Pest Control Blog

What Are These Tiny Red Ants?

May 24th, 2021 by Rove Pest Control in Pest Control Services

Every spring, some people’s property decides to turn into Christmas island (unfamiliar with this phenomenon, see the video below!) with thousands of tiny red creatures invading the home. Bright red and super small, any attempt to squash out their persistence results is bright red streaks and stains. Not only do the stains annoy us, but it doesn’t seem to make a dent in their invading forces. What are these tiny red ants?

Leg Count

While tiny is relative, red is pretty clear. Or is it? Unfortunately, pests are not strong at adhering to the primary colors. They like to come in really odd tones. I have lost count of how many times I have been looking at the same ant with 4 other people and here:

“It’s red”

“No, It’s orange”

“Hold on, I think it is brown with hints of red”

“What are you guys looking at, that is clearly yellow!”

Yeah, apparently color is harder to go off of than we would wish. A good place to start on this investigation is counting legs. If there are 6 legs and 2 antennae and reddish in color, it could be any one of many ant species:

  • Weaver Ants
  • Pharaoh Ants
  • Fire Ants
  • Atta Ants
  • Mymica ants

Most of these calls that we deal with do not actually have 3 pairs of legs but have 4. The detail that throws most people off is their front legs often extend far forward and can be confused quite easily with antennae. It is also worth noting that these are less than a mm in length, so counting legs can be a rather aggravating ask. So who is this 4 legged mini creature?

Clover Mite

Meet the clover mite. These are small landscape mites that love to invade structures. Though they are harmless to humans, they are quite a disturbance. Because of their size, they can penetrate the tiniest cracks and seems in homes. So now that we know what they are, why are there so many?

Parthenogenesis

Clover mites are rather interesting. They are all females. They reproduce by parthenogenesis which means they can get the entirety of the reproductive job done themselves. There is no need to have some fancy pants mating dance. There is no hunting for the perfect mate. They simply make more. This leads to vast numbers of exodus toward your home or business. Now that they are here, what do we do about them?

Treatment & Prevention

Preventing these invasions can be quite difficult. Having a spring barrier applied by a professional can go a long way to preventing them and minimizing disturbances when they do have population outbreaks. In addition, adding a plant-free band around the structure will help deter them from the mass movement inside.

Mite or Ant Assistance

Whether you are dealing with ants, mites, or simply doin’t know what it is, we have the staff to help. Our crawling insect experts will happily help you determine:

  • what pest we are dealing wtih
  • why it is there
  • source of the issue
  • customized plan
  • needed follow up

Whether you need help with part of the above list or all of it together, Rove Pest Control has the answers you need.