You're sitting outside enjoying the sun, when suddenly you notice a tiny red bug crawling on your lawn furniture. Don't panic — these small red critters are called clover mites (Bryobia praetiosa Koch) and don't cause much harm. The best way to get rid of clover mites is through prevention methods in your garden and home.
What Is a Clover Mite?
Clover mites are tiny, oval-shaped red critters most closely related to ticks and spiders. Their little bodies have eight legs, with their two front legs longer than the rest.
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While harmless, they love invading yards and lawn furniture. Clover mites eat grass, clover, and other plants, so you may see an influx of them on your lawn furniture in the spring and fall. You might also find them on your siding or brick in a sunny area.
While you'll usually see them outdoors, they'll make their way indoors when the seasons change or during excessive heat or rain bouts. Unlike ticks and certain spiders, these mites cause more annoyance than harm. At most, they'll leave behind a little red dot on your furniture or wall when smooshed.
How to Prevent Clover Mites
The best line of defense against clover mites is prevention. One way to prevent these pesky creatures from infiltrating your lawn furniture or home is by making sure vegetation is removed within 18 to 24 inches of your foundation. It's also recommended to install a gravel or stone barrier between your lawn and home foundation as an added measure. Treating your lawn around your foundation with a insecticide may also help prevent clover mites from making your yard their home.
You'll also want to inspect your home's foundation and seal any cracks or holes that clover mites can squeeze through. They're attracted to moist environments, so consider bringing in lawn furniture cushions when it rains.
Another way to deter clover mites is by planting flowers and plants around your home that they don't like. These plants include geraniums, marigolds, juniper shrubs, and petunias.
How to Get Rid of Tiny Red Spiders on Lawn Furniture
If prevention methods aren't enough, there are still ways to get rid of clover mites on lawn furniture. One is by breaking out your vacuum and sucking them up. Once you're finished, dispose of the remnants inside the vacuum by either burning them or responsibly disposing of them away from your home.
Clover mites can also be eliminated using residual insecticides. A residual insecticide comes in sprays, dusts, or baits. You can also call a pest control company, which will be able to assist you in evicting these unwanted critters from your home.