Clover mites began to surface as a residential pest in the years following world war II. This is when the great housing boom began to place plants and landscaping close to houses. Though this new look for homes was nice, it introduced environments that several insects, arachnids and other creatures like as well.
This lead to mites living alongside homes which in turn lead to them finding there way inside. Much of the demand for pest control service is based on the fact that pre-existing conditions around the home are conducive to insect or pest infestations. The clover mite is such a pest.
CLOVER MITE BIOLOGY
Clover mites are plant eaters. They can eat many types of plants, trees, mold or algae. Clover mites are strong and hearty. They will easily endure a cold, long winter and will emerge on the first warm day of January. Clover mites live on or close to the food they like to eat. So if they find a food supply on your home, they will quickly move into the siding. They like wood such as cedar, pine or pressboard. And they love vinyl or aluminum siding as well. They will live in all the cracks and crevices siding provides. Its likely they will find mold and algae on which to feed in these cracks.
This short video (less than 60 seconds long), will give you the quick summary of what you need to do around your home to control this pest. All the products mentioned in the video will be found on this page where you can order them as well as learn more about precisely using them.
Clover mites are egg layers and usually lay eggs at least once a year. Though they may lay their eggs on plants, they prefer to do so on behind tree bark or house siding. The eggs will hatch in the spring as larva and begin feeding immediately. The larva will pass through several nymphal stages before reaching adulthood. This will usually happen late summer and into the fall.
This next short video (less than 60 seconds long) gives the quick summary of what you’ll need to do inside the home. Again, all the products mentioned in the video will be found on this page where you can order as well.
In most areas, there is one generation that reaches adulthood a year. However, this generation is usually hundreds if not thousands of mites. Though small, they will utilize every space they can find. If allowed to nest on the side of your home a few years without being noticed, you will probably have quite an infestation by the time you find them. And for this reason ongoing treatments will be required to resolve the problem.
PROBLEM WITH CLOVER MITES?
Clover mites are a problem for several reasons. Since they can live in wall voids, under siding and generally out of view, many times their activity will go unnoticed for several years. During this time they will be reproducing and growing the in numbers. This can happen out of sight since they are able to find food in areas where you don’t look on a regular basis. At one point their numbers will be so large they will have to migrate. This migration usually happens in the spring or during a warm spell in the winter.
If you have such a migration expect to see thousands and thousands of red specs running around in circles. This migration may start from plants or trees adjacent to your home. It may be originating from the siding and wall voids of your home. This migration will lead to them getting in around window and door frames. The mites are not looking for anything specific but they will be persistent. These migrations generally happen when the nest areas are filled up and they are simply looking for a new place to live. You’ll know you have clover mites because they smear red if you crush one with your finger.
The following video shows what a clover mite looks like close up, what they look like compared to a persons finger and what they look like after they’ve been crushed by that same finger!!
As demonstrated in the above video, The smashed mite will leave a red blotch. But this red is not blood. Clover mites don’t bite, but they will leave a mess. Their red will stain just about anything you smear them on so try not using the crushing method of control. It will prove to be easier to vacuum the active ones or to use a piece of scotch tape with light pressure.
But clover mite migrations are the first clue you receive about a problem. Rest assured it will continue through the spring and then appear to pass as summer sets in. You may have another exodus in the fall, but they probably won’t appear in great numbers until warming days during the winter. These migrations and their populations will continue to grow unless you implement a pest control program designed to get them where they are living.
Although you may find them randomly around the home, in most cases the migration occurs on one side of a home. It may be on the second level coming from the roof. It may be on the first floor on the southwest side of the home. It may only be on the outside of the house and even on just one side. If they haven’t gotten inside yet, you should be able to take care of the problem by outside sprays. But if they have found their way inside, you will need to attack them at both fronts.
Its important to understand that the pest control program you set up will not be done just once. In fact clover mite treatments will generally be needed weekly until activity ceases. So expect to spray weekly to start and then every 2 weeks and eventually, once all activity is gone, once every 2-3 months if you want to make sure they don’t return.
Remember, clover mites don’t establish themselves overnight and you won’t be able to get rid of them overnight.
SPRAYING FOR CLOVER MITES – WHAT LEVEL DO YOU HAVE?
