Clover mites, those tiny, reddish brown specks that crawl across house siding, window sills, walls and counter tops, are again causing annoyance and frustration to Iowans. The mites live year-round in the lawn feeding on grass, clover and weeds, but are only noticed in the spring when a "wanderlust" causes them to crawl at random through the grass, up the house foundation and into the house through gaps in the siding or around windows and doors.
Clover mites are harmless, but their presence inside the house is a nuisance. The annoyance may last for only a day, or may continue for several days, depending on the weather.
If tolerating the temporary problem by vacuuming up the invaders is not a suitable solution, insecticides can be used outside the house to create a "mite-free zone." Spray Dursban, diazinon, Isotox or malathion according to label directions in a band 6 to 10 feet wide along the foundation and repeat 7 to 10 days later, if necessary.
This article originally appeared in the April 27, 1994 issue, p. 52.