General Question

Theotherkid's avatar

What are those really tiny red bugs called?

Asked by Theotherkid (884points) May 21st, 2008 from iPhone

They are extremely tiny but a bright red. I saw them crawling up a brick wall one day.

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24 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Clover mites, perhaps?
Information and photo.

marinelife's avatar

I think lefteh has it. Here is some more data from

Clover Mites
Tiny red mites by the billions may be seen crawling about lawns, walkways, houses, and the pink flamingo in your yard. Adult mites are rusty-brown to dark red in color and smaller than the head of a pin. The front legs are longer than the body. Immature stages are bright red. This mite can reproduce without mating and large populations can develop quickly. Clover mites breed and feed in grasses, clovers and certain ground-covers surrounding homes and buildings. There have been reports in the literature of Bryobia damage to impatiens and lobellia. The worst infestations are often reported in new lawns and lawns that have been heavily fertilized. Differing weather patterns seem to elicit differing behaviors or different Bryobia species. Clover mites are a cool-season mite. They seem to be most numerous in the spring, but may also be abundant during the Fall or on warm days in the winter.

They are no threat to people or pets and are more of an annoyance if they move into houses around doors and window sills. They will not survive indoors.

simone54's avatar

I have always called them Chiggers. They are actually the larva of harvest mites. A whole bunch them bite the hell out of your ankles and they itch like a bitch (no rhyme intended). They don’t actually burrow into your skin as the myth ays.

playthebanjo's avatar

We call them red bugs in Georgia.

simone54's avatar

Nice cut and paste Marina.

shilolo's avatar

@simone. I think she states quite clearly, “Here is some more data from”, so lay off…

marinelife's avatar

@simone54 Why thank you. As to chiggers, not in Ohio. Here is another: They are a tropical mite whose reported distribution in the United States has previously been limited to the extreme southeastern portion of the country. Forgot the attribution: American Journal of Tropical Medicine.

shilolo's avatar

@Simone. As an infectious disease doctor, I can tell you that most scientists/doctors associate chiggers with scrub typhus (a disease caused by a bacteria in the family Rickettsiaceae). This particular chigger-borne disease is not found in the US. Very rare cases of rickettsialpox occur in the United States transmitted by mite/chiggers in urban environments. So, if you and I were to talk about chiggers, I would think you were talking about Southeast Asia.

simone54's avatar

This why I clear to state ”I have always called them Chiggers.” If anyone from where I live where have conversation about them. We would be referring to what I was talking about.

trogdor_87's avatar

I know them as Chiggers.

robmandu's avatar

@Shilolo, where do you practice? Perhaps chiggers is a regional colloquialism.

Growing up in the Grand Ole South, we referred to the “tiny red bugs” simply as “red bugs”. They were different than “chiggers” which were typically dark brown/black in color (and I have no idea if those were some sort of mite), but they were practically as small.

Point is, south of the Mason-Dixon, you might want to recalibrate your diagnostic vocabulary to include “chiggers” as a local species, not foreign exotic.

playthebanjo's avatar

You know robmandu, I don’t think I have ever actually seen a red bug. I know I have been bitten plenty of times.

What is funny is that in Savannah, where I grew up, they were red bugs. About 4 hours north in Carrollton, (Western GA) they were Chiggers.

shilolo's avatar

@Rob. Not likely. They might be called chiggers down south, but in medicine/ID, chiggers are associated with scrub typhus from Southeast Asia.

kapuerajam's avatar

My freinds and I call them blood bugs

buster's avatar

CHIGGERS!!! they itch something ferocious if they bite you!\

mr_bodywave's avatar

Shilolo——your link says “Humans acquire the disease when an infected chigger, the larval stage of trombiculid mites (Leptotrombidium deliense and others), bites them while feeding and inoculates O tsutsugamushi pathogens.” note that it is from INFECTED chiggers. There are chiggers in US.

Greaseistheword's avatar

the tiny red bugs are clover mites, I live in GA now. I used to live in MD and visited PA now they have chiggers and if you’ve ever been bitten by one or a thousand which I have you know it, these clover mites do not bite you I just took one off me.

Greaseistheword's avatar

But now I feel a little itchy LOL

benesq's avatar

It is ’ Tungaw ’ usually found near the beach.

bdunbar8's avatar

I live in Indiana, which is not close to a beach. I have these things at my house too. I found them in my flower garden by my house. These are not Chiggers, by any means. I would know if I had been bitten by them because I have been working in my garden a lot the last few weeks. I think they are clover mites. Either way, they are annoying…

jodilynn42's avatar

They are called boxelder bugs they are not harmful to humans they are mighty little pest tho.
they are generally found where there is maple or ash trees. A simple non harmful way to kill them is to use laundry detergent and water. They start out as bright red bugs and when fully mature they are red and black and usually come out in spring and you may not see them until mid july when they breed. They will go inside or elsewhere for winter… unless an unusually warm day comes around. Good luck

madmom's avatar

Detergent and water was the only comment I saw regarding getting rid of the little red bugs. Thanks for that. I don’t really care what you call them.

lrbegel's avatar

New to this and late to the party but those tiny red bugs are taking over our property. First year there was one area with hundreds of them! Used bug spray but that didn’t really stop them. Second year, Twice as many and now Four yrs later, there is literally no place on our acre of property where they aren’t foraging through the grass! I fear our dogs will be harmed by them. Any thoughts out there??? Thanks

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