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[Warning] Walmart Nematodes

Discussion in 'Seller/Buyer/Shop Inquiries/Warnings' started by Blooming Doom, May 18, 2019.

  1. Blooming Doom

    Blooming Doom Arachnopeon

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    This is looking to be the biggest mistake of my life. I was looking for bait worms to feed my pac man frog, and purchased the normal ones you’d find in a freezer.

    A few weeks pass, and at the time of this post, 3 species in my collection have succumb to full blown nematode infections. Palps not working, not accepting food, and the giant pulsating white mass of worms foaming from their mouths. I immediately moved them into the freezer to try and put a stop to the spread. I had no idea where they were coming from or how this started since I have added nothing new to my collection in a few months. Except for the worms.

    I had the idea to take soil samples from my dubia feeder bin, the worms, and several other enclosures that I was worried about for analysis under my microscope. The sample from the earthworm tub was absolutely wriggling with microscopic nematodes. Luckily I found no traces of them in my dubia colony sample.

    The earthworms were immediately disposed of and determined to be the source. I feel some relief for finding what started this, but I’m still fearful that it is too late.

    Tldr; Walmart sells earthworms mixed with nematodes and now my tarantulas are becoming infected. And I’m an idiot for buying anything from walmart
     
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  2. Blooming Doom

    Blooming Doom Arachnopeon

    1 month update

    Since my first post, and freezing the 3 I had noticed became infected, I’ve had no further issues. Which is great. Although I have no idea how long eggs would remain viable or for the time it would take to incubate inside another tarantula and begin to show symptoms. But for now I feel like I can put this behind me.

    So, my best advice for anyone that has this terrible misfortune is to freeze the infected as quickly as possible to eliminate the spread.
     
  3. Blooming Doom

    Blooming Doom Arachnopeon

    Edit Update...

    Looks like I’ve spoken too soon...going to have to say goodbye to an 8” A gen as she has just started to show signs. Her palps went, and it didn’t take long until you could see the worms drooling out of her mouth.

    I can take away two things from this. The incubation period might be at least a month before any individual starts to show symptoms, and this may still be spreading after I eliminated the source of the nematodes. I’d like to think in the best case that this A gen was already infected long ago, but due to her size it took longer for them to show. Worst case, and this is still spreading, I have no idea how to stop it.
     
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  4. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    If you haven't already done so, I'd post a question in Tarantula Questions & Discussions.