What Are These Little Red Bugs?

Homeowners in Colorado, particularly around the Castle Rock area, are no strangers to encountering household pests. Among the various ants, spiders, and mites, you may have noticed little red bugs scurrying around your kitchen space. Identifying these pests correctly is essential for understanding how to prevent and control them effectively.

To help identify the red bug you found in Colorado, here are some questions that might help narrow it down

  1. Size and Shape: How big is the bug? What is its general shape?
  2. Markings: Besides being red, does it have any distinctive patterns or markings like stripes or spots?
  3. Number of Legs: Does it have six legs, more, or fewer?
  4. Location: Where exactly did you find it? For example, was it on plants, under rocks, or somewhere else?
  5. Behavior: Was it flying, crawling, or doing something else?
red mite is a tiny bug
red ladybug

Ladybugs (Ladybird Beetles)

Size and Shape: Small, round, and dome-shaped.
Markings: Bright red with black spots.
Number of Legs: Six.
Location: Often found on plants, as they eat aphids.
Behavior: They crawl slowly and are capable of flight.

red milkweed beetle

Red Milkweed Beetles

Size and Shape: Long, oval bodies.
Markings: Bright red with black markings on the head and around the body.
Number of Legs: Six.
Location: Typically found on or near milkweed plants.
Behavior: They crawl on the stems and leaves of milkweed.

red boxelder bug

Boxelder Bugs

Size and Shape: Elongated and flat. Markings: Black with red or orange markings on their back. Number of Legs: Six. Location: Found on boxelder trees, other maples, and sometimes on buildings. Behavior: They can be seen crawling and flying, especially in large groups. They can generally be seen clustering in warm spots.
red lily beetle

Red Lily Beetles

Size and Shape: Small, slim, and rounded.
Markings: Bright scarlet red.
Number of Legs: Six.
Location: On lilies and plants.
Behavior: They crawl on lily plants and are often found eating the leaves.

red mite on sidewalk
tiny red mite spiders infesting a plant

The Most Likely Little Red Bug

The red bugs you’re likely encountering are mites. Clover mites to be exact.  They are tiny, red to reddish-brown arachnids that tend to invade homes, particularly when the weather changes. They are usually found near windows or in areas where sunlight is prominent since they are drawn to warmth.

Identifying Mites

Size: Extremely small, these creatures measure less than 1 mm in length, making them almost invisible to the naked eye.

Markings: They have an oval-shaped body and possess a striking bright red color, which makes them stand out, despite their minuscule size.

Legs: They are equipped with eight legs. Interestingly, the front pair of legs is notably longer than the other six, giving them a distinctive appearance.

Habitat: These organisms live in environments that are well-fertilized, such as lush lawns and gardens. They thrive on green leaves, and can spin fine, silky webs like their arachnid relatives.

Behavior: They bustle around often in very large numbers, usually in groups of 50 or more.  Mites tend to migrate into houses seeking warmth or when their natural outdoor habitat becoming inhospitable, typically in the fall.

Prevention Tips

Preventing an infestation starts with effectively sealing potential access points and making your home less appealing to pests.

  • Thoroughly seal any cracks and openings around windows, doors, and the foundation of your home to block entry points for pests.
  • Construct an 18 to 24-inch gravel or stone barrier surrounding your home. This barrier between your lawn and the house’s exterior acts as a deterrent for pests trying to enter.
  • Diligently remove any grass, weeds, or debris close to your home’s perimeter. Keeping this area clear minimizes the habitats pests can use to hide and breed.
  • Ensure that all window screens are intact, free of holes or tears, and fit snugly in their frames. Properly fitted screens are an effective way to prevent pests from entering your home while allowing fresh air to circulate.

By taking these proactive steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of pest infestation in your home, creating a cleaner, safer environment for you and your family.

Safe Removal

If you’ve recently discovered a troubling infestation of tiny red bugs in your kitchen, it’s important not to panic. Dealing with these uninvited guests can seem daunting, but with the right approach, you can eradicate them efficiently and keep your kitchen pristine. Here’s a detailed, step-by-step guide to effectively handle the situation:

Soap and Water

To begin with, you’ll want to create a solution of soapy water. This simple yet effective mixture can be used to wipe away these pests without causing any damage to your kitchen surfaces. While it might be tempting to use a vacuum to remove these pests swiftly, this method should be avoided. Vacuuming them up can inadvertently crush the bugs, leaving behind tough-to-clean stains that mar your kitchen’s appearance.

Don’t Squish 

Next, it’s crucial to resist the urge to squash them directly on any of your kitchen surfaces. These tiny red bugs, often identified as clover mites, are notorious for leaving behind a conspicuous red stain when smashed. Cleaning these stains can be a significant hassle, requiring more time and effort than necessary.

Remove Hiding Spots

Regularly cleaning and vacuuming your kitchen and adjacent areas can also deter these pests. By maintaining a clean environment, you eliminate potential hiding spots and food sources that attract clover mites and other unwanted critters.

By following these detailed steps and incorporating preventative measures, you can effectively keep your kitchen free from these pesky little invaders and maintain a clean, welcoming space for cooking and gathering.

Professional Pest Control

For persistent issues, consider contacting a professional pest control service:

  • OMNIS Pest Control provides comprehensive quarterly treatments designed to effectively prevent and eliminate troublesome little red bugs and a variety of other pests that may invade your home. This regular intervention is key to maintaining a pest-free living space year-round.
  • Our team of experienced professionals is skilled at identifying the unique challenges your home faces in terms of pest infestation. We offer customized treatment plans specifically tailored to meet the requirements of your home’s environment, ensuring that you can enjoy a clean and healthy living space without the worry of unwelcome guests.

If you have red bugs in your home, it’s important to take action promptly to prevent an infestation from growing out of control. Start with the tips above and consider contacting professionals at OMNIS Pest Control for expert assistance.

For residents around the Castle Rock and Colorado Springs area who are enduring pest-related challenges, tackling the problem with knowledgeable professionals ensures that your kitchen remains clean, safe, and bug-free.

OMNIS spraying pesticide on home