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Clover mites are active now

Clover mites.  Note the long first pair of legs.
Photo: Jeff Hahn, U of MN Extension
If you are finding tiny creatures in sunny areas of your home, you may be seeing clover mites. Clover mites are tiny arachnids, relatives of spiders and ticks, and are about the size of a pinhead. They are reddish or brownish in color. If you look closely, you will notice that the first pair of their eight legs is particularly long and conspicuous.

Why are they here?

During summer, clover mites feed on grass and clover. Fortunately, they are not pests on these plants and are rarely noticed. You might see them around homes in the fall but they are more commonly found the following April and May.

They can congregate on the outside of buildings in large numbers and have no problem getting inside because of their small size, especially around windows.

 They love being in the sun and are most common on the south sides of homes. Fortunately, clover mites do not harm people or our property.

How to remove them

You can physically remove small numbers of clover mites, e.g. with a vacuum or gently wipe them up with a damp cloth. Be careful to avoid crushing them as the can stain surfaces. Clover mites are a temporary problem that goes away on its own when the weather becomes warmer.

For more information, see the University of Minnesota Extension's Clover mites.

Author:  Jeffrey Hahn
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