Can't get molding worm out

elysium

Arachnosquire
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Nov 7, 2015
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69
I have an M robustum that took a super down it's burrow and left it at the bottom but never ate it. I can see it because the bottom of the burrow is on the side of the enclosure so I get a little window. After a week of not eating it, the worm started to mold and so I had to feed her again, this time crickets which she is eating fine. The worm at the bottom however keeps getting moldier.... I can't get it out because her burrow is 4 inches under, so without digging her up there is no way. She is about 2 inches DLS and doesn't seem to mind the molding worm, walking by it every so often. You can kinda see her and the moldy worm in the picture below. What are my options here? Can I leave the worm in there, and ultimately could that harm my T? Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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chanda

Arachnoking
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You really shouldn't leave it there because the mold is not good for your spider. It can spread and the dead worm can encourage mites.

Because the worm is right by the glass, it looks like maybe you could poke down with a pair of long feeding tongs and grab it without destroying the entire burrow?
 
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clive 82

Arachnoknight
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I have an M robustum that took a super down it's burrow and left it at the bottom but never ate it. I can see it because the bottom of the burrow is on the side of the enclosure so I get a little window. After a week of not eating it, the worm started to mold and so I had to feed her again, this time crickets which she is eating fine. The worm at the bottom however keeps getting moldier.... I can't get it out because her burrow is 4 inches under, so without digging her up there is no way. She is about 2 inches DLS and doesn't seem to mind the molding worm, walking by it every so often. You can kinda see her and the moldy worm in the picture below. What are my options here? Can I leave the worm in there, and ultimately could that harm my T? Thanks for any suggestions!
Im by no means an expert but if it were me I think I would remove the worm or rehouse while I was at it. Yeah it will mean disturbing your T but could be the best option?
 

Vanessa

Grammostola Groupie
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Unfortunately, it is a lose-lose situation. You destroy the burrow by digging out the mouldy worm or you might have to do a complete rehouse because of mites.
I would take a paintbrush and try to shove it down the into the substrate with the handle end. Then, I would take a long skewer, or tongs, and try to remove the worm.
Yes, it might destroy the burrow a bit, but she will repair that. I have had to do this and the tarantula repaired the burrow in no time. It ended up being a lot less invasive than doing a complete rehouse.
 

BorisTheSpider

Overly Complicated
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Take a long pair of clamping tongs or hemostats and carefully slide it between the substrate and the side of the enclosure . You should be able to snag the worm carcass and pull it without doing too much damage to the burrow .
 

BobBarley

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Sep 16, 2015
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And this is why I use springtails... lol

Agreed with @BorisTheSpider and @chanda , try to get it out with long tongs or something of the like. No big deal, the specimen will just rebuild if it has to.
 

SpiderDad61

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Oct 25, 2015
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186
I have an M robustum that took a super down it's burrow and left it at the bottom but never ate it. I can see it because the bottom of the burrow is on the side of the enclosure so I get a little window. After a week of not eating it, the worm started to mold and so I had to feed her again, this time crickets which she is eating fine. The worm at the bottom however keeps getting moldier.... I can't get it out because her burrow is 4 inches under, so without digging her up there is no way. She is about 2 inches DLS and doesn't seem to mind the molding worm, walking by it every so often. You can kinda see her and the moldy worm in the picture below. What are my options here? Can I leave the worm in there, and ultimately could that harm my T? Thanks for any suggestions!
I've done this before. If u have them, and u should, get ur long tweezers, and poke down along the plastic side of the enclosure heading towards the worm. Open a tiny pocket by moving the tip of the tweezers to get a bite, then pull the worm out. It minimally damages the hide so the T barely notices
 

REEFSPIDER

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May 6, 2016
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I mean removing mold is pretty straightforward practice by everyone in the hobby.(including myself when it shows up) Same with any fungal growth that may occur in the moister terrariums we have. But i wonder if there is any proof of this actually causing harm to a T. Everyone says remove it because mold will hurt your t but i don't think i can put faith into believing that statement having seen the amount of mold and fungus that is present on the forest floors where most of these Ts in question are originally from. :bookworm:
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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I mean removing mold is pretty straightforward practice by everyone in the hobby.(including myself when it shows up) Same with any fungal growth that may occur in the moister terrariums we have. But i wonder if there is any proof of this actually causing harm to a T. Everyone says remove it because mold will hurt your t but i don't think i can put faith into believing that statement having seen the amount of mold and fungus that is present on the forest floors where most of these Ts in question are originally from. :bookworm:
Maybe so, but in the wild they have the option of avoiding the mold and fungus. When they're trapped in a small cage with it, they have no such choice. When I went out of town for a week and had my husband tending my cages he overwatered a bit - so I came back to find mushrooms(!) growing in a couple of enclosures. No idea where they came from, but a couple of the dang things dropped spores all over the place. Those spores are so fine - and there are so many of them - that I could easily imagine them getting into the book lungs and causing problems. Fortunately, it was only in a couple of the D. diadema tanks - and they spend most of their time at the top of their cork bark anyway. Nevertheless, those cages received a quick cleanout and new substrate!
 