There are three levels of infestation that most clover mite problems follow. If the first level is detected before it reaches the second level, control is easy. If the house has reached the second level, more treatment is needed but you will be able to get control. The third level of infestation involves the most work and greater time to get under control.
CLOVER MITES IN THE YARD – LEVEL 1
Level one infestations are when clover mites are found around the home on the outside. You may be finding them in mulch like pine straw or wood chips. Any natural mulch decomposes and will create enough food to feed a lot of clover mites. Rock or gravel beds around the home are excellent clover mite beds. The rock tends to hold moisture which in turn allows algae to grow. Clover mites will readily take advantage of this food supply.
Fence rows, railroad ties and plants which are contacting or in close proximity of the home will all attract and provide both food and shelter. If you come home one day to thousands of clover mites active in any of the above areas, don’t be surprised. Be thankful they aren’t inside your home at this point. This activity should be controlled immediately so you can head them off before they become a major problem.
BEST YARD SPRAY FOR CLOVER MITES
The best spray for outside treating is MAXXTHOR EC. It mixes with water at the rate of .5 oz per gallon of water per 1,000 sq/ft of area covered. Maxxthor will quickly kill active mites and provide a few weeks of residual. But only the first spray will kill them quickly. Thereafter active mites can take days to die so you will typically see some activity as more emerge from hidden areas.
The following “short video” (less than 60 seconds long) shows how to set up our hose end sprayers to make the outside applications using Maxxthor.
For this reason its important to spray “heavy” with a lot of water and often times, more than once a week to keep them at bay. We recommend 5 gallons around the average home, 1-2 gallons per side of the house spraying from the gutters down to the ground.
The best way to do the treatment is with the Hose End sprayer listed below but you can use a pump sprayer too, just be prepared to pump no less than 3 gallon out if you expect positive results.
The following video will show you want to expect when spraying your homes exterior. Yes, you’ll kill what’s there. But if they’re living under your homes siding, they’ll come back within a day or two so be prepared to go a step further if needed (details on “under the siding treatments” below..)
Now if you note a lot of new activity within a week of spraying, spray again. In fact its fairly common to spray twice a week for the first few weeks to knock them down. Its fairly common to need weekly applications to knock down the bulk of the population so be patient.
To apply the Maxxthor for small areas, you can use a good PUMP SPRAYER. So for a few flower beds or cement walkways around the home, 1-2 gallons will usually do the job.
But if you want to treat the entire yard, go with our HOSE END SPRAYER. Use 2.5 oz per 5 gallons of water per 5,000 sq/ft of area.
If you don’t feel like having to pump and pump or if you have high places to reach, consider getting one of our NO PUMP SPRAYERS. This unique sprayer is simple yet very good, easy to use and one of our “favs” for applying insecticides to your homes exterior and landscape (its too powerful for use inside).
Ideally suited for reaching heights of 40+ feet, it has no moving parts other than the valve you hold for spraying and the adjustable brass “bullet” nozzle.
This sprayer is essentially a tank that can hold water, chemical and up to 130 psi of air. The top lid has a clamp and rubber gasket that seats on the “inside” of the sprayer so as you fill it with air, the seal will naturally remain in place, nice and tight.
The top has 3 “ports” (pic below). The port to the far left is used to fill the tank with air. Using any electric air pump (the kind you would use the fill tires on your car), you can safely pressurize this sprayer up to 80 psi. The tank is rated for up to 130 lbs but the relief valve will only allow you to fill it to 80-90 psi before it starts to release. This happens as a safety precautionary action.
The following video shows everything you need to know about how this sprayer works:
For normal use around the home, 50-60 psi should be enough for you empty the liquid from the 2.5 gallon tank assuming you only add 1 gallon of mixed product. True, the sprayer can “hold” 2.5 gallons of liquid but you need room for the air. Our tests show that 50-60 psi will pump out an entire gallon of spray allowing you to reach 25-30 feet heights.
For reaching 40+ feet or higher targets, pressurize the sprayer to 80 psi and again, mix up only what you plan on using and no more than 1 gallon of mixed solution at one time so the tank has enough room left to store all the needed “air”. One charge of 80 psi is enough to get the entire mixture to spray out so you don’t have to be concerned about constantly recharging.
