Clover mites are about 1/30 of an inch in size - smaller than a pinhead.
The clover mite has a very round, red body, and extremely long front legs that are held directly out in front. These legs are often mistaken for antennae.
The clover mite becomes a problem when it invades structures in large numbers, especially during warm periods of the year. Mites can be found infesting homes from November through June and also during autumn months. They are sensitive to changes in temperature and move upward as the sun warms the surface above them. They may also enter homes during the summer if host plants become dried up.
The clover mite feeds on plant fluids from grass, trees, shrubs, bedding plants and turf, but does not bite humans.
Clover mites develop from unfertilized eggs and reproduce very rapidly, with hundreds of thousands of mites being produced in a very short time. Females lay about 70 eggs and deposit them on almost any surface including trees, in cracks and faults in concrete foundations, in mortar crevices, between building walls, under loose bark of trees, and other protected places. Eggs lay dormant during the summer and hatch in early autumn when temperatures fall. Once hatched, they go through two nymphal or resting stages and become adults. Mites live one to seven months depending on climatic conditions.
Clover mites hide under shingles and siding and behind window and door casings. When crushed, they leave a noticeable reddish stain on linens, curtains, walls and woodwork.