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 [HOW TO] Ridding Tropical Enclosures of Mites.

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Streettrash
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PostSubject: [HOW TO] Ridding Tropical Enclosures of Mites.   5/29/2012, 5:54 pm

I recently had a mite outbreak in my collection. It stemmed from some chicken feed I purchased at the local agricultural supply for feeding my roach colonies. Grain mites are generally regarded as harmless, but I noticed them latching on to my nymphs. They spread into all my tropical enclosures. My millipedes seemed to be the most bothered by them. I would frequently see them thrashing about frantically and grooming their legs trying to rid themselves of the pests. I dried my roach bin out which seemed to take care of the problem, but as soon as I bumped the humidity back up they exploded again.

I elected to use biological warfare.

Hypoaspis miles are small predatory mites that feed on other small insects, their eggs, and larvae. They are commonly used in greenhouses to control other mites and tiny flies that are common in high humidity settings.

I purchased mine from Evergreen Growers Supply. They come in a plastic tube containing one liter of media (peat and vermiculite) which equates to approximately 10,000 mites. This tube is enough to treat 1000 square feet of garden space.

I applied this media to all of my humid enclosures liberally making sure to follow the instructions printed on the tube. For the first few days I didn't notice any drastic improvement in my enclosures, but after about a week i was hard pressed to find any mites except for the Hypoaspis miles I had introduced. Now at roughly two months later I have not seen a single mite in any of my enclosures except for the symbiotic mites found on hissing cockroaches. I believe these particular mites were too large for the miniscule H. miles to successfully attack.

I plan on re-applying once yearly, and will be experimenting with culturing my on H. miles mites. I have read that they will feed on springtails which are commonly cultured for Dart frog vivariums. A humid bin full of leaf litter, peat, and rotting wood should suffice to culture "living soil" for a colony of Isopods, and H. miles mites providing that springtails are offered every few days as a food source for the mites.

In summary, the H. miles predatory mites are an extremely effective form of mite control for humid, tropical enclosures. When used in conjunction with isopods, they should effectively clean your enclosures of mites, and help to prevent future outbreaks.
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Scorpion19981000
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Ridding Tropical Enclosures of Mites.   5/29/2012, 8:11 pm

Excellent "How To"! Great information, Street.

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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Ridding Tropical Enclosures of Mites.   5/29/2012, 8:29 pm

Informative! Thanks for sharing awesome
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tfleming
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Ridding Tropical Enclosures of Mites.   6/12/2012, 4:45 pm

Very nice Street, thanks for sharing. I almost got some of these when I introduced mites into my desert species, but changing the substrate and raising the temp, lowering the humidity did the trick.
Thanks again!
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Tongue Flicker
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Ridding Tropical Enclosures of Mites.   3/1/2013, 5:51 am


cleaning up immediately after feeding also helps in ridding the enclosure of mites
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njnolan1
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Ridding Tropical Enclosures of Mites.   8/25/2013, 12:22 am

I know this is an old thread. Not sure what's worse, bringing up an old thread or starting a new one on something similar?

I have also used H. miles and they did work wonderfully. That was quite awhile ago though. I recently purchased a couple of hissing roaches. Their enclosure has mites. I only see the mites when I leave fruit in there for more than a few hours, or dog food or any food I guess. Four of my tarantulas have water dishes and I noticed that the dishes have had quite a few mites in them, when previously they did not. I can't afford to get more H. miles. I guess what I'm getting at is, is it possible for the mites to leave the roaches' tank and move over to the other tanks? I can't imagine they would as it's quite a distance for tiny little mites who seem happy in their damp environments to go. As of now, I haven't seen any on any of my critters, just the dishes. I keep them really dry and the more humid species I only spray in a corner. If I see the critter chilling on that corner I'll spray even more. The thing is though, even in the driest enclosures I've seen a lot in the water dishes (not recently, just a pinch). I hate these mites!!!



Sorry for bringing up an old thread!
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