The 5 GALLON NO PUMP can hold over 2 gallons of mixed material and can perform equally as well.
Remember, YOU WILL NEED AN AIR COMPRESSOR POWERFUL ENOUGH TO FILL THIS SPRAYER!! WE RECOMMEND ONE THAT CAN DO AT LEAST 100 PSI.
3 GALLON SETUP (remember to only fill it with 1 to 1.5 gallons of mixed solution so you leave room for air)
5 GALLON SETUP (remember to only fill it with 2.5 to 3 gallons of mixed solution so you leave room for air)
LAWN AND MULCH GRANULES FOR CLOVER MITES
Once under control, consider using granules for ongoing maintenance. These will prove easier to apply and longer lasting compared to the spray.
Granules won’t work quickly but they will really help keeping clover mites and other pests away. For clover mites, MAXXTHOR G have proven effective.
The following video shows what areas you want to treat when applying them around the home:
Use 1 lb per 1,000 sq/ft so the 12.5 lb jug can cover up to 12,500 sq/ft.
For large areas, any good push fertilizer spreader will help apply them properly. For small areas, a SCATTERBOX is easy to use and can hold almost 2 lbs at a time. Its handy for treating around flower beds, landscaping, etc.
CLOVER MITES ON HOMES EXTERIOR – LEVEL 2
Level two infestations are when the mites have found their way onto the home. If you are seeing thousands of mites crawling on the side of your home a foot or two high, don’t panic. In most cases, this activity can be controlled quickly and effectively.
Since the clover mites undoubtedly came from the yard, you’ll need to spray there as explained above. But during this treatment you’ll want to spray the side of the home too. If they’ve just started foraging onto the house, this should stop them.
Be sure to spray at least 4-6 foot high around the home in addition to treating as described above. But if you see them 10 feet up, spray above and beyond.
The liquid Maxxthor should keep them out, but for long term “permanent” control, you must attack them in the mulch, plants or other areas they’re nesting. If you fail to do this, they will surely find their way inside at some point as the foundation treatment will break down and be ineffective after a few weeks. This is why the Maxxthor Granules can be so important for long term control.
CLOVER MITES INSIDE THE HOME – LEVEL 3
Level three clover mite infestations are when you’re finding mites inside the home. This generally happens when the outside population has gotten so large they are foraging inside as they expand their nests. This might happen gradually, but in most cases homeowners come home to a migration in process. And don’t be surprised if this happens in the winter; this is a common time for the problem to arise.
So if you see a mass of clover mites, don’t panic. First, step back and watch to see where they are emerging. This information will prove helpful for treatment. If you are seeing them outside, be sure to watch if they are emerging from the siding or from the ground. The two most important things to watch for is how high they are actively nesting and which side or sides of the home they are most active.
Again, this information will prove critical when treating the outside with the Maxxthor. By knowing their main entrance points you will be able to treat them directly.
So here’s a quick summary of how to proceed if you’re seeing them inside.
1) Treat outside plants and/or mulch areas that may be harboring populations with Maxxthor.
2) If you are finding them throughout the yard randomly when looking, treat the entire area first with the Maxxthor granules and then with the Maxxthor spray over the top as explained above.
3) Spray the side of the home as well to a height above that which the mites are crawling. Use the Maxxthor for this application.
Since level three infestations mean the mites are living in the siding and/or the walls of the house, the level of nesting can vary dramatically. You could get lucky and only have them in a small section of one side of the exterior of the home. However, this is not likely. In most cases, the clover mites will be very active on at least one side of the structure.
This activity will usually be focused on 1-2 sides. But remember, it can be deep under the siding. Since homes have multiple layers of siding, it can be a challenge to reach them so its important to use the right material.
BEST CRACK AND CREVICE SPRAY FOR CLOVER MITES
To start, try FS MP AEROSOL. This fast working spray will penetrate deep into entry points where clover mites are entering making it a great product for use around windows, doors and baseboards. It will kill on contact as you spray and provide a strong repellent action needed to keep them from keep entering. For problems limited to one or two rooms, FS MP will be enough meaning its handy and well suited for small areas.
