Finding Little Red Bugs In Your PA Home?
September 11, 2013
Have you seen tiny red bugs around your home, on your deck or in your yard? These insects are extremely tiny, which can make them hard to identify, but when they crowd in clusters they become apparent. These little red bugs can be chiggers or they may be clover mites but because they are so tiny, it can be hard to tell the difference. Here are some tips to help you identify each of these bugs as well as a few prevention tips to keep them from entering your Pennsylvania home.
What are those tiny red bugs?
If they are chiggers, they are approximately 1/150th of an inch and red in color. They may be best noticed when they are clustered in groups on your skin. They don’t bite like most insects typically bite; they insert feeding mouthparts into the skin and inject enzymes that cause the skin tissue to liquefy, which then allows them to ingest the liquefied tissue. The juvenile stage of this pest is the only one that feeds on humans and it has only 6 legs; adult chiggers are harmless and have 8 legs. Chiggers most commonly live in forests, grassy fields, gardens and moist areas in nature.
If they are clover mites, they are approximately 1/30th of an inch and reddish brown in color, or sometimes pale orange or even greenish-brown, especially after feeding. Clover mites invade homes in large numbers, often in the early spring and the late fall and take shelter under shingles and siding, behind window and door casings, and other protected areas. Clover mites are not known to bite, but they become a nuisance when they invade in large numbers. They have 8 legs and the front pair of legs is very long, protruding towards the head. Clover mites most commonly live in grasses where they feed on clover, dandelion and other plants.
To prevent these pests, you can follow these tips from the professionals at Moyer:
Avoid over watering your lawn. When you overwater, you create conditions that are perfect for mold growth, which is what can attract clover mites. When the food sources aren’t there, clover mites won’t be either.
Remove the vegetation that attracts clover mites from around the perimeter of your home; leave a space between your home and vegetation of about 2 feet. Instead, you can use mulch or gravel, which is more difficult for clover mites to climb over.
Some plants are known to repel clover mites; these can be planted around your home and include zinnias, marigolds, roses, chrysanthemum, petunias, geraniums and shrubs that include barberry, juniper, spruce and yew.
Place double sided tape around windows; this tape will catch mites that try to enter and they will get stuck and eventually die.
To avoid chiggers, wear long sleeves and pants when spending time outdoors, as well as an insect repellent that contains DEET.
Stay on marked trails when spending time outdoors and never wander through tall weeds, brush or heavy undergrowth to avoid picking up chiggers.
If you’ve been in an area that was infested with chiggers, take a shower and lather up with soap liberally.
Wash clothing you’ve worn in chigger infested areas in very hot and soapy water.
Clean up chigger habitats on your property; this includes overgrown weeds, decaying wood and other vegetation debris. Keep your lawn neatly mowed as well to keep chigger populations low.
If you have these pests inside your home or on your property and they are causing problems, it’s time to call in the professionals. At Moyer Pest, our home pest control services can help get rid of chiggers, clover mites and any other pests that are causing you problems. For year round pest control, our Exterior Guard or Complete Home Guard programs are excellent options; with multiple scheduled inspections and emergency services as necessary, our pest control programs will help you achieve a pest free environment and prevent pests from returning. Give the pros at Moyer Pest a call today to schedule your first inspection!