Dealing With Those Pesky Red Spiders In Your Home

Have you noticed tiny red spiders crawling around your home lately? These creepy crawlies are likely clover mites, a common nuisance pest in many households. Keep reading to learn all about these red spiders, why they may be in your house, and most importantly, how to get rid of them!

What Are Clover Mites?

Clover mites (Bryobia praetiosa) are very small mites that get their name from feeding on clover plants. They are about 1/100 of an inch long, oval shaped, and can range in color from reddish-brown to dark green.

While they look a lot like spiders clover mites are not actually arachnids. They belong to the Acarina family along with ticks and spiders. One way to tell them apart from spiders is that clover mites have eight legs as adults but only six legs in their larval stage. Spiders have eight legs even as babies.

These mites thrive outdoors in grassy areas and gardens where clover grows. They feed on plants by sucking juices from the leaves, which can cause minor damage to your lawn and landscaping.

Clover mites become a nuisance when they migrate into homes in large numbers. This usually happens in spring and fall when their outdoor food sources start dying back. They come inside seeking warmth and moisture.

Why Are Clover Mites In My House?

There are a few reasons you may suddenly see lots of clover mites inside your home:

  • Weather Changes: Clover mites migrate indoors during seasonal changes in autumn and spring. As temperatures fluctuate, they seek the stability of your home’s interior.

  • Declining Outdoor Food Sources: When clover plants and other outdoor vegetation starts dying back, clover mites lose their natural food supply. They come inside homes looking for moisture and an alternative food source.

  • Cracks In Your Home’s Exterior: Tiny cracks, crevices, and gaps around windows, doors, siding, etc. allow easy entry points for clover mites to squeeze inside.

  • Proximity To Clover: Homes bordering grassy fields, untreated lawns, or gardens provide prime real estate for clover mites to thrive. Your home becomes a target once outdoor vegetation declines.

Are Clover Mites Dangerous?

The good news is that clover mites do not bite humans or pets. They don’t spread diseases either. So although they can be a nuisance, clover mites are relatively harmless.

Some people may develop minor skin irritation or allergic reactions from having many clover mites crawling on their skin. The best way to prevent this is not to allow large infestations to occur indoors.

While not dangerous, clover mites can become a significant nuisance if left unchecked. Thousands can invade a home, leaving behind red stains if crushed. They also create unsanitary conditions as dead mites and eggs build up inside. Getting rid of clover mites quickly is important.

How To Get Rid Of Clover Mites

If you spot more than a few clover mites indoors, take action right away before the population grows. Here are some effective ways to control clover mites in your home:

  • Seal Entry Points: Caulk, seal, and weatherstrip around windows, doors, cracks, pipes, vents, etc. This blocks access into your home. Pay special attention to the side of your home that gets morning sun where mites congregate.

  • Remove Vegetation: Trimming back plants and grass several feet from the exterior walls of your home eliminates harborage sites and food sources for clover mites.

  • Vacuum Indoors: Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to suck up clover mites and eggs. Dispose of the vacuum bag outside immediately to prevent re-infestation.

  • Diatomaceous Earth: This powder made of crushed fossils kills clover mites by absorbing the oils in their exoskeleton causing dehydration. Sprinkle along baseboards, windowsills, and other surfaces.

  • Insecticidal Sprays: Over-the-counter bug sprays containing pyrethroids quickly kill clover mites on contact. Focus on entry points and areas where mites congregate.

  • Professional Treatment: For serious clover mite problems, contact a pest control company. They have access to stronger chemicals and can treat the perimeter of your home for lasting results.

Prevent Clover Mites From Coming Back

Getting rid of clover mites is only half the battle. You also need to take steps to prevent future infestations:

  • Maintain a one-foot gravel or mulch perimeter around the exterior foundation of your home. This creates an inhospitable environment for clover mites.

  • Keep lawns mowed, leaves raked, and vegetation trimmed back from the house. Eliminate moist, humid conditions.

  • Replace outdoor lights near doors with yellow bulbs. Clover mites are attracted to white, bright lights.

  • Use desiccant dusts like diatomaceous earth or silica gel around the base of your home 1-2 times per year. This kills clover mites on contact.

  • Seal any new cracks that form and repair damaged window screens to block entry points.

  • Consider annual exterior perimeter pest control treatments to repel clover mites.

By following these tips and acting quickly when you spot clover mites inside, you can successfully eliminate these pesky nuisance pests from your home. Just remember, they are harmless so no need to panic if you see a few. But be vigilant about keeping their populations controlled!

How Do I Keep Clover Mites From Getting In My House?

They get into your home through small holes and cracks, which is why you’ll usually find them near windows. Thousands of these pests can suddenly appear, causing homeowners to scramble for a quick solution. To prevent an invasion, caulk around windows and doors and address any cracks in the foundation. Also, keep the area at least 18 inches away from the house clear of grass and weeds.

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Meet ‘clover mites’, they’re tiny but everywhere


What are the red spiders in my tiny house?

Clover mites are close relatives of ticks and spiders and are true mites, not insects. They are small household-invading mites that have long front legs. To the naked eye they are no more than tiny red bugs and appear no larger than a pinhead.

Are red house spiders harmful?

Do They Bite? The red house spider’s bite is painful, but since its venom is non-necrotic it should not cause death of skin cells and a lesion as does a brown recluse bite. These spiders are not aggressive, but will bite if their web is disturbed, so be cautious when cleaning out spider webs.

Are tiny red spiders harmless?

Despite their alarming red color, clover mites are harmless to humans. They eat grass and clover (hence the innocuous name), so they hang out on particularly lush lawns. Though they won’t bite or sting you, they can, however, make large brown spots in lawns that they feast on.

What are the little red spiders in my room?

Many people think these tiny creatures are baby spiders, but that’s only partially correct. These little red specks are in the arachnid family but are not necessarily babies. They are called clover mites. They are more closely related to ticks, although they don’t cause the same health problems.

What are red spider mites?

The other type of tiny red bugs that you find primarily outdoors are red spider mites . Learn what you can do to prevent and control clover mites, and how to distinguish between red spider mites and clover mites.

What is a red house spider?

The red house spider is the most common type of red spider you’ll find indoors. The small, red-bodied creature is identified by its dark red, bulbous body and reddish-brown legs. Red house spiders measure 0.2” to 0.33” (5 – 8 mm). The tiny spider looks like a red, black widow spider.

Are red spiders common indoors?

The most common red spider you’ll likely encounter indoors is the red house spider (Nesticodes rufipes). The small pesky critters like hiding in cool, dark places like in cracks, crevices, and gaps. It’s possible to identify these tiny spiders by their bulbous dark red abdomen and reddish-orange spiny legs.

What does a house spider look like?

House spider is a term for several Arachnida species typically found in homes. Identifying features of common house spiders are their eight legs, body shape, distinctive markings, color, and presence of hairs. Most house spiders are brown and hairless. However, the black widow with its distinctive red hourglass marking is an exception.

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