Do Clover Mites Fly?

Measuring less than 1/30th of an inch in length, clover mites are often easy to miss due to their microscopic size.

While usually, they feast on fresh grass from your lawn or garden, from time to time these little invaders will make their way into your home in massive numbers. 

But how do they get there?

Can clover mites fly? No, clover mites can’t fly. In fact, just like all other arachnids, clover mites don’t have wings. Typically they walk to get around or sometimes strong winds can blow them around as they are tiny.

Clover mites climbing and feed on grass
Clover mites can be red or dark brown in color and are commonly found in lawns in spring and the fall.

Clover mites predominantly feed on clover. However, they are also fans of lawns, ornamental flowers, dandelion, shepherd’s purse, strawberry, daffodil, primrose, and more. They even feed on algae and mold. 

Read on if you like as we discuss clover mites anatomy, how they get into your house, and why they want to be there.

If you are interested we have written a whole article on the diets of clover mites. The article is called, What Do Clover Mites Eat?

Anatomy Of Clover Mites

Clover mites are arachnids, so they have eight legs and their bodies are smaller than a pinhead. Adults are reddish-brown or orange but may appear greenish after feeding. Young clover mites are bright red in color. What makes clover mites recognizable and unique are their two long front legs, which are often mistaken for antennae. 

When it comes to the “battle of the sexes,” the females rule the clover mite kingdom.

The females are parthenogenic, meaning an egg can develop into an embryo without being fertilized by a male sperm. 

This strategy is common in some plant species, as well as invertebrates such as aphids, ants, wasps, and bees. Females lay about 70 eggs each, singly, or in masses. The hatchlings are genetically the same as the female.

As males are not essential for reproduction, they are close to nonexistent.  

Clover mites can sometimes be confused with spider mites or chiggers. If you are interested we have written a couple of articles comparing the two mites, Clover Mites Vs Spider Mites: What is the Difference? and Clover Mites Vs Chiggers: Are They The Same Thing?

How Do They Move Around If They Cannot Fly?

Clover mites don’t have wings and are unable to fly. These pesky intruders are small and therefore light enough to blow into your home. The most common way for clover mites to get into your home is simply by walking in. 

As they only live on the sap of plants, they will most likely walk inside in search of food. 

Clover mites can crawl through screens, windows, small cracks, and even through gaps around doors

Because of their minute size, it is almost impossible to keep them out of your house. Should they lay eggs in, or near your home in the fall; you will have a massive population of hatchlings the following spring. 

Eggs are often laid in small cracks and crevices of the exterior, and as a result, it is easy for them to enter your home. 

If you are interested we have more of how clover mites get around in another article we have written called, Tiny Red Bugs on Your Concrete? Let’s See What They Could Be

Why Do Clover Mites Enter My Home?

Clover mites generally enter homes when severe weather events take place, or when host plants around the house are suddenly removed or started dying. 

Clover mites will most likely be seen inside your home in autumn and can be spotted in large numbers, sometimes by hundreds or even thousands.

Newly hatched mites will appear in spring. Clover mites might also move into your house in search of more favorable conditions when it becomes too hot or too cold

Clover mites cannot survive if temperatures drop below 24 degrees Celsius (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit), or exceed 39 degrees Celsius (102.0 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Are Clover Mites A Problem In My Home?

Clover mites entering your home can be a nuisance, but luckily these little critters do not pose any danger to humans as they don’t spread diseases or cause irritations. They also do not live on blood like many other mite species. 

The clover-eating squatters die from dehydration shortly after invading your home, so they often go completely unnoticed, apart from the little red stains they leave behind when squashed.

That being said, the red stains that are left behind after being squashed can damage carpets and other surfaces.

If you are still concerned about clover mites hurting you, your family, or your property then check out this article we have written, Are Clover Mites Harmful?

How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites In Your House

Lawn Maintenance

Clover mites are often associated with overwatering and over-fertilization of lawns, so, therefore, maintaining a natural lawn might reduce the risks. 

Some other tips on maintaining healthy lawns include making sure that the lawn is mowed at the correct length, moving under the right conditions, and ensuring sharp blades. 

Garden Design

Another method to ensure these small critters don’t enter your home is to maintain a section around the house without vegetation. Crushed stone or gravel can be placed around the home.

Alternatively, a ground cover that is not very thirsty could be a good option to look into, but make sure this is not a food source for the clover mite.

Home Maintenance

It is possible to control clover mites entering your home by sealing exterior cracks and other potential spots where they can enter and deposit their eggs. This, however, is difficult and not foolproof prevention as the mites are so small that it is almost always guaranteed there will be another way in for them.

If they are a massive problem, treat potential areas where they could have crawled into with miticide, but ensure you do it at the right time and temperatures to ensure the effectiveness of your application.

Vacuuming (Risky)

If the mites have already entered your home, it is possible to use the vacuum cleaner to get rid of these pests. Of course, there is still no guarantee that you will get them all. But reducing the population will help preserve your carpets and curtains.

If you do choose to vacuum, be very careful not to squash them in the process, and seal the vacuum bag afterward before disposing of it. 

Home Remedies

Some individuals claim that eradicating clover mites can be done by using home remedies such as boric acid. 

These mites are said to be naturally repelled by boric acid and therefore won’t walk over it. 

Sticky adhesive strips or double-sided tape should also capture these small pests. 

Diatomaceous earth, baking soda, baking powder, and corn starch are also suggested by this site; however, one would have to look into the effectiveness by testing the different options. 

Whatever method you choose to use to eradicate pests, always ensure you follow the necessary precautions and read the warnings, especially when it comes to substances used in home remedies, and deterrents such as diatomaceous earth. They could harm advantageous species such as bees. 

The Wrap Up

Clover mites do not have wings, and therefore, cannot fly into your home. If you find these tiny red mites in your house it is likely that they have crawled through small cracks and holes in window frames, or under doors.

Clover mites are so tiny it is difficult to completely eradicate them, however, they do not pose any health risks, and are not as troublesome as other insects such as carpet beetles.

Clover mites will not reproduce in your home. Just make sure not to squash them, and they should die out within a few weeks.

If you are wondering what other bugs might be flying around your backyard, then check out some of these other articles we have written:

Do Praying Mantises Have Wings And Can They Fly?

Can Carpet Beetles Fly?

How Fast Can Wasps Fly And Can You Outrun Them?

Do Ladybugs Fly?

Can Grasshoppers Fly?

How Do Bees Fly? They Are Heavy Lifting Marvels


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