The Battle of the Bugs: Clover Mites vs. Chiggers

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Summertime is the time for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor fun. But it’s also the time for pesky bugs! In this blog post, we will be discussing two of the most common types of outdoor bugs: clover mites and chiggers. These insects can make your summer a living nightmare if you’re not prepared! So read on to learn more about these critters, and find out how to protect yourself from them.

All about chiggers

What do chiggers ticks look like?

What do chiggers ticks look like?
Photo from @bugeyed_photography

This type of tick has a bright red color when they are first born and at a young age. But there is also a yellow coloration of this type of mite, where this color they acquire as a result of good nutrition. The body of the chigger at birth does not exceed the size of 0.4 millimeters. At the larval stage, it has three pairs of legs, and at the nymphal and mature stage, another pair grows. Adults can grow up to 1 millimeter in length.

Chigger Life Period

Chiggers go through several stages of life: first the female lays an egg, then the larva hatches from it, then the nymph is formed, and then the adult. Larvae live from 2 months to a year, where everything will depend on the quantity and quality of food, as well as a favorable environment and the absence of natural predators. The process of larval transformation is very entertaining, as the larvae purposely climb higher ground to find an individual for future feeding. When the larva has had enough of the skin cells of the host, which can be either a human or any animal, it separates from the victim, and after a while the molting process takes place. After molting, the chigger turns into a nymph and then into a mature specimen.

What does the chigger eat?

What does the chigger eat?
Photo from @bugeyed_photography

The only known food source of the chigger is the blood of mammals, reptiles, birds, or humans. The larva hatches from the egg and immediately begins searching for a host. Once it finds a host, it pierces the skin and begins to feed. It also feeds on skin cells. But chiggers can only bite people at the larval stage. Adults don’t do that.

A chigger habitat?

Chiggers are very fond of woods, plantings, wet grass, lawns with fresh or wet grass, and parks with vegetation. So if you spend time in places with lots of greenery, be sure to take precautions against chiggers!

What happens if a chigger bites a man?

Chiggers are very small ticks that can cause severe itching and irritation if they bite a person. However, they are not known to transmit any diseases to humans. The bite site may swell and become red in color.

How do I protect myself from chiggers?

How do I protect myself from chiggers?
Photo from @jakebwine

To protect yourself from chiggers, avoid places where they can be found, such as forests and fields with tall grass. If you cannot avoid these places, wear long pants and socks to keep them off your skin. You can also treat your clothes with an insecticide before you go to these places. Be sure to follow the directions on the package to apply the product correctly.

Fighting chiggers

Dealing with a large infestation of chiggers can be a challenge. Not only are these pests small and hard to spot, but they are also painful to bite at the larval stage. To stop the chigger population, you need to clear your yard of brush, mow the grass regularly, and clear a space to allow plenty of sunlight into the garden or lawn. Chiggers don’t like heat or bright sunlight, but prefer humidity and dampness. In the most difficult cases, you can ask for help from pest control professionals.

All about clover mites

What does the clover mite look like?

What does the clover mite look like?
Photo from @japcopestcontrolltd

The clover mite is a small red arachnid barely visible to the naked eye. Adult clover mites can range in size from 1 to 2 millimeters in length, which is larger than the mites described above. Nymphs (immature clover mites) are smaller in size and may have a sloppy red coloration. Similar mites have other names: concrete mites, sidewalk mites, and city mites. They have a more elongated body shape, unlike chiggers, one or two pairs of eyes and 8 legs. The main difference between the chigger tick and the others is that the two front pairs of legs are elongated and long.

Life span of clover mites

There are no males in the clover mite population, only females. A female can lay up to 70 eggs at a time. In the second week, the larvae hatch out and feed on plant sap, unlike chiggers. When the clover mite grows, it has a life cycle of only two weeks.

What do clover mites feed on?

What do clover mites feed on?
Photo from @margatroyd

Clover mites feed on the sap of plants, mainly clover, grass, and other short vegetation. They pierce plants with their sharp mouthparts and insert a straw-like tube to suck out the sap. Such feeding can cause damage to lawns, gardens and other vegetation. Clover mites can also feed on house mold and fungus.

The habitat of clover mites?

These insects are most often found near doors and windows of homes because they are attracted to the sun’s heat. However, they can also be found in other areas around the house where there is direct sunlight, such as on porches, patios, decks, and gardens. Clover mites do not fly, so they cannot be found in trees or gardens. They can hide behind tree bark, on wall foundations and concrete pads and paved roads. Clover mites live in large groups, so more often than not they are not only visible, but also well audible.

Feature of the clover mite

Feature of the clover mite
Photo from @hari_the_mobilephotographer

This type of mite is actually not at all dangerous to humans. It doesn’t bite him, it doesn’t bite pets

Nicolas Wayne

Gardening and lawn care enthusiast

Nicolaslawn
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