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Don’t Mistake Mites for Termites!

Velvet Mite

Mites, like ticks, are in subclass Acari and the class Arachnida. Mites prefer high organic matter content and moist conditions. Mites are among the most diverse and successful of all invertebrate groups. They are able to live in a variety of habitats and their small (sometimes microscopic) size allows them to go largely unnoticed. Many species are parasitic and are indicators of the presence of their host. For example, presence of a foul mite in a structure lets us know there is a bird nest on or near the structure that needs taken care of.

The tropical species Archegozetes longisetosus is one of the strongest animals in the world, relative to its mass (100 μg): It lifts up to 1,182 times its own weight, over five times more than would be expected of such a minute animal.

Clover Mites

On of the most important mites in the realm of pest control is the clover mite. Since clover mites are 0.75mm long, they often go unnoticed until they are seen in large masses. They reproduce through parthenogenesis which means they do not require a male in the reproductive process. In fact, clover mite populations are all female. They are oval shaped arachnids with a pair of long legs in the front that are often confused with antennae. They are reddish-brown; the younger ones and the eggs are a bright red.

Clover mites are polyphagous which means they feed on a wide range of foods. Most of the time their diet consists of grasses, flowers, weeds, etc. They do not cause any apparent harm to lawns, but their feeding activity can turn the grass a silvery color.

Clover mites can become a nuisance in and around houses. They generally enter houses close to thick vegetation and can infiltrate houses in very large numbers through cracks and small openings around windows and doors. Whether indoors or outside, clover mites are found more commonly in sunny areas than in darker areas. If squashed, they leave a characteristic red stain. Contact us today if you’re experiencing problems with any and all mites.

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