CLOSED: Tiny Red Critters

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

What are those tiny red little critters all over the patio outside? I see them every year. They are invading my space! What do they do to plants? Is there a way to get rid of them?

Jacksonville, TX(Zone 8b)

Oh, Angel.....I just saw a bunch of those too today! Hopefully someone will know what they are!


Elizabethton (Stoney, TN(Zone 6b)

Don't know. Do you have a picture? Could they be earwigs?

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

No picture... they are tiny bright red dots. If you took a fine tipped red pen and made a dot they would be smaller than that even. If you smash them they make a red splat. They are really common and multiply quickly.

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

They sound yucky whatever they are!

Cedar Rapids, IA

My first thought was maybe spider mites but I did a search on Google for "tiny red bugs" and every hit came up as "clover mites." I can remember seeing these in South Carolina. Always thought they were tiny spider mites.

Scroll down for text regarding clover mites.

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

Clover Mites... that must be it! The first time I ever saw these was when I was working in Oklahoma at a bank and they entered the building. I remember someone coming out to do a quarterly spray for insects but they said they didnt have anything for these bugs. I think they said what would kill them would be too dangerous or something and that they would die out soon anyway. They seem to love the house.

Ok, now I'm all itchy!! Better switch to a new topic if I want to sleep tonight.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

They sound like chiggers to me!

Atqasuk, AK

They are Clover Mites. See the article by Richard M. Houseman of
Department of Entomology at The University of Missouri at:

Thumbnail by cutlass
Kansas City, MO

I managed to get one of the slower ones under a microscope and still not convinced it's the clover mite. Looks like it has more legs and I also found some darker ones.

Sinks Grove, WV

Adult clover mites can vary considerably in color; it is the nymphs that more consistently are red. The distinguishing factor in clover mites is their unusually long first pair of legs that they often wave about like antennae. BTW, I cannot think of any arthropod as small as a clover (or spider) mite that would have more than eight legs. Even pseudoscorpions (with 10 legs) are larger.

Canton, OH

If these are the bugs I am thinking of,I've seen them too.They would be extremely difficult (or maybe even impossible) to get a real good detailed shot of them with my camera.But when I go outside in the summer,I see a whole bunch of em when I lift up one of my flower pots.I don't know what they are,but they sure are plentiful!Definately not earwigs-those are brownish in color and have little creepy-lookin pincher things on em.And,compaired to the little red "spider dots" that i've seen,the ear wig is huge.

Atlanta, GA

It could very well be a red predator mite (e.g., red velvet mite, They feed on many plant pests, so they're friendly!

Columbus, GA

My first thought was that they are chiggers.

Huntsville, AL

Probably chiggers, they're all over the place.

Saskatoon, Canada

I also have these miserable little critters on everything, and they bite! I would love to know how to get rid of them. We do have a lot of concrete and brickwork in the back yard.

Port Townsend, WA

I also have tiny red things in my garden, but from what I've read about red velvet spiders, that's not what they are, since my things move very very quickly, constantly scurrying over flower and leaf surfaces. Neither are they red spider mites, since although they are small, they're definitely visible, and I haven't noticed any particular plant damage. They are bright red and leave a red smear when squished. They bite! The bite not only hurts, but later it forms a small red blister surrounded by a large red rash that itches for about a week! I doubt I can rid my garden of them, but I'd sure like to know how to discourage them and maybe how to stop the itch, and I am curious to know what they actually are - spiders or something else?

Valley Stream, NY

Does anyone know how to get rid of them?

Independence, KY

Sounds like we all have these little red bugs...we have tons of them..all over the concrete..the rocks walls and in the gravel areas of our back yard. No one seems to know how to get rid of them. Anybody? We want them to go away!! Thanks!

