An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Clover Mites

You may have come across a Clover Mite (Bryobia praetiosa) either on your lawn, in the woods or inside your house.  While they are closely related to ticks, there is no cause for alarm as they do not bite and are not harmful to humans.  These tiny, pin head-size mites feed on the sap of clover, grasses and roughly 200 other flowering plants.

All Clover Mites are female — they reproduce parthenogenetically and do not need males in order for their eggs to be viable. The (up to 70) eggs they lay and the larvae are bright red, while adults are reddish-brown. Clover Mites are extremely common this time of year, as well as in the fall.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com  and click on the yellow “donate” button.

15 responses

  1. Dave

    Hello Mary,
    Please know that I LOVE your posts AND your book(s). There is so much to learn from them — you and your content are a “precious resource”! About your current post, “Clover Mites,” however: could the beautiful beast pictured be a Velvet Mite, rather? And can you set me straight on differentiating the two (?) mite families and their various representatives?

    May 6, 2020 at 7:08 am

    • Hi Dave,
      I’m flattered that after mis-identifying the mite you ask about differentiating the two families. Afraid I don’t have time right now to delve into it, but will try to get to it soon. Thank you for correcting me so graciously!

      May 7, 2020 at 11:23 am

  2. Jan McIntyre

    Hi there, Are these clover mites in the water? I saw these in March in a ditch on the side of a road. I’ve been wondering what they were. Thanks, Jan

    On Wed, May 6, 2020, 6:56 AM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” You may have come across a Clover Mite (Bryobia > praetiosa) either on your lawn, in the woods or inside your house. While > they are closely related to ticks, there is no cause for alarm as they do > not bite and are not harmful to humans. These tiny, pi” >

    May 6, 2020 at 7:28 am

    • WordPress doesn’t allow your photo to come through, I’m afraid. Might what you have seen in the water been snowfleas? You can send your photo to me at mholland@vermontel.net. Thanks!

      May 7, 2020 at 11:22 am

  3. Alice

    I have seen one of those, several years ago. Interesting that they are all females.

    May 6, 2020 at 7:57 am

  4. Nicole Pizzo

    I thought these were red velvet mites?

    May 6, 2020 at 8:27 am

  5. Mareka

    I just came across two while weeding. They are REALLY tiny. At first I thought they were that red fungus – also the wonderful red color.

    May 6, 2020 at 8:28 am

  6. kathiefive

    Are they brightly colored because they are toxic or distasteful?

    May 6, 2020 at 8:38 am

    • Great question, Kathie. I honestly don’t know…I was brought up being told they were used for war paint (after being squished), but that doesn’t really answer your question!

      May 6, 2020 at 11:50 am

  7. maggieranen

    I love these bugs! I used to sit and watch them for long periods of time as a kid on my front porch. I always wondered why they flocked to the cement porch. Any ideas?

    May 6, 2020 at 9:15 am

  8. Sally grassi

    I have a photo I would like to send you. Is there an email I could send it to. I’ve tried sending it through your daily email but that doesn’t work. Thank you!!! Sally

    May 6, 2020 at 10:55 am

  9. Avery

    That looks more like a velvet mite than a clover mite?

    May 6, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s