While clover mites and carpet beetles are among the most commonly found pests their behaviors are often poorly understood by both homeowners and pest management companies. Understanding these pest’s biology and behaviors is critical to effective management.
Clover mites aren’t insects at all, they are more like ticks and spiders. Clover mites have a reddish-brown body and are about the size of a pinhead. Clover mites can be distinguished from other mites by their red color. When the weather begins to warm in spring, large numbers of clover mites can be observed on doors, windows, sidewalks, and vegetation. They can travel anywhere within or around a structure but they usually accumulate in areas receiving direct sunlight. Despite high population numbers, clover mites do not cause structural damage. However, they can stain light-colored materials and fabrics when crushed. Clover mites do not cause significant plant damage either but will feed on a variety of different plants. Tree and shrub applications control the clover mite population and prevent them from accumulating outside or inside the home. Exterior pest control applications are another effective means of eliminating the clover mite population around the home. In the event clover mites are found in the home, an interior pest control application can eliminate their presence and keep them from returning.
Several different carpet beetle species are found in and around the home but the black carpet beetle and varied carpet beetle are the two most commonly encountered species. The black carpet beetle is black/dark brown in color and 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length. The varied carpet beetle is 1/8 inch in length and has a pattern of white, yellow, and brown scales on its body. Carpet beetles usually nest near their food sources. The beetles feed on organic matter, carpeting, clothing, furniture, and dried plant products. Larvae and adults feed on pollen as well, so beetle populations may be found near outside plants. Larvae are the primary targets of management efforts because they cause the most damage. Liquid pest control applications are very effective and easily control adults and larvae. However, different treatments should be used if clothing or furniture is the problem area.