Choctaw, OK

I have these all over my front porch (concrete), and patio as well. This is the third year that I've noticed them, and there seems to be alot more of them this year! I've been having so many bites showing up on me....and honestly didn't know what they were! They start out like a mosquito bite and itch like crazy....but just won't go away!!! Last summer some of these bites pretty much lasted all summer, and finally went away when the winter came. So now, it really makes me wonder if it could be these tiny red creatures! Our dog will lay on the front porch & back patio at various times during the day, and she sleeps with us at night. We find a few ticks on her from time to time, but we've never seen any fleas. So now I'm wondering if some of these tiny red things might get on her, and end up biting me?! The only thing I've found so far that helps quite a bit with the itching is an anti-itch lotion called "SARNA". I think it can be found in most drug stores, and maybe even at Walmart! We definitely need to find a way to get rid of these pesky critters!!!!

Choctaw, OK

Google a product called Talstar. It sounds like a safe product to use on shrubs and around pets to get rid of clover mites. It just might be worth a try!

Warren, OH

This is the first year we have had the little red bugs/spiders/ants on our patio and when they are killed they leave a red streak. We can't even sit out anymore because they crawl up your body. Any suggestions...other than not sitting out.

Quay, OK

Use a mixture of soap and water to spray them down. Should drown them and doesn't cause any harm or damage. Good on aphids and spider mites. I don't think you can see chiggers, so they probably aren't chiggers. Spider mites are pinpoint small and red and prolific. Try the spray. Ask your garden center for insecticidal soap.

Petaluma, CA

They are Chiggers and they come at the same time every year by the thousands if not millions. The most effective way to kill them is using a product I use on almost all insects. Dragnet or other potent pyrethrin. Dragnet is much better then the generic tengard which is dragnet spelled backwards. Other pyrethrins have a chemical smell, but dragnet smells like fresh flowers. The poison comes from the Chrysanthemum plant, so that is why Dragnet is so pleasant to use indoors and outdoors. I do it on the weekends for extra cash as a semi professional exterminator. Anyone want a treatment in Sonoma County CA, email me.

Why Dragnet, it only does harm to insects, you can drink it (wouldn't recommend that though:) and it wont harm most people. It wont harm kitties or doggies, or or other little trouble makers -KIDS. Unfortunately it wont harm mice or other critters, but it will kill any bug it finds and will last for months. You shouldn't spray near water supplies, as it will harm small fish.

To treat for Chiggers you want to use a fine spray and shake the wand back and forth to cover the entire area. It is easy and does not take that long to do a average sized lot. Do not spray flowers if you can avoid them, it will kill bees and that is not good. Spray everything else, cracks and crevices and (((bark))). Use a strong mixture, usually it is an ounce of concentrate per gallon, I use 2 ounces per gallon for Chiggers. Treat 3 times in 2 weeks, and the only chiggers you will see are ones that find their way over from the neighbors, but they will also likely die from the treated area too. You will likely not kill 100% as they are everywhere, but you will kill over 98% of them. Whereas you see them everywhere prior to treatment, you would have to go around the property and you would be lucky to find 10 Chiggers after the initial treatment.

Also, this is the second leading termite treatment so spray around your foundation once a year too. I also use 1/2 ounce Dragnet per gallon of water in an old gallon jug, and put a barrier around the home's soil. I use about ten of these per side of home, it will stop any termites in their tracks.

Now that my neighbors know my side business they alll allow me to treat their homes too, and I'm glad to do it. I treat my immediate neighbors and that drastically lowers other pests in my yard too. The next door neighbor is a doctor and he said this is what they used to use for kids hair for lice, so he has no problems with me spraying his yard down as he knows it is safe for kids. Get rid of those pesky Chiggers, don't let them over run your yard and home. It is easier then you think!!!


Tecumseh, MI

Cant be Chiggers as I have them in Southern Michigan and no chiggers this far north.

Watermill, NY

Could they be bird mites?

Here's a photo

Thumbnail by hamptons
Minot, ND

Rodent mites also might be a possibility -

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