As they look very similar, it’s okay to get confused. Like you, many people also have some confusion. It’s time to have some clear answers.
At the end of reading all the main characteristics of clover mites vs. chiggers, you will be capable enough to successfully identify them and take preventive measures.
Stay with me!
Chiggers Vs. Clover Mites: Main Distinguishing Points
Apart from having a very similar appearance, they are entirely two different insects.
But as you learn more about their lifecycle, living habitat, and dissimilarities in physical appearances, you will be able to clearly distinguish them.
And you will understand fully what you are dealing with: clover mites or chiggers. Only then, you can develop an action plan to get rid of them. Let’s see how they are different:
- Different Physical Appearances
Let’s start with the chiggers. They go through 4 stages like egg, larvae, nymph, and adult in their entire lifecycle.
During the summer or whenever the temperature begins to rise, the female chiggers lay eggs around 1 to 5 each day.
After around 1 week, the eggs turn into 6-legged larvae. They need blood for around 2 to 4 days. Then they molt into nymphs over the next 1 or 2 weeks.
Over the next several weeks, the nymphs keep molting until they reach adulthood. In short, that’s all about the chiggers’ lifecycle!
On the other hand, there are no male clover mites. All of them are female and even the unfertilized eggs can reproduce! Being parthenogenetic, they are completely unique!
During the springtime, they lay their eggs when there is plenty of sunlight to survive the winter. And right after hatching eggs, the young clover mites feed on plants.
This will go on for a week. Then the immature clover mites will grow towards the second immature phase. And after around 2 weeks, the nymphs will reach to their adulthood.
After being adults, they can live outdoors for up to 2 weeks. An entirely new generation of clover mites can last as long as 1 month in total.
Although they look the same, you can still differentiate the two by their looks. First of all, clover mites are bigger than chiggers.
Chiggers are so tiny in size that it’s nearly impossible to see them in naked eyes.
On the other hand, among all the types of mites, clover mites are the largest type and they can be as big as .75 mm.
So, you can clearly see the clover mite with your naked eye.
- Color Variation
Both the adult chiggers and clover mites are reddish. So, it’s hard to distinguish them based on color.
However, the color of their larvae is different. The nymph chiggers are somewhat yellowish in color.
The shape of both chiggers and clover mites is oval-shaped. To make it more confusing, their adult ones have 8 legs and their larvae have 6 legs.
However, the legs of chiggers are longer than the clover mites that look like antennae.
Both the larvae and adult clover mites eat plants. Unlike the chiggers, the adult clover mites don’t drink blood. They only consume plants and they prefer clover plants if they are available.
But they can survive sucking juice out of any plants. So, they are highly adaptable and survive anywhere with vegetation sources.
When it comes to chiggers, the larvae and adults drink completely different food sources.
The larvae need blood to thrive but the adult-only suck the juice out of trees, flowers, crops, etc. The adult also eats the decaying organic matter as well.
More so, they consume smaller insects available in the soil too.
Drinking blood is crucial for the chiggers’ larvae. That’s how they reach to their adulthood. They will die if they can’t drink blood for 50 to 70 days.
However, the larvae don’t drink blood like the mosquitoes or bed bugs. They use an enzyme to destroy the tissue and the larvae consume the liquefied skin tissue.
- Habitat Differences
Clover mites prefer to live outdoors. And they can eat various plant types. So, you can find them on your lawn, fruit trees, grasses, etc.
Although they live outside, they can migrate inside in large numbers too. They migrate inside only when their food sources are removed or their water sources run out.
They prefer warm weather as well. So, when it gets colder, they migrate inside for warmth and take shelter inside the cracks and crevices of buildings.
The good news is; you can easily spot them when they are inside. As they migrate in large numbers, it becomes easy to identify and locate the big red patches.
Like the clover mites, chiggers also feed on vegetation but they prefer low vegetation.
As the clover mites’ larvae need blood, they prefer low vegetation so that it becomes easy for them to attach their larvae to mammals.
Yes, their larvae drink blood but the adults don’t. They only feed on vegetation. And unlike clover mites, they don’t migrate indoors.
In rare circumstances, they can come inside the home only by hitchhiking on humans and pets.
- Availability of Chiggers & Clover Mites
So, where do chiggers live? Well, they are capable to live everywhere in the world. You can find them in North & South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Caribbean.
In short, they prefer any areas with plenty of grasslands or vegetation. So, you will find them a lot in forests, woodlands, lakes, bushes, etc.
Also, you often come across them because they live in fields, lawns, parks, and golf courses as well.
But where do clover mites live?
Well, like the chiggers, they are also available worldwide. They also feed on vegetation and plants.
You can find them in Asia, Africa, Australia, South American, and North America.
- Bites Vs. Not Bites
The myth of clover mite bites is not true. They don’t bite because they don’t need blood to survive. They don’t have any anatomy to bite in the first place.
So, clover mites don’t cause any harm to humans and pets.
On the other hand, the larvae of chiggers need blood to thrive and to become adults. So yes, their larvae do bite. And such bites may leave blisters or swollen red areas on your skin or pet skin.
The bites from the chiggers’ larvae are very itchy and uncomfortable for both pets and humans.
For humans, they bite on areas with exposed skin like the ankles, wrists, armpits, behind the knees, and so on. For pets, they bite on the belly, ears, legs, paws, etc.
But the adult chiggers don’t bite at all. They are entirely vegetarian.
- Flying Capacity
Neither of them can fly. They don’t have any wings to fly. They just travel with their legs. But that does not prevent the chiggers to get inside the home.
