There are two types of little red bugs that no one wants around, but for completely different reasons. Chiggers bite and produce an itch that is nearly as intense as poison ivy. Clover mites do not bite but they are a nuisance pest that can sometimes invade homes in extremely large numbers. Both are relatively easy to control but each requires different procedures.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Residual insecticide
- Hand-held insecticide sprayer
- Insect repellent containing DEET
Preferring moist areas that are relatively dense with brush, chiggers wait in clusters for a meal to arrive, either animal or human. Chiggers are bright red and hairy. At the larval stage, they have three pairs of legs, while the adults have four pairs, but chiggers are felt far more often than they are seen.
Get rid of them by removing their preferred habitat. Cut back encroaching wooded areas and thin them so that sunlight and moving air will dry the soil. Mow grass areas regularly.
Treat areas where they are found with a residual insecticide that lists chiggers as a target pest.
Mix the liquid according to label instructions in a hand-held insecticide sprayer, and then pump the sprayer to pressurise the contents.
Dress in long trousers and sleeves and preferably boots and thoroughly spray outer clothing with an insect repellent that contains DEET. Set the spray nozzle on the insecticide sprayer to the fan spray setting and thoroughly wet areas where chiggers have been found including on the ground and foliage.
Seen outside moving about near entrances, on walls, and/or along window seals, clover mites are red or reddish brown and can be identified by their front legs, which are nearly twice the length of the other three pairs of legs.
Preventing them from reaching your home is the best way to get rid of them. Because they travel best over foliage, creating a dirt or pea gravel barrier around your home's perimeter helps. In addition, applying a residual pesticide barrier will get rid of them.
Use a residual pesticide or miticide labelled to treat clover mites and mix it according to label instructions in a hand-held sprayer. Use the hand pump to pressurise the spray and set the spray nozzle to the fan setting.
Spray heavily (to the point of runoff) at least 2 feet up the walls, completely around your home and up to 20 feet out from the wall on the ground. Repeat according to label instructions, usually monthly.
Tips and warnings
- Read and follow all pest control product label directions and warnings.
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