From the moment you spot them scurrying across your windowsills or congregating on your exterior walls, tiny red creatures known as clover mites can ignite a mixture of curiosity and concern. Today, I want to delve into the world of clover mites (also known as red spider mites), exploring whether they pose a threat to you and your home here in the Willamette Valley. Get ready to uncover the truth behind common myths, learn about their presence, and understand how to deal with these minuscule intruders.

What Are Clover Mites?

Clover mites, scientifically known as Bryobia praetiosa, are incredibly tiny arachnids belonging to the mite family. These critters measure less than a millimeter in length and are usually a bright red or reddish-brown color. They have eight legs, like spiders, but don’t be fooled – they’re not spiders themselves!

Are Clover Mites Harmful?

The good news is that clover mites do not pose any direct threat to humans or pets. Unlike their more infamous counterparts, such as ticks or bedbugs, clover mites do not bite, sting, transmit diseases, or cause structural damage to your home. So, take a deep breath and relax – they’re harmless.

Why Are They in Your Home?

Clover mites are outdoor creatures by nature and feed primarily on plants, particularly clover, grass, and other vegetation. However, they often find their way indoors seeking shelter, especially during certain times of the year. These tiny adventurers may accidentally find gaps, cracks, or open windows and doors that allow them access to your home. They are attracted to warm surfaces, so you may notice them congregating near windows where the sun’s warmth is most inviting.

Common Misidentifications:

  1. “Are these baby ticks?” This is a common misconception. Due to their small size and reddish color, clover mites can be mistaken for tick nymphs. However, ticks have a distinct body shape, larger size, and can latch onto your skin to feed. Rest assured, if they don’t latch on and have eight legs, they are likely clover mites.
  2. “Are they harmful to my plants?” Although clover mites primarily feed on plants outdoors, their indoor presence won’t harm your household plants. They require moisture and living plants to survive, so they will not cause damage to your indoor greenery.

Red clover mites covering a patio.

Managing Clover Mites:

If you find clover mites in your home, there’s no need to panic. Here are some practical steps to manage their presence:

  1. Seal entry points: Inspect and seal any gaps, cracks, or openings around windows, doors, and utility penetrations to minimize their entry into your home.
  2. Vacuum or wipe them away: Use a vacuum cleaner or a damp cloth to remove clover mites from windowsills, walls, and other surfaces. Remember, gentle suction or a light touch is all it takes, as they are incredibly fragile.
  3. Maintain a clean environment: Regularly clean and dust your home, paying attention to areas where clover mites are frequently seen. This will help remove their potential food sources and discourage their presence.


Clover mites may be tiny, red, and a bit startling when they invade your home, but fear not – they are harmless visitors. These little arachnids seek shelter from the elements and accidentally find themselves exploring the comforts of your abode. Remember, they won’t bite, sting, or cause any damage to your home or plants. So, the next time you spot these minuscule red critters, embrace your inner nature lover and let them run their course, or call us here at Good Earth Pest Company and maybe we can help you out!

*Me staring at a clover mite…Maybe I can pick it up and put it outside-oh its dead…sorry little buddy,

Adam Hiddleson is an Associated Certified Entomologist (ACE) and serves as Technical Director for Good Earth Pest Company

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