dark red, and when smashed leaves a red streak. Front
body. It is distributed across the southern states and
legs, as long as the body, move like antennae. [This
can be commonly found under rocks on south hill
slopes in Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri. Nonfatal,
characteristic distinguishes this mite from other red
poisonous species occur in Florida and in the semi-arid
There are no male clover mites
Two species are
in the United States. Females
known to cause fatalities
deposit their red eggs in bark
when t h e y s t i n g :
crevices and building cracks during
Centruroides gertschi and
early summer and in the fall.
C. sculpturatus. These
Nymphs develop from summer
scorpions are found in
eggs to invade dwellings in the
southern Arizona and
fall. Eggs laid in the fall hatch the
neighboring states of
California, New Mexico,
Their habitat is grass and low
weeds near building foundations,
warmed by the sun and sheltered
nocturnal. They hide
from chill. Mite invasions are
under boards, rocks, rubbish and litter during-the day.
influenced by the temperature in
They forage at night, seeking insects, and sometimes,
their habitat combined with heat
small mice. Scorpions grab their prey with front,
reflected from adjacent buildings. Mites build up on
crablike claws and quickly sting, whipping the stinger
the south side of buildings where their habitat optimum
over their back.
Scorpions find daytime hiding places in crawl
temperature reaches above 69F on sunny, late fall and
spaces, attics and closets. They enter occupied rooms,
early, spring days; general air temperatures are lower.
especially kitchens for water.
As general air temperature increases, the temperature
in the mites' habitat grows too high. Both egg and
mite development and activity suspend when
Conduct a flashlight inspection. Place hands
temperatures exceed 75F or fall below 45F in their
carefully when searching in scorpion habitats.
ground level habitat on grass or house foundations and
Carefully, look under outside harborage
and in crawl spaces and attics.
When active, mites move from the grass area onto
Inspect kitchen sink cabinets and
foundations, up under sheathing, or into wall cracks
and spaces around windows that lead indoors. Mites
Scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet
that reach interior wall voids in the fall may contribute
to the following early spring invasion.
Clover mite populations seem to be highest and
most invasive following the installation of new lawns.
Tighten and caulk points of entry.
Clover mite populations reach their height where
Remove harborage around buildings and
subdivisions or housing developments are landscaped
by seeding and raking bare earth, or more often now,
Repair plumbing leaks and ventilate
by hydro-seeding. Well-fertilized grass (and other
groundcover in the West) contributes to the mites'
wellbeing; lack of shade allows uniform temperatures
across the sunny lawns and buildings. Scraped, bare
Dust or spray dry crawl spaces and
attics. [Microencapsulated sprays have
soil is devoid of predatory mites and insects; it
a greater residual value than
encourages the free build up of clover mites on new,
fertilized grass. As the lawn matures and the plant,
Dust under kitchen sinks.
shrub, and tree community diversifies, a diversified
Spray in closets where scorpions are
insect population is supported and clover mite
invasions essentially cease.
Whenever infested buildings and yards meet
criteria that support clover mites, habitat alteration
This fast-moving, harmless mite has a body less
should be strongly recommended.
than l/16 inch long in its adult stage. It is bright to
Module Two, Chapter 5, Pg 5