How to Kill Clover Mites

Overview

In the spring, clover mites (Bryobia praetiosa) emerge from their hiding places on outdoor plants, exploding in population size and often invading homes come fall. The little insects may only measure 1/16th-inch in length, but in great numbers they can overwhelm the plants upon which they feed, and pose a significant eyesore when indoors. Take steps to control and eradicate the mites to restore the health and beauty of your garden and home.

Step 1

Stop clover mites from entering your house or outdoor garden buildings. Use a standard caulking gun. Seal off gaps around pipes and fill cracks around door jams or windows.

Step 2

Keep your lawn properly mowed, as clover mites tend to hide in grass and an ill-maintained lawn can serve as a prime breeding spot.

Step 3

Kill clover mites on your plants. Spray the plants with a standard garden insecticide intended for use on your specific plant types. For example, use a vegetable insecticide on plants intended for consumption. Mist onto the plants according to the insecticide's guidelines, as toxicity varies by product.

Step 4

Eradicate clover mites on the outside of your garden structures and house. Apply an even coat of malathion--a standard insecticide that's effective against mites and widely available at most nurseries and hardware stores--on all exterior walls and in a 15-foot swath on the ground around your house. If mites persist, repeat treatment 14 days later.

Step 5

Kill clover mites that are inside your house or garden structure. Use a vacuum to siphon them away. Discard the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag. For heavy interior infestations, spray entry points like doors and windows with an interior insecticide formulated with propoxur in a 0.5 percent to 1 percent concentration.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful when treating interior clover mite infestations. Smashing or stepping on the bugs will leave red stains on fabrics and carpet.

Things You'll Need

  • Caulking gun
  • Garden insecticide
  • Malathion insecticide
  • Vacuum
  • Propoxur insecticide

References

  • "The Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, 9th ed."; Arnold Mallis, et al.; 2004
  • "Organic Pest Control for Home & Garden;" Tom Roberts; 1997
  • National Park Service: Integrated Pest Management Manual: Mites
Keywords: kill clover mites, erradicate clover mites, remove clover mites

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.