Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

For the discussion of any creepy crawlies that may have taken up residence in your tank, including mites. Please note that isopods have their own forum.
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Sarasobo
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Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by Sarasobo » Thu May 25, 2017 11:16 pm

I have had the same problem in my crabatat multiple times and it stresses me out so badly I almost can't handle it every year I get some sort of mite living in their home it seems to be the same kind Everytime they are white, about the same size as a grain of sand and ,they run EXTREMELY fast. They seem to multiply quickly and mostly occupy the food dish but they are absolutely horrifying. *GRAPHIC* there was one point where had given my crabs freshly mashed potatoes and when I went to replace their food I knowticed that the mites came pouring out of the holes in the food where my crabs had stepped I was so horrified that I was almost in tears. It seems every year I have to boil and remove everything from the tank this is very difficult especially when owning a large habitat. Is there a way I can prevent these mites? Whatever species they may be they seem very interested in my crabs food and multiply very fast
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soilentgringa
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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by soilentgringa » Thu May 25, 2017 11:18 pm

They are food mites and are harmless.

Remove food every morning and feed dried/dehydrated items only. They will die off but probably never completely be eradicated.

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soilentgringa
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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by soilentgringa » Thu May 25, 2017 11:18 pm

Food mites are just a part of crabbing.

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Sarasobo
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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by Sarasobo » Thu May 25, 2017 11:23 pm

Thank you for the reply it makes it a little less terrifying knowing that it's a common problem and that they are harmless :)
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wodesorel
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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by wodesorel » Thu May 25, 2017 11:34 pm

They are native to our area. The crab tank provides a nice warm and humid environment with a steady food source so their numbers can sometimes get out of control. Like SG said, they are harmless and actually do cleanup duty so they aren't bad to have around.

I notice that they will have population explosions during warm weather, but the swarm tends to disappear in a few days without me having done anything. Cleaning will not get rid them, you'll be killing yourself for nothing.

I've had mine since a few months into my crabbing journey and that was 8 some years ago. I also find them in the enclosures of my other pets.

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elly_bananas
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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by elly_bananas » Fri May 26, 2017 1:35 am

wodesorel wrote:They are native to our area. The crab tank provides a nice warm and humid environment with a steady food source so their numbers can sometimes get out of control. Like SG said, they are harmless and actually do cleanup duty so they aren't bad to have around.

I notice that they will have population explosions during warm weather, but the swarm tends to disappear in a few days without me having done anything. Cleaning will not get rid them, you'll be killing yourself for nothing.

I've had mine since a few months into my crabbing journey and that was 8 some years ago. I also find them in the enclosures of my other pets.

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Whoa whoa whoa, "enclosures to other pets"?! Oh my! Please explain, im in a full panic now lol

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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by wodesorel » Fri May 26, 2017 1:39 am

I have reptiles and scorpions which all have similar requirements as hermits. I used to also have exotic roaches and milipedes. The mites ended up in all the enclosures but don't harm anything. They work as housekeeping and eat anything that would otherwise rot or mold. I personally love them. Before they and the springtails moved in I had the worst time with mold and fungus in any tank that was kept humid. I hate having to clean out any of the tanks and start them from scratch because I'll have mold issues until the mites become established again.

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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by GotButterflies » Fri May 26, 2017 9:16 am

Some people mistake springtails for food mites - which are also common and harmless. :)
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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by Dragonfire1577 » Wed May 31, 2017 8:02 am

You should seriously consider seeding your enclosures with springtails, 100% worth it they do a great job as a beneficial cleaning crew as they eat things mites won't touch and they also serve to out compete mites limiting their numbers. Also what scorpion species do you have? I owned a massive female Pandinus dictator for a while and it was a really awesome species. Also with springtails they tend to end up floating on the water dishes and somehow unexplicably jump enclosures, like all my geckos have springtails in their substrate and I probably only seeded 4 out of 6 enclosures (I think they got transported on the geckos when I did pairings for breeding or something but I've never seen them actually on my animals once)

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Re: Terrified of the bugs in my crab tank

Post by wodesorel » Wed May 31, 2017 9:21 am

I have springtails in everything as well, love them so mucb! At least three harmless mite species, too. My tanks sort of naturalized and I just went with it. The scorpions are completely self cleaning at this point, save for the inevitable house mushroom explosions that happen once a year. I know there are springs in the humid hides for my snakes and leos but I never see them in the dry areas.

Pandinus imperators. At the moment I have somewhere around 100, there are lots of babies needing to go to new homes this summer. :D Been waiting five years for this! They are not a quick growing species.



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