Problems with bed bugs are not uncommon. In fact, some reports show one in five Americans experienced a problem with bed bugs or they know someone who did. The problem with bed bugs becomes even more complex when we bear in mind there are tons of types of these little insects out there. In this post, we’re going to focus on red bugs in the bed and how to tackle this issue.
What are tiny red bugs in bed?
Answering this question isn’t easy as it may seem. The reason is simple, there are a few types of little insects that may show up on someone’s bed.
In some cases, these tiny red bugs are clover mites and they usually show up in late spring or early summer. That said, they are a rarity rather than regularity. While they may get indoors, they don’t prefer that environment. These tiny creatures are more interested in your garden or yard because that’s where they eat. Clover mites feed on grass, flowers, plants, and clover (hence the name).
Bryonia praetiosa Koch, or clover mites, are actually among the largest feeding mites around. Although they are primarily spread outdoors, these mites can become indoor pests too. This is particularly the case after excessive heat, heavy rain, or any other change in the season or weather outside.
Clover mites are only about 1/30th of an inch long. They have eight visible legs, of which two legs in the front are the longest, and are members of the arachnid family. While they are very small, or tiny should we say, if you get close to these mites you’ll notice they are oval-shaped and reddish.
Are red bugs on the bed dangerous?
Clover mites aren’t really dangerous. They don’t bite or sting and these mites can’t transmit any virus or disease to you. The biggest problem with them is that they become quite a nuisance since they can stain bedding and other furniture or walls. Considering their tiny size, clover mites are unlikely to cause problems in your everyday routine. They breed fast, though.
Each female can lay 70 to 80 eggs during spring. These mites lay dormant in summer. Their activity picks up again as the temperature lowers.
Although clover mites don’t bite, there are little red mites that too. Their name is Trombiculidae, also known as chiggers, berry bugs, red bugs, among other names. However, you can’t really find chiggers in the bed because these tiny mites need a warm body for a three-day meal in order to become adults. The adult chiggers spend winters in soil.
Unlike clover mites, bed bugs do bite and they are active at night while people are sleeping. Bed bugs feed by piercing a person’s skin and withdrawing blood through elongated beaks. The feeding time lasts between three to 10 minutes. Then, they crawl away. Bed bugs can bite any area of the skin that is exposed while you’re sleeping.
Clover mites vs. bed bugs
People often mistake clover mites for bed bugs, which is why it’s important to address the differences between the two. First of all, clover mites are red while bed bugs are brown. However, bed bugs do become reddish after a meal.
Clover mites tend to have more prominent legs than bed bugs. While clover mites are oval-shaped and look like they have a little bit of hump on the body, bed bugs are flat. Additionally, clover mites don’t bite humans and are, generally, smaller than bed bugs.
Getting rid of bed bugs is more complex and expensive than eliminating clover mites. While you can easily get rid of clover mites on your own, it’s not that easy with bed bugs. In most cases, people call professionals to get rid of bed bugs from their homes.
Since their food is outside, clover mites can’t survive that long in your home. On the flip side, bed bugs live in your home until you get rid of them, they’re quite stubborn. While adult clover mites can live two to three weeks, adult bed bugs liver for two to four months.
How do they get into bed?
Since bugs like clover mites don’t prefer interiors, the question remains how do they get into the bed. If you notice a clover mite on your bed, it just means the little mite is there accidentally. Remember, clover mites may rush indoor due to heavy rains and excessive heat. It’s possible for them to reach inside your bedroom through cracks in walls or around windows.
When it comes to other bed bugs, they usually come to your bedding from another location you’ve visited. For instance, you can transfer bed bugs on your clothes, luggage, or shopping bags from one place to another. Then, they find crevices and cracks near the bed and stay there. Bed bugs hide in mattresses, behind the headboards, and in other places. Their flat bodies allow them to fit into small and narrow spaces.
Keep in mind clover mites and bed bugs don’t fly, but they can move quite fast.
How to get rid of bed bugs?
Bed bugs can be quite bothersome. Understandably, you want to get rid of them, even if they aren’t dangerous. The last thing you want is to have insects and mites in the bedding.
When it comes to clover mites, the easiest way to eliminate them is to contact pest control professionals. If you are more of a DIY kind of person, you may need to use exterior treatment and perimeter sprays. These products can form a barrier between these tiny mites and your home.
To get rid of bed bugs and clover mites, you may also want to do the following:
- Vacuum your entire home, starting with the bed. But, make sure vacuum doesn’t include mattress only, but headboard and bed frame too. Try not to crush the clover mites when vacuuming because you’ll see the nasty stain right after. Crushing them can also stink. Once you’re done vacuuming, dispose of the dust bag far away from your home, don’t do it in your yard because they might come back
- Remove bushes, shrubs, and other vegetation that’s next to the walls, as they may serve as a bridge to clover mites, or other bugs, to enter your home. This is particularly the case with clover mites since they don’t like to walk on the soil. You should also use insecticide granules like Bifen L/P and scatter them around the perimeter of your home. Make sure to scatter insecticide granules over the foundation of your home. Then, sprinkle water over the granules generously. Granules will prevent clover mites and other bugs from gathering, and will also kill them. The granules usually work for up to 90 days
- Avoid or decrease the use of fertilizers in garden/yard because they contain nitrogen, which attracts clover mites
- Wash your bedding and use a bleach-based detergent to remove these mites effectively
- Give your pets a proper bath regularly because clover mites may hide in their fur, making it easy for them to reach your bed too. When washing your pet, you should use warm, soapy water and a pet-friendly insecticidal soap
To ensure your home, or bed, are free of red bed bugs preventive care is crucial. One way to prevent clover mites infestation in your home is to start landscaping a few inches away from the exterior of the house. Make sure to seal cracks and holes that clover mites may use as entry points to your home. If you keep windows open during summer, it’s useful to check the screens; they should be tight-fitting and without tears or holes.
Additionally, water area around your home regularly. You see, clover mites are fond of hot areas and may lay eggs in dry spaces such as roofs, plant pots, or dry yards. Water these areas so that you can cool down the mites and prevent their ages from hatching.
If you have cracks in windows and doors, you may want to sprinkle talk or baking soda there. These powdery substances make it difficult for clover mites to move around and find food.
Most people deal with bed bugs at one point or another. Several insects and bugs can make it to your bed, including tiny red clover mites. These mites generally prefer outdoor settings but they can move indoors under certain circumstances. It’s easier to get rid of them than bed bugs. Red bugs on the bed don’t necessarily have to be clover mites. Bed bugs can turn red after feeding. In this case, the easiest way to get rid of them is to call professionals.