It is an established fact that dust mites can be found in house dust all over the world. Dust mites are not insects but are more closely related to spiders and ticks. There are two common dust mites, the American house dust mite and the European house dust mite. Due to their very small size, these dust mites are not visible to the naked eye. They live in bedding, couches, carpet, stuffed toys and old clothing. Dust mites feed on the dead skin that falls off the bodies of humans and animals and on other organic material found where they live.
Though these mites live in many homes, only people who are allergic to them know they are there. Dust mites are second only to pollen in causing allergic reactions. When dust mites grow, they shed their skin. The shed skin and feces are what cause allergic reactions in people. Allergic reactions range from itchy noses and eyes to severe asthma attacks.
Dust mites do not live in air ducts in homes. Many people spend much time and money cleaning the air ducts to reduce dust mites. This is not necessary because dust mites need about 70 percent relative humidity or higher to live, and they need food. Areas where people spend much time, like a bed or a favorite plush chair, are prime sites for dust mites. The top part of mattresses containing fibrous material is a favorite place for dust mites during warm and humid times. The deeper parts of mattresses may provide protected areas for the dust mites during unfavorable conditions. Clothing is used by dust mites as a means of transportation from room to room or even from house to house.
IDENTIFYING THE CLOVER MITE:
The full-grown clover mite is slightly smaller than a pin head and has a bright reddish to reddish-brown body.
Clover mites appear as dark red specks crawling around sidings, doors, windows, drapes, curtains and furniture.
When accidently crushed, clover mites will appear red and will cause a stain. This is not blood but their coloration.
The front legs are as long as the body, and extend forward.
CLOVER MITES BIOLOGY AND HABITS:
Clover mites are not insects but they are a relative of spiders and ticks, an arachnid.
Clover mites occur in large numbers.
Clover mites do not damage buildings and furnishings, nor do they injure humans and pets.
They attack a number of grasses and plants found in the yards.
Clover mites are plant feeders that have been found infesting more than 200 different plants, sucking the sap.
They can leave off algae and mold.
Clover mites live close or on the their food sources.
They become a real nuisance upon migration inside.
Heavy migrations of clover mites into houses are also common in the early summer and fall.
Clover mites build up very large populations around structures surrounded with lush, well-fertilized lawns and shrubbery.
They often move into buildings in massive numbers in the autumn when vegetation begins to die.
In the spring, large numbers indoor migration is usually is the result of recent mulching and the beginning of higher temperatures.
Large populations of clover mites may occur on the flat roofs of commercial buildings and are associated with moss growth
Clover mites females lay about 70 eggs each, singly or in masses, lay eggs in cracks in concrete foundations, cracks and crevices of buildings, under sidings, and on the underside of bark at the base of the trees.
Clover mites eggs do not hatch below 40C or above 86C.
They lay their eggs during the spring.
After eggs hatch, the newly emerged immature clover mites move to find hosts, molt, and pass through two nymph stages.
Approximately 30 days are required to complete a generation outdoors.
One generation is completed during the spring or early summer months and another in the early fall (September/October).
Clover mites in the egg stage may either hibernate (over winter) or become dormant during the summer under tree bark,
in cracks of fence posts and foundation walls, under sheathing of buildings or in other dry protected sites, during adverse weather conditions.
Clover mites are most troublesome in early spring and again in fall, especially on the east and south sides of buildings.
They can be found randomly through the house, but very frequently on the south side of the house because of the warmth.