Chiggers often get inside your home by hitchhiking on pets and humans.
But if you consider how faster they can run, the clover mites are much faster and agile than chiggers.
- Danger to Humans or Pets
Since clover mites don’t bite at all, they are not any serious danger to humans or pets. However, they may be the reason for increased asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
This is how they do it.
They first enter your home and produce particles and residue that get mixed into the air.
Now, if you have any allergic family members, it may create an asthma attack upon inhaling the air. More so, it may result in skin rashes, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.
They don’t cause any damages to your home damaging the structures like the termites. And if you see any read stains; it’s not the blood, it’s clover mites’ pigment.
On the other hand, there is no serious danger from the bites of chiggers as well except severe itching. They don’t spread any diseases.
However, though rare, scratching may result in infections!
How To Get Rid of Clover Mites?
Both of them are a major nuisance if they get inside of your home. To me, they look beautiful and eye-satisfying. But to many people, they are skin-crawling pesky insects!
Now, none of them are any threats to your family members and pets, but still, you do not want them around your home.
However, you can take the below-mentioned steps to get rid of clover mites:
- If they are already inside your house, sprinkle Borax on carpets, rugs, and furniture. Borax repels them good and you can vacuum clean them if they get stuck in the powder.
- Never try to crush them up. It will leave stains inside your home! If you find them in a particular place inside the home, vacuum them up and throw away the bag.
- Check for any cracks in the slab and around the doors and windows of your home. Sprinkle baking soda inside those cracks.
- Clover mites feed on plants but they also hate certain plants like the chrysanthemums, roses, and geraniums. So, you can dig an area of 24 inches around the home perimeter and plant those plants to fill that area.
- Clover mites are very attractive to foliage. So, remove them!
- They also like dry spots on your lawn to lay eggs. So, water those dry spots!
- Don’t let them lay eggs inside any cracks of the outside walls of your house by sealing such cracks.
- Get some double-sided tapes and put them around the windowsills and outside walls. They will get stuck and die. You need to replace the old tapes with new ones.
- Fix any water damages as well to prevent mold and mildew. Because clover mites also feed on mold & mildew.
- Regularly trim long tree branches as well.
How To Get Rid of Chiggers?
Alright, you have one more motivation of getting rid of them chiggers as they larvae can bite. You need an instant action plan to get rid of them quickly and then take some preventive measures.
Chiggers can breed up to 3 generations during a single summer! So, for average homeowners, it’s relatively difficult to eliminate chiggers totally.
For quick action, identify the spots where they are camping and use diatomaceous earth to kill them ASAP.
Sprinkle the same on shady and cool spots even if you don’t notice their presence there. It will kill other insects like termites too.
You can significantly reduce their presence by making the environment less inviting and comfortable. The objective is to have fewer chiggers to reduce the chance of getting bitten.
This is what you should do…
As chiggers prefer humid and dark areas, keep your lawn and yard well-manicured.
So, keep your lawn mowed and regularly prune bushes.
Keep your yard free of leaf litter, ground covers, weedy areas, overgrown lawns. shrubs, etc.
Consider trimming tree branches as well. Because they can use those long branches to get on the rooftop and from there they can find access inside the home.
With the presence of more sunlight and less humidity, you will be making their living environment around your house less inviting.
Keep the surrounding of your home clean and tidy to make your home less inviting to rodents and other animals too. Remove all the junks, foliage, and debris around the home.
Remember, rodents and other animals are the favorite food sources for chiggers. So, it’s important to remove those junks.
Lastly, don’t let water accumulate anywhere in the lawn or yard. Because amphibians and reptiles often visit your lawn for the water source.
As chiggers feed on amphibians, mammals, and reptiles, you should take measures to prevent such animals from your yard as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I know if I have clover mites?
Answer: If any insects with dark red specks crawling around your furniture, doors, curtains, windows, siding, and drapes – they might be clover mites.
Besides, if you notice any red stains anywhere like on the floor or other places, that’s another indication. It’s not blood, it’s their natural color.
Can clover mites bite humans?
Answer: No. They simply don’t have the anatomy of sting or bite humans or pets. In fact, they don’t need to suck blood to live on.
Do I have chiggers or bed bugs?
Answer: Beg bugs are bigger than chiggers. They can be as long as ¼ inches long. Whereas, chiggers are red in color but bed bugs are mainly brownish with a red touch. Also, chiggers are more likely spider shape, but bed bugs are oval-shaped.
What are clover mites attracted to?
Answer: Well, they feed on weeds, grass, plants, and clover. So, if they find them heavily in a particular place, they will invade there. You will be inviting them to your lawn if you keep it heavily fertilized too.
Can chiggers infest your bed?
Answer: No, that’s not their favorite living spot. They need mammals or a warm body to suck blood. That’s how they morph into a nymph and reach adulthood. When adults, spend their time in the soil during the winter.
Are chiggers and red spider mites the same?
Answer: No, they are not the same. First of all, the red spider mites are larger in size than the chiggers. The adult chiggers don’t transmit any diseases and feed on only plants. However, the chigger larvae feed on the blood of mammals.
Are mites and chiggers the same thing?
Answer: Apart from the similarity in looks, they are not the same thing. Their lifestyle, food habit, and other features are completely different.
There are some popular beliefs and misconceptions among the two insects. But as you have learned all the points of clover mites vs. chiggers, there should not be any more confusion.
Harmful or not, you do not want these pesky insects around or inside your house. So, take the preventive measures I just suggested above. You will be fine!
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