REEFSPIDER

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Maybe so, but in the wild they have the option of avoiding the mold and fungus. When they're trapped in a small cage with it, they have no such choice. When I went out of town for a week and had my husband tending my cages he overwatered a bit - so I came back to find mushrooms(!) growing in a couple of enclosures. No idea where they came from, but a couple of the dang things dropped spores all over the place. Those spores are so fine - and there are so many of them - that I could easily imagine them getting into the book lungs and causing problems. Fortunately, it was only in a couple of the D. diadema tanks - and they spend most of their time at the top of their cork bark anyway. Nevertheless, those cages received a quick cleanout and new substrate!
I appreaciate your imagination but i was fishing for facts. You say they can get away from it in the wild, but you obviously dont understand the complexity of the biomes present in the wild. They could run forever and they would still settle upon some form of spores. Spores are everywhere in nature and in wet jungles even more so.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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I appreaciate your imagination but i was fishing for facts. You say they can get away from it in the wild, but you obviously dont understand the complexity of the biomes present in the wild. They could run forever and they would still settle upon some form of spores. Spores are everywhere in nature and in wet jungles even more so.
I am well aware of the complexity of biomes in the wild - but that is not the same at all as the artificial constraints of a cage. Yes, in the wild, molds and fungi and bacteria are present everywhere - but the concentration of them is not uniform. I was not saying that the tarantula could escape ALL molds or fungi, but it certainly could leave areas with an unhealthy concentration of them - or any other unfavorable conditions. If you don't believe that tarantulas will try to leave an unfavorable environment for one that's more suitable, just overwater the cage of a dry species like a Grammostola and watch it climb the walls! In the cage it is all too easy for molds to get out of control because the rest of the elements of that wild biome (like the deritivores, for starters) are not present. The average tarantula cage is not a self-contained mini-ecosystem, so it is up to the keeper to maintain the enclosure to keep their spiders healthy.
 

BobBarley

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I appreaciate your imagination but i was fishing for facts. You say they can get away from it in the wild, but you obviously dont understand the complexity of the biomes present in the wild. They could run forever and they would still settle upon some form of spores. Spores are everywhere in nature and in wet jungles even more so.
I am well aware of the complexity of biomes in the wild - but that is not the same at all as the artificial constraints of a cage. Yes, in the wild, molds and fungi and bacteria are present everywhere - but the concentration of them is not uniform. I was not saying that the tarantula could escape ALL molds or fungi, but it certainly could leave areas with an unhealthy concentration of them - or any other unfavorable conditions. If you don't believe that tarantulas will try to leave an unfavorable environment for one that's more suitable, just overwater the cage of a dry species like a Grammostola and watch it climb the walls! In the cage it is all too easy for molds to get out of control because the rest of the elements of that wild biome (like the deritivores, for starters) are not present. The average tarantula cage is not a self-contained mini-ecosystem, so it is up to the keeper to maintain the enclosure to keep their spiders healthy.
@EulersK gets mold when he uses topsoil (if I remember correctly), and I get mold as well all the time. It has never harmed any of my inverts, although I have springtails to help clean it up. If it ever gets out of hand I spot clean it because it doesn't look very nice.
 

EulersK

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@EulersK gets mold when he uses topsoil (if I remember correctly), and I get mold as well all the time. It has never harmed any of my inverts, although I have springtails to help clean it up. If it ever gets out of hand I spot clean it because it doesn't look very nice.
I have a pretty severe mold outbreak in my stirmi's enclosure right now. I really don't think that mold harms tarantulas as much as people think, but it can't be good for them. It should be eliminated, but it shouldn't be obsessed over.

I have a couple springtail colonies on order right now as well.
 

elysium

Arachnosquire
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Nov 7, 2015
Messages
69
Thank you for all the advice everyone. I erred on the side of caution and decided to remove it. As a few of few you suggested I tried to stick the tongs all the way through to snatch it up. I managed to get to it, albeit in the process i scared the spider down to the bottom of the burrow, right on top of the molded worm. I got a hold of the worm while trying not to hurt my T, and the damn thing just broke where I grabbed it. It was so soft and jelly like there was no getting it out of there in one piece, while the T was on it. I had also collapsed her burrow unto her in the process, trapping her with the worm at the very bottom. So I decided to just dig her up and be done with it. I turned the enclosure sideways and slowly picked away at the corner she was in till I got to her and the worm. Cleaned it all up and had her back in there in no time. Managed to get some nice shots of her in the process! I say her because she looks like a girl ventrally while I had her in a catch cup :D
 

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Envoirment

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I appreaciate your imagination but i was fishing for facts. You say they can get away from it in the wild, but you obviously dont understand the complexity of the biomes present in the wild. They could run forever and they would still settle upon some form of spores. Spores are everywhere in nature and in wet jungles even more so.
That's very true and spores are everywhere even in colder climates. But the difference is that in captivity, there'll be a much larger concentration of them if you let it go unchecked. In the wild the tarantula has the option to remove whatever it is that's decomposing, and there's plenty of small invenerts that'll "clean" it up. Not to mention that it's not particularly good for your health to let mold grow and spread in a tarantulas enclosure, as the spores will then enter the air in your house.

I would do as other's suggested and try to carefully move it with long tongs. If not do a rehousing to be sure you don't get any unwanted mites.

Also, maybe avoid feeding it superworms and just feed crickets/roaches now. I noticed some of my tarantulas don't like superworms - they'll kill them and not eat them. But as soon as the crickets arrive they munch away.
 

Python

Arachnolord
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You should put a cleanup crew in there. Maybe some isopods or something. I've recently discovered a small colony of newborn millipedes happily munching on a cricket carcass this morning. I have no idea how long they've been in there but I'm glad they are. Death feigning beetles are a good choice as well. They can reach where you cannot and they can do so without disturbing the inhabitants of the enclosure or damaging the landscape. Good luck with it
 
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