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Are these Mites, or ...?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Phases, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    My P. metallica was out and about today and I noticed the fangs looked white. I wondered if she had just molted and I had not noticed, maybe she was stretching out on the glass - but looking at it, that's not the problem.

    She did poop yesterday or day before that ran down into her little area, sometimes dried poo looks like this but, are these mites?

    Screenshot_20171114-122535.jpg 20171114_121228.jpg

    Her cage is pretty new. About six weeks. Her last one the substrate was generally half moist half the time. Now she has a water dish and every week or two maybe I'll just pour a little into the substrate and make a wet spot. It is all dry now except around and under the water dish. Moving the soil around, it appears mite free.

    She is eating fine.

    Any insight appreciated!
  2. VanessaS

    VanessaS Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    That would not be feces, it looks like mites to me. They will often gather around the mouth area to take advantage of leftover food.
    I don't have any experience with this, someone else will provide you with advice.
  3. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    mites around the mouth and joints could be parasitic mites i would want them off the t asap.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoking Active Member

    Mites. Rehouse to completely new enclosure. Before rehousing keep the specimen in dry plastic tub with ventilation for 8 hrs. This will have the mites on the host die off leaving just the enclosure to be sorted.
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  5. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    Thanks guys, few questions:

    - Anyone seen this freezing method? Course, My cage is a bit too big for that but I suppose I'm asking, can you freeze them dead?
    - 8 hours in a dry container will kill them? Whist they are on the T's fangs?
    - Is a completely new container really necessary? Surely you can cook the logs/etc in oven/grill and clean the enclosure?

    Appreciate all the help,
  6. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoking Active Member

    I had them on a female hati hati and after 8 hrs in a tub with dry paper towel and plenty ventilation they were all gone.

    You can bake or freeze everything in the enclosure but its easier to dump it all put and replace it. Whatever is easiest for you
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. VanessaS

    VanessaS Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    Mites are often pretty mobile. While your tarantula is in the dry cup, I would not have it anywhere near another tarantula or enclosure. Or anything that would allow them to set up house elsewhere.
    I would have thought it was far more difficult than that. Seems pretty easy.
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  8. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    Ok well, happy to hear I don't have to manually clean her fangs! Not that I don't have a couple that literally would allow that - not about to give it a go with her.
  9. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    Like so? Poked extra holes in lid. Has the standard ones around the side.
  10. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoking Active Member

    Yeah that should be fine :) keep it away from moisture and you should be golden
  11. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    Awesome thanks, here's to my first mite adventure! *cheers*
  12. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    Are mites inevitable to some degree, and its investations you want to curb? I have been checking my T's and Four so far have them in their tanks. At least one I mean, that I see walking very slowly on the wall. Did I get a bad batch of feeders!?
  13. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoprince Active Member

    I don't think so, not the parasitic type anyway. Never had that happen with any of my spiders, and my collection isn't small. Could be the feeders. But I remember hearing that parasitic mites are host specific, and may not survive on different types of inverts.

    Anyhow, good luck getting her back in good shape man!
  14. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    Thanks! The problem is, I've found at least six others with this problem. Half on fangs, half around bowls..

    Some look okay, some I've been unable to get a good check yet. I don't want to knee jerk reaction this but I know there is some urgency too so.. ugh.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    • Sad Sad x 1
  15. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    What I am seeing are WAY smaller than these:

  16. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoprince Active Member

    Sorry to hear that man, that's not good. Maybe you should quarantine them for now, just until you figure out what the best course of action would be.

    Maybe @boina can help identify the mites.
  17. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    Just a minute, I'll get a video up that might help. Warning, handling will be shown.. I consider this extreme enough circumstance to warrant it so don't keeeel me, just please try to help identify if you can.. gimme maybe 15..

    Edit.. sorry, ended up getting another one up for a little photo shoot, she has them around her eyes, wanted to include at end of video. Processing now... probably another 20.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  18. darkness975

    darkness975 Brachypelma darknessi Arachnosupporter

    In this instance handling is not really something worth arguing about, and it will help to better clarify what you are seeing for the rest of us.

    @boina is definitely someone to ask about mites.

    Sorry to hear about this @Phases , hopefully it gets sorted out ASAP.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Phases

    Phases Arachnoknight Active Member

    • Sad Sad x 1
  20. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

    Oh wow, that's really a spectacular mite infestation! Very rare to come by. I don't think these are really parasitic though, rather hitchhiking mites (phoretic mites) since they are sitting on the chelicerae and parasitic mite do look somewhat different. They may actually sit on the tarantula because the general environment has become too dry for their liking. @KezyGLA 's method of putting the tarantula on dry paper towels for a while may work, however, I'd go the opposite way: Put something the mites like, like a dead cricket, into the enclosure. The mites should leave your tarantula within a few hours to feed on the cricket. Then remove the cricket. Repeat daily for about a week. As I said, they don't look like parasites, just hitchhikers, so they should leave the tarantula as soon as they find something better.

    Here's the article about mites on tarantulas written by a mite-biologist again.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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