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Clover Mites (Bryobia praetiosa) belong to the Tetranychidae family which includes pest species such as Spider Mite, Broad Mite, & Poultry Red Mite. Clover Mites, also commonly referred to as Blood Spiders, measure approximately 0.75mm are oval shaped and reddish in colour.
Clover Mites are generally located outdoors, subsiding on trees and plants, but are liable to venture into homes as temperatures cool in the autumn as they seek areas to overwinter in. Clover Mites can then be commonly identified on window sills, kitchen or bathroom surfaces as they emerge from cracks and vents in houses. Infestation levels are high in the spring and summer with the growth of vegetation found in gardens, and indoor infestations can be of a similar rate as the mite seek hibernation.
Clover Mites get their name due to a preference for feeding on clover, yet also feed on other grasses, shrubs, ornamental plants, and trees. Clover Mites damage plants by sucking up sap from the leaves. If plants are left untreated, leaves will gradually turn yellow and drop off. To identify Clover Mite damage on plants look for white or silky spots on plant leaves, as well as silk webbing on the undersides of leaves.
Clover Mites cannot damage foodstuffs, or textiles, in the way that Pantry Moths or Clothes Moths can, but are considered a pest due to the large numbers that can accumulate on walls, furniture and window sills, and the risk they pose to staining surfaces when squished.
Recent research has shown us that natural biological control of Clover Mites can be achieved with the use of our Lacewing larvae predators. Simply pour the Lacewing larvae, or brush them with a paintbrush, onto plants infested with Clover Mites; aiming for application directly onto hotspots. SB Plant Invigorator can also be sprayed to kill Clover Mites via physical action, suffocating the pests, and leaving no harmful residue on plants or surfaces.
To prevent the likelihood of Clover Mites infesting your home as an overwintering site from the autumn, cut back infested vegetation that links to access areas such as bricks and windows.