Clover Mites vs. Bed Bugs: Identifying Your Pest Problem



You might think you have bed bugs when you notice tiny red stains around your house. But another type of pest leaves behind these traces—clover mites. While both critters can be a nuisance, their impact on your home and treatment methods are vastly different.

Identifying which creature you’re dealing with can help determine the best pest control action. Here are the differences between clover mites vs. bed bugs, so you can take the proper steps to protect your home.


Both bed bugs and clover mites are minuscule and hard to spot. But clover mites are much smaller and measure less than 1mm in length, meaning they are tinier than a pinhead. Meanwhile, bed bugs are usually around 5 mm—the size of an apple seed.

Clover mites are also arachnids with eight legs and have a bright red color. On the other hand, bed bugs are brown insects with six legs and flat bodies.

Areas To Spot Them

Bed bugs feed on human and animal blood. So, you will typically find them in mattresses, box springs, and bed frame cracks where they can easily access their hosts. During heavy infestations, you can also spot these critters in couch seams, drawer joints, and wall crevices.

Clover mites don’t bite humans. Instead, they feed on plants. But that does not mean these tiny creatures only stay outdoors. Heavy rain and changing seasons drive these mites en masse to people’s homes during spring and cool summers. While indoors, these critters love hanging out near windows and doors, especially on the sunny side of houses.

Other Signs of Their Presence

Without spotting live or dead bed bugs and clover mites, there are few ways to tell they are in your home. One of the most indicative signs of the presence of these two pests is the red stain they leave behind when crushed. Clover mites create these red spots because of their body fluids’ pigment. On the other hand, the red traces from bed bugs came from the human blood they have sucked or their droppings.

Besides red stains, brown foliage in your garden can indicate you have clover mites on your property. During feeding, these arachnids damage plants, causing them to wilt. Meanwhile, the other signs of a bed bug infestation include insect exoskeletons and a musty odor around your house.

Reasons They Are Pests

Clover mites are relatively harmless creatures. They don’t bite people, transmit diseases, feed on fabric, infest stored products, or damage home structures. However, they can ruin your foliage and leave messy red spots on household items. In addition, these critters invade homes in large clusters, which may unsettle some residents.

On the other hand, the US government recognizes bed bugs as public health pests. These insects feed on humans at night. While their bites don’t transmit diseases, they are itchy and can cause allergic reactions and secondary skin infections in some individuals.

The presence of bed bugs has also been shown to affect the mental health of home inhabitants. According to reports, the effects include anxiety, insomnia, and systemic reactions.

Pest Control Methods

Clover mites do not reproduce inside homes and typically perish within a few days due to dehydration. But if you want to get rid of them sooner, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck them out. Indoor-safe insecticide sprays—like permethrin, diazinon, bifenthrin, or chlorpyrifos—can also help control these mites. While eliminating these critters, remember not to crush them to prevent staining your items.

Bed bugs are much more challenging to control than clover mites. These insects multiply rapidly in homes, and their eggs are harder to destroy. When you notice them in your house, hiring professional pest control services is the best way to eliminate them. Here are some steps to mitigate the spread of these critters and prepare your home for extermination:

  • Declutter your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs

  • Vacuum beds, wall cracks, and couches to suck out these creatures

  • Launder and heat-dry bedding and clothing to destroy adult bugs and their eggs

  • Use bed-bug-proof covers for mattresses and box springs to trap any bed bugs in these areas and prevent them from biting your family

Determining if you’re dealing with clover mites vs. bed bugs is crucial in managing your pest problem. Both pests have distinct characteristics and require different treatment methods, so understanding which is invading your home can help you identify the best action.

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