Clover mites are very small red and green mites, often concentrated in lawn grass next to the foundation of a building. They are especially abundant in Colorado during dry, warm winters, often congregating on the south and west side of buildings. Several generations are born during their winter-spring active period.
Clover mites often damage lawn grass, turning it a silvery-tan color. Winter watering, especially on southwestern exposures, can help to minimize mite damage to lawns.
Clover mites often enter buildings during the winter months and, depending on weather conditions, will stay from October through early May. Once in a building, mites can spread to walls, curtains, furniture and carpet. Although they do not bite, transmit diseases or feed on houseplants or furnishings, they can be a nuisance and leave red stains when crushed on surfaces. Inside homes, vacuum mites and immediately dispose of the bag.
To keep clover mites from entering a building, leave an unplanted, three-foot border around the building. To chemically prevent clover mites from entering a building, spray an insecticide containing bifenthrin (several trade names) on the foundation of the south and west sides of the building. These chemicals can control clover mites in grass areas, too.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
- Clover and Other Mites of Turf Grass
- Spider Mites
- Insect Control: Soaps and Detergents
- Lawn Care
- Fall and Winter Watering
For more information, see the following Planttalk Colorado™ script(s).
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Updated Wednesday, October 12, 2016