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 Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?

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Zumbii
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PostSubject: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/1/2011, 3:57 pm

The first year I've owned my scorpion I never had any problems whatsoever about mites. The past year, however, he has been getting mites at least once a month.

I'm not sure how else to get rid of these little pests, or how to prevent them. Unfortunately, predatory mites are unavailable, nor are products such as wormwood.

I feed the scorpion in a separate feeding tank, and the crickets are never in there for more than 24 hours - if they are the substrate is removed and replaced with new.

The scorpion is never in there for more than 12 hours (I put him in when I go to sleep and take him out immediately after I wake up).

Any cricket remains are removed before retiring the feeding tank.

The substrate in this feeding tank is chaned before every feeding.

Even after all of my precautions, mites seem to be a continuous hassle.

The mites that I see crawling around are white, circular, and rather large. They are slow-moderately quick depending on the size, and they are seen crawling around in the substrate only. I have seen a total of three mites on my scorpion, and they had darkened in colour and seemed unmoving until I poked at them. (These mites have been removed, and until the substrate is changed, the scorpion is in his clean feeding tank)

I've been told that these mites may only be substrate mites, but since I had seen a very few amount on the scorpion himself, I'm beginning to worry that they are predatory to the scorpion?

I've also noticed that on the claws, back of the legs, and "arms" (sorry I don't know scientific names for scorpion body parts), have white discolourations. It almost looks like dried poop, but seems embedded into the exoskeleton. He has not molted for about a year - is this caused by mites or is the exoskeleton just old and worn? Are the mites causing my scorpion discomfort (he doesn't seem to react to them at all), How can I get rid of them, and how can I prevent them from coming back?


Thanks for any help provided.
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Mr. Mordax
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PostSubject: Re: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/1/2011, 8:26 pm

Those are the harmless mites -- they actually eat the bad ones. I wouldn't worry about them.

Also, I think you may be being a little overly-cautious. There's nothing wrong with feeding the scorp in its own tank (and the routine moving back and forth may cause undue stress).

As for the white stuff on the exoskeleton, that sounds like dried poo to me. Sometimes it gets into the nooks and crannies and doesn't come out easily. Adult scorps don't molt, either, so it will remain there unless your scorpion gets submerged in water (which isn't harmful).

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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/2/2011, 1:08 am

not to jump on your OP, but I have been reading up on mites as well since I am concerned with them in my emperors enclosure, it drags the food inside of its burrow and rarely comes out so I cant see if there are any remains.

Anyways, I know there are the predatory mites, that can be 'produced' by leaving a dead cricket and some substrate in a warm humid container, then moving the scorpion or the predatory mites themselves into the others enclosure.

But, what I dont understand is that I was reading somewhere that parasitic/bad mites are 'produced' the same way, dead cricket parts in a enclosure. Or do the bad ones show up because of mold due to poor ventilation, or poo thats been sitting around?

Seems contradictory to me that both good and bad mites show up when there is a dead carcass around? Can someone clear this up, I have used the search option and that is what I am basing a lot of my information on.
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PostSubject: Re: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/2/2011, 1:30 am

As far as I know, the bad ones come in with your scorpion in the first place.

People see lots of mites show up on dead prey, assume all mites are bad, and then you have the "dead prey = bad mites" associations.

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Roblicious
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PostSubject: Re: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/2/2011, 1:50 am

Then how would I get predator mites then? Would hate to 'spawn' bad ones by placing dead food in a container lol

White mites are good and brown are bad correct?
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PostSubject: Re: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/2/2011, 2:48 am

From my PM:

Bad ones are typically brown, yes, but some good ones are too. The bad ones are very small (even for mites), don't move, and typically congregate in huge numbers around a scorpion's joints and booklungs. They're small enough that you wouldn't notice them on the substrate in the first place -- just when they amass themselves on a scorpion.

But usually, these sorts of infestations only show up in new additions to hobbyists' collections -- so if you inspect your scorpions before you buy them, you can prevent it pretty well.

http://eycb.pagesperso-orange.fr/scorpions/Gennemis.htm <-- great pictures here of what infestations look like (and notice that they aren't brown; color isn't the best indicator in some of these situations).

Also, see my earlier post: I believe the idea of bad mites showing up from leftover prey items is due to the false assumption that all mites are bad. Bad mites show up from WC scorpions that already have infestations.

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Zumbii
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PostSubject: Re: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/2/2011, 5:32 am

Thanks. I'll be sure to put the scorpion back in his enclosure then. If these mites are harmless, then I have been getting them all along so the extra feeding tank precaution was a mistake.


Thanks again for you help! Since my other forum was shut down I didn't really have anywhere to get my information. Glad there is still another active site like this.
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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/2/2011, 5:41 am

Just a thought. I kept getting a bunch of harmless mites when my ventilation was too low. I upped the ventilation and the mites have never returned.

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Zumbii
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PostSubject: Re: Difference between Harmful Mites and Neutral Mites?   4/2/2011, 2:49 pm

I'll try that too. Right now I have a cloth covering most of the screen for the humidity, but the humidity has been staying relatively high so I might remove it and see what happens.
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