How to identify clover mites

Image by Zinger; Flickr.

Trying to find out what kind of creepy-crawlies are living in your home and garden can be quite tricky. Fortunately, some creatures are easier to identify than others, and not all bugs are harmful. Clover mites are among the bugs that are fairly easy to identify.

Look closely at the insects that are bothering you and first note the size. Clover mites are tiny, about 0.8 mm (1/30 inch) long. That means they are even smaller than the size of a pinhead.

Pay attention to the colours and patterns on the insects. Clover mites are so tiny that all you'll see is little flecks of red or reddish brown moving around. You won't be able to see any kind of patterns unless you put one under a microscope or strong magnifying glass.

Check out the shape of your insects and, if you can, note how many legs they have. Since clover mites are so small, it's unlikely you can see well enough to note their shape or to count their legs. Clover mites have an oval shape and have eight legs, which means they are not actually insects. They belong in the same family as spiders.

Note where the bugs appear and what they are doing. If you look at clover mites, you'll see little red dots moving around, but not attacking you or your pets. Clover mites don't bite people or animals. They won't give you any diseases, nor will they harm your furniture.

Try to see what they're eating or attracted to. In the case of clover mites, they live outside and they like to eat your plants. Sometimes they come inside and eat things like indoor plants and mould.

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