I Finally Figured Out What Those Tiny Red Bugs That Pop Up Periodically Are

updated Aug 10, 2023
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You know them by their size (smaller than a pinhead) and their color (bright red). You see them every once in a while crawling across the back of your hand, or on the kitchen countertop. But what exactly are these tiny red bugs?

Welp, they are clover mites. Learn more about these tiny bugs below. (And while you’re at it, learn how to deal with fruit flies, moths, and spider mites in your home as well.)

Quick Overview

How to Get Rid of Clover Mites

  • Prevent clover mites by making sure your windows and doors are sealed up as best you can.
  • If you suspect you have a clover mite infestation, consider having an exterminator investigate how they’re getting into your home.

Are clover mites harmful? 

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.

Why are clover mites in my house? 

There are a couple of reasons why clover mites are migrating inside. It could be that the temperatures are too hot or too cold for them, or they could be attracted to a moisture source right outside an exterior door or window (like damp mulch that’s in a flower bed by the door).

You can often find them crawling near open window sills or the cracks they rudely used to come inside. Luckily, they don’t stick around for long.

Should I squash clover mites? 

Crushing them will leave a little red skid mark behind — something to think about if you’re wearing something white or if your curtains are a light color. Don’t worry though. It’s not blood they sucked while you were sleeping. It’s just smeared bug body pigment, which can easily be cleaned up with a paper towel or sponge.

A less messy approach may be taking them out with dishwashing detergent and water. Above all, they won’t bother you, so it’s probably best to just leave ‘em alone. They don’t bite, eat clothing, or teach your children cuss words when you’re not looking.

If you suspect you have more than one or two clover mites lurking around, take more active precautions, like having an exterminator investigate how they’re getting into your home. If not, your problem could multiply. Female clover mites don’t need a male to reproduce and one mite can lay nearly 70 eggs at a time. Clover mites are tiny and can be hiding in small wall voids or tough to check hidden areas.

How can I prevent clover mites in the first place? 

You can deter clover mites the same way you do other bugs and household pests: by sealing up your home the best you can. This is kind of tough given their small size; clover mites can weasel their way through the tiniest of holes and cracks. Still, here’s what to do:

  • Keep screens on all your windows and doors.
  • Seal any (even tiny) cracks or crevices to keep them from entering the home.
  • Make sure you don’t have any gaps underneath your exterior doors.
  • Make a barrier between any grass and your actual home, using something like gravel.

Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann