Current Mite situation and debate

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
21
Hey guys, :astonished:
Thanks for the responses from my post on feeder opinion! Glad you guys have my back... A new situation have developed over the night. I was observing my ghost ornamental molting and spotted an extremely small white mite crawling slowly against the acrylic enclosure. I closely inspected the other areas of the housing and found 2 more crawling on the glass. They are not jumping nor are they hopping. I haven't seen a large 'gathering' or infestation in the enclosure.** None are present in small water dish nor on the T itself** I would also like to note that I make it a habit to promptly pull any bolus after feedings.

My enclosures for my arboreals are not soaked. Substrate being used is around 2-3 inches of moist EcoEarth substrate. I take those extra 'unnecessary' steps to oven bake the sub, moisten it, and then place it in the enclosure. I actually microwaved a small amount for my emerald skeleton and its enclosure is doing very well.

So, I'm fine with there being a few 'clean up mites' surveying the scene. I've read and tried to do my research before reaching out. I will let the substrate dry out for the next few days. I can only assume that the dry environment will kill them off. They are unsightly but I really have to inspect closely to see them. I am leaning towards these guys infecting the enclosure via feeder hitchhiking.... I'm going to banner myself the 'overprotective parent' for this post. I just want your opinions & advice on my current situation.
 

GG80

Arachnoknight
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
273
I have observed very small quantities of mites in all my enclosure at some point, even the dry ones. Over a length of time you're not going to find every bolus that your Ts leave behind and as every home has mites in it, eventually they will be attracted to the lost bolus and will set up home in that enclosure.
The only thing you can really do is prevent an infestation by cleaning up as much as you can without going over the top and keep the humidity to a minimum, ie. let the enclosure dry out from time to time and don't over-water the substrate.
I've had no problems whatsoever with the small amount of mites in my enclosures as they are only interested in the bolus' and not the T. I'm sure if most keepers looked hard enough they would see some tiny white dots on the move inside their enclosures.
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
21
I have observed very small quantities of mites in all my enclosure at some point, even the dry ones. Over a length of time you're not going to find every bolus that your Ts leave behind and as every home has mites in it, eventually they will be attracted to the lost bolus and will set up home in that enclosure.
The only thing you can really do is prevent an infestation by cleaning up as much as you can without going over the top and keep the humidity to a minimum, ie. let the enclosure dry out from time to time and don't over-water the substrate.
I've had no problems whatsoever with the small amount of mites in my enclosures as they are only interested in the bolus' and not the T. I'm sure if most keepers looked hard enough they would see some tiny white dots on the move inside their enclosures.
Thanks GG80. I see so many panicked about mites that I thought I'd join the following :cat:
 

Poec54

Arachnoemperor
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Mar 26, 2013
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Mites come in on crickets and other feeders; the people who breed them can't kill the mites without killing the crickets/roaches too. This is why baking/sterilizing substrate is pointless: the first time you feed them you introduce mites.

Most of my spiders are tropicals with moist substrate. I don't have mite outbreaks because I have good cross ventilation and I regularly pick up boluses and any dead prey.

Classic Signs of a Beginner:
- thinks his spiders are in premolt for months, and is biting his nails, pacing the floor waiting for the big day. To calm his nerves his starts weekly threads here about it.
- panics about seeing a few mites in a cage full of dirt.
- thinks the coolest tarantula is an OBT.
 
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cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
21
Feelings toward 'sterilizing substrate' for mold/ fungus? That was what I was leaning towards. If us newbs didn't post high frequency, how would you help anyone develop thick skin & knowledge from your responses?? :p:kiss:
 

WeightedAbyss75

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Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
Mites come in on crickets and other feeders; the people who breed them can't kill the mites without killing the crickets/roaches too. This is why baking/sterilizing substrate is pointless: the first time you feed them you introduce mites.

Most of my spiders are tropicals with moist substrate. I don't have mite outbreaks because I have good cross ventilation and I regularly pick up boluses and any dead prey.

Classic Signs of a Beginner:
- thinks his spiders are in premolt for months, and is biting his nails, pacing the floor waiting for the big day. To calm his nerves his starts weekly threads here about it.
- panics about seeing a few mites in a cage full of dirt.
- thinks the coolest tarantula is an OBT.
Got a problem with OBTs as a person's favorite spider? ;) In their defense, they ARE pretty cool.
 

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
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Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
Also, just btw, mites are going to get in there like Poec said. Most mites like that can actually be beneficial, disposing of a lot of the waste in the tank. Not sure if isopods count as mites, but people purposely put them in humid enclosures as clean up crew. Unless they are on the spider or in the spider, kost are alright to have in the cage.
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
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May 25, 2016
Messages
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@WeightedAbyss7 Leaning away from isopods for now. Definitely considering them when I perform permanent rehousing! Been looking at OBT and definitely picking up a Heterscodra maculata next week :D:D
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Dec 8, 2006
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I can only assume that the dry environment will kill them off
Not necessarily. I get mites as you describe once in a while, in completely dry containers. How's the poop level in that container? I strongly believe some mites, like those "grain mites" are attracted to T poop and not moisture alone.

Not sure if isopods count as mites
No they don't. Isopods are insects, mites are arachnids.
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
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Poop levels are minimal but present. I do my best to handle the fecal felonies and boluses with the same frequency. Can't imagine how much poop there is with adult sized... o_Oo_O
 

WeightedAbyss75

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Feb 22, 2014
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@WeightedAbyss7 Leaning away from isopods for now. Definitely considering them when I perform permanent rehousing! Been looking at OBT and definitely picking up a Heterscodra maculata next week :D:D
That's awesome!!! I was planning on it, but it will have to wait unfortunately. Post some pics when you get them. Also, in my opinion, if you are getting an H. mac, then an OBT is in the realm of possibility. Hope they are great for you!
 

Sana

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Oct 26, 2014
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Coming from the keeper currently a bit anxious about rehousing an H mac you want to be very sure you're ready and confident. There's a lot of punch in those little things.
 

Poec54

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Got a problem with OBTs as a person's favorite spider? ;) In their defense, they ARE pretty cool.

Well, because they are the classic beginner T for some guys who feel they have something to prove. Not saying all OBT owners are (I have several myself), but they seem to attract more than their share of imbeciles, as has been copiously documented in online pics and videos.

Really though, there are SO MANY more interesting species available (like the big South Americans); it's sad they get overlooked by people tripping over themselves to get a dime-a-dozen spider.
 

viper69

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Well, because they are the classic beginner T for some guys who feel they have something to prove. Not saying all OBT owners are (I have several myself), but they seem to attract more than their share of imbeciles, as has been copiously documented in online pics and videos.

Really though, there are SO MANY more interesting species available (like the big South Americans); it's sad they get overlooked by people tripping over themselves to get a dime-a-dozen spider.
I think the numbers we see are a function of that species availability (including its cheap price/often freebie). I think if there was another brightly colored easily obtainable T that was as well known, we'd see people hopping on that one.

Sort of like why the Honda Accord is often the number 1 most stolen car in the USA, as opposed to the more luxurious models from Ferrari (though a Ferrari is prettier than a Honda Accord hah).
 

WeightedAbyss75

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Feb 22, 2014
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Well, because they are the classic beginner T for some guys who feel they have something to prove. Not saying all OBT owners are (I have several myself), but they seem to attract more than their share of imbeciles, as has been copiously documented in online pics and videos.

Really though, there are SO MANY more interesting species available (like the big South Americans); it's sad they get overlooked by people tripping over themselves to get a dime-a-dozen spider.
I agree. Especially with species like Pamphos and phormics and Psalmos out there. I am also WAY to guilty of this to talk, but T's like male P. platyommas are as pretty, if not prettier than an OBT. I just love the OBT because unlike the big South American T's, they need no humidity. That's what worries me about them. If people really did a lot of research on OW's, I think most rational people could handle a lot of the baboons. I just love the patterns, care, and cost of the OW's over NW's, although that may change in the next few months with a P. cam and a possible Pampho on the way... ;)
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
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May 25, 2016
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Initially, I found myself attracted to Poecilotheria | Psalmopoeus--> Anything Arboreal! . I've dealt with venomous snakes over the years so the transition into lightning|defensive|venomous Ts should come over time. To prevent myself from being considered an imbecile, I have done a plethora of reading and of course, joined this community ;););) OBT has minor interest and would be more for the 'collection'
--> Actually just scooped a Singapore blue from a board member here!

@WeightedAbyss75 @viper69
 

WeightedAbyss75

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Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
Initially, I found myself attracted to Poecilotheria | Psalmopoeus--> Anything Arboreal! . I've dealt with venomous snakes over the years so the transition into lightning|defensive|venomous Ts should come over time. To prevent myself from being considered an imbecile, I have done a plethora of reading and of course, joined this community ;););) OBT has minor interest and would be more for the 'collection'
--> Actually just scooped a Singapore blue from a board member here!

@WeightedAbyss75 @viper69
Nice! Love the look of the spiders, but the "pet hole" aspect isn't really for me right now. Especially with the humidity they need. Nice pick up though, how big?
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
21
Little guy--> 1 inch
Quite the personality though. Took on a rather large cricket after I got him settled in his enclosure. :embarrassed::embarrassed::embarrassed: They're very tucked away during the day but roam freely during the evenings. Always a treat to observe
 

WeightedAbyss75

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Feb 22, 2014
Messages
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Little guy--> 1 inch
Quite the personality though. Took on a rather large cricket after I got him settled in his enclosure. :embarrassed::embarrassed::embarrassed: They're very tucked away during the day but roam freely during the evenings. Always a treat to observe
Very cool! You should post pics and/or video
 

cold blood

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Feelings toward 'sterilizing substrate' for mold/ fungus? That was what I was leaning towards. If us newbs didn't post high frequency, how would you help anyone develop thick skin & knowledge from your responses?? :p:kiss:
The problem with sterilizing the substrate is that now the first thing to colonize it, has it all to themselves...a recipe for a population expolsion.....it goes the same for pests as it does for molds and such.

@WeightedAbyss7 Leaning away from isopods for now. Definitely considering them when I perform permanent rehousing! Been looking at OBT and definitely picking up a Heterscodra maculata next week :D:D
Isopods breathe through a gill system, without enough moisture, they will die, therefore there is only certain species that they will work with...anything kept dry, like an OBT (or any baboon) just won't work for isopods.

Poop levels are minimal but present. I do my best to handle the fecal felonies and boluses with the same frequency.
Don't handle the feces and waste, that's just icky...Are you a fecelfeliac? :eek::rofl:
 
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