mites increases to a great extent. Problems persist when these mites become a part of our houses usually due to change in weather.
Common Problems Clover Mites Can Cause
Do Clover Mites Bite?
Clover mites are not like most of the pests that harm people. These are not even responsible for transmitting diseases or damages. They do not feed on any home stored products or clothing or furniture.
The problem they cause is leaving stains at places where they are crushed. These stains appear like the blood which is a reason why people mistakenly believe that they feed on human blood.
Are Clover Mites Dangerous?
Clover mites are not fatal to humans. One does not need to worry about one’s life as it is not deadly and does not feed on human blood. But still, having them in our house is not a good idea. Once allowed, they can even invade the house, gathering in huge numbers.
This not only serves as an obstacle to hygiene but also hinders one’s comfort. Though these mites may not stay forever yet they tend to annoy in their active state.
How Do Clover Mites Differ From Other Insects
Sometimes, it can be quite difficult to distinguish between clover mites and other species of mites that are similar to them. These may include chiggers or bed bugs or spider mites. However, some differences have been found among all these.
Clover Mites Vs Chiggers
Not everyone can distinguish between clover mites with chigger mites. Some common differences include their living areas. While chigger mites are discovered only outdoors, clover mites, at times, are found indoors.
Both these mites are barely visible to the human eye and do not bite or transmit any sort of diseases or infections.
Adult chigger is 0.4 mm long while most clover mites are not less than 1 mm.
Places they are found at:
Places, where chiggers are commonly found, are brush thickets, blackberry patches, etc whereas clover mites are usually found at concrete walls or side walls or places exposed to the sun.
Chiggers can usually cause pain and irritation to the human skin by injecting a digestive fluid to the surrounding skin which breaks the skin cells which is later fed by the chiggers. This may cause itching or pain making the area red and swollen. Clover mites are almost harmless to humans.
Clover Mites Vs Spider Mites
Clover mites are not responsible for any serious damage to vegetation however spider mites usually cause harm to shrubs and flowers.
While clover mites carry antennae, spider mites do not have any such part.
Besides these differences, spider mites also complete their development within a week from being an egg to an adult while clover mites take a longer time.
Clover Mites Vs Bed Bugs
Adult bed bugs appear reddish-brown. The size of these is almost equal to one-fourth of an inch. These have six legs, unlike the eight-legged clover mite.
Places where they are found:
Bed bugs, as the name indicates, are usually found around beds. Unlike clover mites, they can attack furniture or wall voids or places behind the switches in our rooms.
However, bed bugs also do not transmit any diseases. Only minor skin irritations can be observed at times.
How To Prevent Clover Mites?
- One of the most essential steps to be followed to deal with clover mites is cleaning off the entire greenery from around the house.
- One can also take the help of a vacuum cleaner to get rid of these mites.
- Another step that one is supposed to follow is watering the areas where they are likely to develop. These include dry places or the places that are exposed to the sun.
- Besides these, one can also have such plants that are not preferred by clover mites. Such plants include juniper, chrysanthemum, rose, salvia, zinnia, geranium, petunia, or barberry or yew.
- One of the easiest ways to eliminate clover mites includes sprinkling of boric acid at the places of infestation.
- In case these mites have infested your pets, they must be removed using soap and water.