WSU Extension


Clover mites

(revision date: 7/14/2015)

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful pest management.

Clover mites are small (1/100 of an inch long), oval-shaped reddish-brown mites and occasional household pests. A clover mite's front legs are typically longer than the other three pairs of legs and can be mistaken for antennae. Clover mites feed on clover and grasses and do not bite humans or animals or cause structural damage, but they can be a nuisance. Typically they swarm over sunny outer walls of buildings and make their way indoors through cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and foundations. If you squash clover mites, they will leave a red stain which is not blood but their body pigment. Clover mite invasions usually occur in the spring and fall and they die soon after entering a building.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Clean mites off of surfaces with a soapy sponge or rag. Wipe carefully to avoid crushing the mites and leaving stains.
  • Vacuum mites using the crevice tool of a vacuum cleaner.
  • On the outside of buildings, use a direct spray of soapy water.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Never apply any pesticide to counters or any surface in the kitchen. Insecticidal soaps can be applied to plant foliage surrounding the outer walls and foundation. Thorough coverage to foliage is essential for maximum control.

If you choose to use a pesticide, some examples of products that are legal in Washington are listed below. Some products are labeled for just INDOOR or just OUTDOOR use, or may allow both uses. Be sure to choose a product appropriate for your situation. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium laurate  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
    - hide images

+ Show larger images

Caption: Clover Mite
Photo by: Rayanne Lehman,