What the heck ARE these things?
August 17, 2012 3:18 PM   Subscribe

Can you help us identify this interesting little garden insect?

We have some insects in our garden that I have never seen before, and can't seem to identify online. I tried taking a picture of them, but they are so small that they don't really show up, and my camera isn't equipped to zoom in enough. Essentially, they look like a small, red seed. On first glance, they look kind of like a raspberry seed, but if I look REALLY closely, they do have tiny little hairlike legs. They only live in one area of our garden, which is all ground cover and some violets and clover. They are COVERING the side of my house, and when I get close enough, they will jump on me and are rather a nuisance to pick off. My husband thinks they look like very tiny ticks, but I can't find any pictures of ticks online that really resemble these guys. They do bite, but don't seem to leave any lasting marks or itchiness. Any idea what these critters might be??
posted by Happydaz to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Sounds like clover mites - they're teeny, bright red, and often appear in numbers. I don't believe clover mites bite, though. They're generally harmless.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:24 PM on August 17, 2012

Or worst case scenario, a swarm of chiggers.
posted by at the crossroads at 3:48 PM on August 17, 2012

Red Spider Mites would be my first guess.
posted by JujuB at 4:32 PM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

That swarming behavior is characteristic of red spider mites. They're harmless.
posted by waldo at 5:35 PM on August 17, 2012

Yeah, red spider mites. If they were chiggers...you'd probably know by now. And you...uh...wouldn't be enjoying it.
posted by infinitywaltz at 7:59 PM on August 17, 2012

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