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Thread: Millions of tiny red bugs - to spray or not to spray?

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    RazorbackFan78's Avatar
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    Millions of tiny red bugs - to spray or not to spray?

    We noticed them earlier this week while swimming, thousands of them all over the concrete pool deck and retaining walls. Supper tiny and they don't fly. Basically looks like a chigger, which is what our friends thought they were. Well, chiggers bite and burrow if they get on you and nobody had that happen all week.

    I'm about 90% convinced they're clover mites (thanks to google) Has anyone had any luck getting these little fellas under control? Or maybe the better question is do I need to even worry about them? To spray or not to spray.

    Ps. I'm not including my current water settings because this is just a "bugs" question.
    IG 36x17 Vinyl w/ a 7ft Slide, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, 1HP Pump, Barracuda G3, Pentair 300 Chlorinator (not in use), and a Rheem P-M266A Heater

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    alanpaul's Avatar
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    Re: Millions of tiny red bugs - to spray or not to spray?

    We had them in my youth in Baltimore, MD. We were told to remove an 18" border of all 'vegetation' especially including grass, and put in:
    mite-repelling flowers (geranium, zinnia, marigold, salvia, roses, chrysanthemum, and petunia)
    and/or
    mite-repelling shrubs (barberry, juniper, spruce, arborvitae, and yew),
    with stones/gravel as a ground cover. It cut back the infestation pretty well.
    You can also spray with standard insecticides that list mites on their labels, but they usually will return within a year, as they live in the grass.
    Obviously, you won't want to use thorny plants like barberry by your pool!
    Good luck.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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    RazorbackFan78's Avatar
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    Re: Millions of tiny red bugs - to spray or not to spray?

    Thanks for the tips Alan. We'll probably spray this year and work on gravel edging for next year.
    IG 36x17 Vinyl w/ a 7ft Slide, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, 1HP Pump, Barracuda G3, Pentair 300 Chlorinator (not in use), and a Rheem P-M266A Heater

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    Re: Millions of tiny red bugs - to spray or not to spray?

    I believe those may be spider mites (same thing as clover mites, I don't know). I don't have a pool deck, but I do have a cement retaining wall with them that I sometimes use as a seat. I have never had a problem with them biting, so I always just leave them alone.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    Re: Millions of tiny red bugs - to spray or not to spray?

    Yeah I think they are clover mites. We get them occasionally around here (CT), usually on concrete walls, fire pits, etc. Rarely around windows and stuff to the point that they end up in the house (Ive never had it but my sister in law did....oh the humanity ) I believe they were told you can spray for them but they will come back (Im guessing you cant get every single one since they are so small, and it doesnt take much for them to make new ones!)

    Id leave them be if they are outside....worry about if they encroach into the house.
    22K IG vinyl, .5HP Northstar pump, S244T filter, AutoPilot Digital w/SC-48 cell

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    alanpaul's Avatar
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    Re: Millions of tiny red bugs - to spray or not to spray?

    Reading others' posts jogged my memory.
    As I recall, the mites seemed to be attracted to warm, sunny, light-colored surfaces (concrete, white window sills), but then, it was the 1960s! Who knows what they're into now....
    Good luck with them.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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