Mites

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LoveTheEarth11
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Mites

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:39 pm

Hello, I have had a problem with tiny white bugs for quite some time. They look like tiny little slugs and eat the hermit crabs food, even if its only been in the tank for a few hours. I had someone tell me they were soil mites, but they don't really look like the image that popped up on google. The bugs first showed up in my frog enclosure, then pretty soon in every tropical cage, including my 45 hermit crab aquarium. I have spent an awful lot of money cleaning out the cage and renewing the soil, and to this point, I have given up. I tried some mite spray from the pet store on all my other tanks, and that seems to be working, but I am afraid to do anything to the hermit crabs.
does anybody know what bugs they are? and/or how I could get rid of them?


(To answer all the questions required to make this post::)
I am using a 50:50 eco earth to play sand mix. it is 9 inches deep (YES, the crabs are completely covered. (They can dig all the way to the bottom and have at least 3 inches of soil above them))
I have a zoomed temp and humidity gadget. It reads 75 F and 85 Humidity. (They are located at the top of the tank)
I have a huge zoomed heat mat on the SIDE of the tank. (Not bottom)
I have two water pools. one for salt, one for fresh. I use prime to dechlorinate it. It is fully cycled with filters.
I feed fresh food, such as banana or kale, and grains such as oats or chia (It changes a lot. They also feed off of live plants (food is replaced every day))
I have had my PP for about a year and a half.
None have molted so far. so far I have had three go down- they never come back up.
They are in a 45 gallon, with a screen lid.
There are five hermit crabs, two large, one medium and two the size of a quarter. (They have never fought, ever)
Lots of extra shells. Like 15?
No chemicals/fumes.
I clean the tank at least every 2 months. by removing all substrates and washing it all down with white vinegar.
No, sponges are NOT used!
Nothing new added to the tank recently. Although they did just get moved from a ten-gallon to a 45 gal.
Last edited by LoveTheEarth11 on Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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JoeHermits
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Re: Soil mites?

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:37 pm

I’m not familiar with the spray so I don’t know how it works.

Have you considered getting predatory mites?


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Re: Mites

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:45 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:37 pm
I’m not familiar with the spray so I don’t know how it works.

Have you considered getting predatory mites?


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Here is a link to the spray I used: https://www.amazon.com/JurassiMite-250- ... B000HHSAVW

Predatory mites? like what? I have considered getting springtails and isopods, but I read an article about them getting out of control (Don't know if they are the same thing as predatory mites, although I heard that isopods will eat other mites and/or bugs)
Last edited by LoveTheEarth11 on Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Soil mites?

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:52 pm

Predatory mites are just that—mites that eat other mites. You’ll have to order them online, of course (unless your local pet store has them and is still open).

Isopods and springtails compete with mites but won’t remove them directly. They can help prevent infestations but are less effective at removing them.


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Re: Soil mites?

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:18 pm

A quick breakdown of the spray:

Sodium lauryl sulfate: a surfactant that removes the protective oils on the mites’ exoskeleton, which repel water for better oxygen exchange

Cottonseed oil: coats the mite to impair oxygen and water exchange

Clove oil: coats the mites to impair oxygen and water exchange

Because of the way the pesticide works it’s most effective on “soft-bodied” critters such as mites, ticks, and spiders.

The SLS complicates things but I don’t think it’ll harm the hermit crabs. Even so I would take every effort to avoid spraying the crabs directly.


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Re: Mites

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:25 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:18 pm
A quick breakdown of the spray:

Sodium lauryl sulfate: a surfactant that removes the protective oils on the mites’ exoskeleton, which repel water for better oxygen exchange

Cottonseed oil: coats the mite to impair oxygen and water exchange

Clove oil: coats the mites to impair oxygen and water exchange

Because of the way the pesticide works it’s most effective on “soft-bodied” critters such as mites, ticks, and spiders.

The SLS complicates things but I don’t think it’ll harm the hermit crabs. Even so I would take every effort to avoid spraying the crabs directly.


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Thank you for the information. The local pet store in my town is open still. I'll see if they have any predatory mites.
I'll also try using the spray. Maybe if I spray it on the soil and cover it up so the crabs can't get into it...
Last edited by LoveTheEarth11 on Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Soil mites?

Post by wodesorel » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:51 pm

Do you have any gnats in the tank? Things without legs could be maggots or a type of worm. My first thought would be fungus gnat larvae since they are in multiple tanks, but it could be nematodes if you are somehow cross contaminating. They aren't harmful, just annoying.

If they do have legs, then I would bet it's collembola - springtails. Those are good things to have! There are thousands of species, but some types looks like fat white little Michelin men, and the legs are so small and unnoticeable that they can pass as little wormy things. They spread like wildfire between tanks.
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Re: Mites

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:20 pm

wodesorel wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:51 pm
Do you have any gnats in the tank? Things without legs could be maggots or a type of worm. My first thought would be fungus gnat larvae since they are in multiple tanks, but it could be nematodes if you are somehow cross contaminating. They aren't harmful, just annoying.

If they do have legs, then I would bet it's collembola - springtails. Those are good things to have! There are thousands of species, but some types looks like fat white little Michelin men, and the legs are so small and unnoticeable that they can pass as little wormy things. They spread like wildfire between tanks.
Before I moved my hermit crabs from their ten-gallon to their 45 there was fly looking bugs (could be gnats) ... I never really thought much of it as I have lots of fruit flys in my house. Although I just searched up an image of gnat larvae and I don't think its that, And I don't think its a maggot either, because the bugs in the tank look like a really tiny white blob, like a pencil mark, but LOTS of them. Whenever I put fresh fruit in the tank in a couple of hours it is COVERED in them. I just looked at one and there are no legs visible.
I could have had springtails before. Before I moved them there were two types of bugs. One which looked like a tiny white baby slug, and one which looked like springtails because they were extremely fast and hopped around.
Then the springtails disappeared when I removed the soil, but the white bug stayed.
Last edited by LoveTheEarth11 on Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Soil mites?

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:30 am

.
Last edited by LoveTheEarth11 on Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Mites

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:14 am

Hello again!

I had an idea of using salt water to mist the cage, to wet the soil because then it would potentially kill the mites...? But then I saw a site that said 'DO NOT use saltwater to mist!' and I got anxious. Any tips?

Thanks :crabbigsmile:
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Mites

Post by JoeHermits » Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:01 am

Misting with saltwater can result in salt buildups as the water evaporates but the salt gets left behind.

For that matter, some crabbers will soak their substrate in saltwater to discourage mold growth.

I don’t know how well salt will drive out the mites but if you do try it one or two thorough sprays won’t be harmful. It’s the continuous spraying of saltwater that should you avoid.


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Re: Mites

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:25 pm

Okay, so after awhile of using the mite spray, they returned, and brought friends! Arrgh. There is now grain mites, something that looks like an earwig, something that looks like springtails but dose not jump, and the slug-thingy. I am REALLY worried and the bugs are SO annoying because they wont leave. What should I do!?
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Mites

Post by wodesorel » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:16 am

I think at this point you have two options. You can accept they are harmless and will be staying, they really aren't doing any damage and naturalized tanks will have uninvited guests in them. Or you can tear all the tanks apart completely once more, house everything barebones for a while so you can sterlize and clean heavily for several weeks (including the space the enclosures are in!), and then set things back up using only sterile items. That seems overkill to me for a few creepy crawlies, but then those don't bother me.
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