If you have clover mites entering windows? Watch this video. It details how to properly and thoroughly eradicate them using our FS MP and Bithor (listed down the page).
WALL SPRAY FOR CLOVER MITES
Since the FS MP is oil based, its not to be sprayed on finished walls or to be used as a surface spray inside the home. Simply put, its a bit “messy” and will leave an oil film if used in this manner. When using it in cracks and crevices, just wipe up any excess using a tissue or paper towel.
But for active mites crawling on walls and ceilings, use our MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER. Its water based, sprays like hair spray and will kill them on contact as needed for when they are invading.
The following “short video” (less than 60 seconds long) shows why Multipurpose is ideal for use on walls as well as the Bithor below applied using our Mini Mister.
Remember, no need to overdue it. Lightly misting as shown in the video above will control them and should be done as often as they return.
BEST CARPET AND BASEBOARD SPRAY FOR CLOVER MITES
But if you’re seeing them throughout the whole house, it would take a can or more to treat and a lot of time so for large problems, BITHOR is better suited. This odorless concentrate is mixed with water and can be applied anywhere including baseboards, carpets and even furniture. It will work quickly as it has two actives; one that works on contact and then one that lasts a month or more as a “non repellent”. This means it won’t spook or chase target insects but instead, works as a stealthy treatment. Clover mites won’t know its there, move over it and within a day or two, die.
The following “short video” explains why Bithor is super safe and ideal for use as a surface spray inside the home.
Add 1.5 oz of Bithor per gallon of water and plan on using 1 gallon of mixed spray per 1500 sq/ft of home. Retreat every 2 weeks until the problem ends and all activity ceases.
This video shows how the Mini Mister works in great detail:
As you can see in the video above, the Mini Mister will allow you to thoroughly treat without making a mess.
HOW TO TREAT YOUR HOMES SIDING
Lastly, if your home has Vinyl, Aluminum or Wood Shakes, its highly likely Clover Mites are thriving underneath. The Vinyl and Aluminum are particularly prone to having Clover Mites and Springtails living in the hollow void because organic matter, mold and algae tend to grow there easily.
So if you’ve been spraying the exterior siding with Maxxthor AND spraying your windows with FS MP Aerosol but find them reappearing daily, its most likely due to a population living behind that siding.
Retreat daily for 4-5 days but if they still keep coming? You’ll need to dust behind the siding. And the best dust for the job is DEMIZE.
This following short video gives a quick overview of what’s needed.
Plan on getting at least the siding treated where it surrounds points of entry like windows and doors but ultimately, getting as much done as possible will be most helpful and end the problem.
This process might seem tedious BUT treatments will last 6-12 months and you don’t have to dust every inch. Typically spacing the dust injections every 2 feet is plenty close enough and you don’t have to treat every row either since the dust will move 2-3 rows down when applied.
Ideally the top row just under the gutters should be dusted the heaviest and making small access holes can be super helpful.
1 lb of dust can cover up to 500-1000 sq/ft so a little bit goes a long way. Like the aerosol, you’ll need to get it into all the gaps, voids and spaces. This is done with a HAND DUSTER.
Consider using a DUSTICK to reach up high if you aren’t keen on climbing a ladder.
The Dustick comes with Four 4 foot extensions so you’ll be able to reach 20 up easily out of the bag. But you can add extensions if a higher reach is needed.
The following “short video” (less than 60 seconds) shows how the Dustick works and how it can make it easy to treat your homes siding.
This short video shows how it works when dusting for carpenter bees but you’ll get to see how the duster works and why it may help for treating your siding. The duster’s tip will easily push “in” the flexible siding allowing the dust to get behind it.
CLOVER MITE TREATMENTS WILL TAKE TIME TO WORK!
In summary, its important to realize that to control an ongoing problem with clover mites will take time. The problem doesn’t develop overnight and since it can get established deep in voids and other hidden locations, getting control can many times take a month or two.
So if you have a level 1 or 2 infestation, outside treatments should do the job and keep them out of living areas.
But once in the home, level 3 treatments will be required. And instead of having to treat multiple times a week, you’ll be able to space out treatments to every month during the warm season.
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. On Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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