Red bugs, also known as clover mites, are commonly found in the United States, especially in the eastern part. These bugs infest bushy areas, backyards, and other outdoor areas. They are tiny, with six legs and a circular shape. These bugs appear in large groups feeding on a variety of plant species, preferably on clover. Red bugs don’t kill the plant while feeding but suck out the sap leading to silvery discoloration. If red bugs have invaded your house and you are looking for guidance, read the article for identification and prevention.
Table of contents
Facts about red bugs
- They gather near the sunny sides of homes
- Their eggs don’t require male fertilization
- They are not dangerous for humans
- They move around in large groups
How to identify the red bugs?
Identifying these bugs with the naked eye is difficult, but a few characteristics will help you identify them. Some of the characteristics are:
- Length is around 1 millimeter.
- Colors range from bright red, orange, yellow, or light red.
- Nymphs have six legs, and adults have eight legs.
- They stick to clothes to reach your body to bite, especially the waist, ankle, and warm skin folds. If you feel itchiness in your body, especially around the areas where clothes fit tightly, it means bugs have entered the house.
- Their bite causes itching and irritation, resulting in red bumps.
What causes red bugs?
Weather plays an essential role in infesting them in our house or backyard. Red bugs appear during the warm early spring weather. The mites overwinter in dry places like cracks in the walls and sidewalk cracks and hatch in the early spring. It is the most active time of their lifespan. Clover mites lay almost 70 eggs and reach maturity in 70 days.
Another reason that results in their invasion is excess nitrogen in your yard.
Methods to prevent red bugs
- The right amount of fertilizer – A healthy lawn is the first step towards controlling red bugs. The appropriate amount of fertilizer is very crucial to avoid mites because too much nitrogen attracts mites.
- Mowing grass at the right height – It is vital to avoid mites from the backyard or outdoor area. Mowing grass at three to four inches of height ensures healthy root growth.
- Plant shrubs away from the house – Plant a shrub or a tree atleast half the distance of their mature size from the foundation because red bugs crawl from the branches to the structures. Planting trees away from the house can rule out the presence of mites in the house. If you’ve already planted trees near the house, prune them regularly to keep branches away from the home.
- Keep grass-free strips around the foundation – Make sure there are at least three feet of plant-free and grass-free strips around the foundation of your house covered with graves that are difficult for red bugs to crawl through. It restricts their movement.
- Remove litter – Dead or live vegetation serves as a platform for mites to reach your homes. So, remove all the trash from around the house.
- Choose plants that mites dislike – Avoid planting trees that attract red bugs: marigolds, petunias, roses, barberry, juniper, and spruce.
- Seal all the cracks – Seal all the noticeable cracks along the windows and doors to avoid mites entering the house.
- Reduce excess moisture – Reduce excess moisture from the home’s foundation area to minimize the entry of mites and other pests into the yard.
- Hire a professional for large infestation – You can effectively handle infestation if mites infest in a small number; however, for large infestation, you should always seek help from a professional to completely get rid of them.
- Keep screens on all your doors and windows.
All the above measures should be considered to avoid the entry of red bugs into your house. However, if you identify some of them in your home, use a vacuum cleaner to suck them and destroy or empty the dust bag at a faraway place.
Are red bugs harmful?
Red bugs or clover mites are not dangerous for pets and humans; their bite causes irritation and itching. They eat clover and grass and don’t cause any structural damage. Once they invade your house in large numbers, eradicating them is difficult due to their small size.
How long do clover mites live?
The complete cycle of egg-laying and hatching takes place within a span of one month in the spring season. Red bugs are inactive during the summer.
Do red bugs go on their own?
Clover mites may or may not go away because it’s a seasonal occurrence. If they infest, take all the preventive measures to control their entry and eradicate the existing mites into your homes.
Managing red bugs gets simple if you identify them right on time because it’s challenging to eradicate them once they enter your homes. Prevention is always better than cure! Due to the small size equivalent to the head of the ballpoint pen, it’s difficult to identify them with the naked eye, which makes their entry and existence easy. You need to be cautious even if there’s a single indication of their presence around your home.