Unwanted guests: Spring clover mites

Warming weather begins to bring out some unwanted insect and mite activity. One harbinger of spring is clover mite. Clover mites are accidental invaders that can be a nuisance during early spring. This is the time of year we start getting reports of them.

Spring clover mites are very small, reddish-brown, fast-moving mites that appear only as moving dark spots on light colored surfaces. Their front legs are much longer than their other legs. Clover mites are nuisance pests in that they will not bite or harm people nor will they infest household products. Once inside a home or building they die quickly.

Clover mites can be common in the heavy, succulent growth of well-fertilized lawns where they feed on clover and grasses. If clover mites enter a home, it is around windows or doors, so they are usually spotted crawling along sills or thresholds. Clover mites can crawl up outside walls and may enter buildings at upper levels.

Management

As clover mites are a temporary nuisance, they often disappear as quickly as they appeared.

In the home, a wet sponge can be used to clean mites off surfaces. Wipe carefully to avoid crushing the mites and causing stains. Do not apply insecticides to kitchen counters or other interior surfaces.

Mites observed on the outside of buildings can be killed with a direct spray of an insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soap does not provide residual control.

Clover mites are more common on buildings when lawns extend to the foundation.

Avoid over-fertilizing lawns, as this creates situations that favor large populations of clover mites.

(Source: Dr. Ric Bessin UK Extension Entomologist)

CAIP Cost Share Sign-Ups End This Week

The 2019 County Agricultural Investment Program, C.A.I.P. (formally known as the Phase I cost-share assistance program) sign-up period has started.

Applications for this program will be available 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., now through April 26 at the Madison County Conservation District, 1024 Ival James Blvd Suite A1, in Richmond, Kentucky 859-624-1981, Ext. 3.

There are 11 investment areas, which include commercial production of aquaculture; bees and honey; equine; forage; beef cattle (heifer and bull purchases); goats and sheep; horticulture; poultry; swine; and timber, as well as energy efficiency and production; farm infrastructure and water enhancement, marketing, value-added production and technology and leadership development. The program offers a 50 percent cost-share rate on these practices, with a $3,000 maximum for primary investment areas, and a $1,500 maximum for secondary investment areas. Please inquire through the Madison County Conservation District about specifics for each area.

*The 2019 CAIP Cost Share program educational requirement for approved applicants has changed. Read your application packet carefully!*

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

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