Good Mites? Bad Mites? Unavoidable Mites?

tyrel

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
498
I use terracotta plant saucers as water dishes for my arachnids and centipedes. But whenever I keep the dishes constantly full, little tiny fuzzy pin-prick mites end up on them. The first time this happened I put the substrate and dish in the oven and set the tank back up.

Now I've just noticed the mites on my centipedes water dishes. I never see them anywhere but the water dishes, and never on the animals themselves.

Is it really nessesary to constantly battle to get rid of these few little mites? Or are mites like this more just a fact of life that you have to keep under control, like algae in a fish tank?
 

maxident213

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
650
No tiny mites on my water dishes. :? That sounds like something you should be able to get rid of.

Sure they're not springtails? They seem to spontaneously appear at times. They don't hurt anything that I know of.
 

Cirith Ungol

Ministry of Fluffy Bunnies
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
3,889
Is it really nessesary to constantly battle to get rid of these few little mites? Or are mites like this more just a fact of life that you have to keep under control, like algae in a fish tank?
The only mites nessesary to battle are ofcourse the "bad" mites. Any other mites might even, if left alone, turn into a very welcome fastfood place for predatory mites, in which case you won't have any more problem at all afterwards.

Unavoidable - any day, except when you use desert conditions.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,984
That's exactly what I thought when the water dish thing kept coming up. Do they hop around and do you see them move around pretty fast? If so, prob Springtails which aren't a mite. If Springtails, you might see them floating in the water and trying to hop out off the surface of the water.
 

tyrel

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
498
That's exactly what I thought when the water dish thing kept coming up. Do they hop around and do you see them move around pretty fast? If so, prob Springtails which aren't a mite. If Springtails, you might see them floating in the water and trying to hop out off the surface of the water.
I'm positive they're not springtails. ;)

The only mites nessesary to battle are ofcourse the "bad" mites.
How can you tell a bad mite from a harmless one?
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,984
I'd say you have grain mites then. Here's something I posted in a diff section yesterday, might answer some questions for you, maybe. Some call the grain mites, "carrion mites". I'm convinced most store bought crix and mealworms will carry these mites. So I mostly agree with Cirith but even then your animals will prob get the mites but they will prob not reproduce in dry conditions and so won't get out of control.

"I'm not sure the mites you have there are grain mites but that would sure be my bet. I first saw them years ago when I'd buy meal worms. Meal worms and store bought crickets, that's how my animals would get the mites. The mite's love the meal worm food that's in the containers. I saw 1000's of them slowly crawling on a glass table I put the meal worm container on. After taking macro shots of store bought crickets, I could see the mite's on them also. The mites probably feed on the food the cricket suppliers feed them. As an animal molts, the mites will walk around looking for the new exoskel to get on before they are through molting. I've watched them, mostly on centipedes because that's what I have the most of. I had 2 P. murinus for 2 years I acquired as CB slings. They where never on substrate of any kind. About a year later, I noticed they had mites in the hypopus stage mostly attached on soft tissue just like in your pic. Almost surely got them from store bought crickets. I thought they were parasitic for years. I isolated an infested centipede on nothing but plastic for 2 months. Didn't help at all. That's when I read that the grain mites can survive 7 to 8 months in the hypopus stage ..in dry conditions. Here are a couple of links and one is where I got the quote. I'm not saying they are grain mites, but it's a good bet. I've got pred mites in my cages now so it's not prob for me anymore. Allot more info on this if you do a search. good luck."

http://www.the-piedpiper.co.uk/th7g.htm

http://www.ento.psu.edu/extension/fa...lour_mites.htm

At some time during the juvenile period, grain mites may change into a stage known as the hypopus. During this unique stage, the body wall hardens and suckers appear on the underside. These suckers allow the mite to attach to insects and other animals for dispersal. The eggs and especially the hypopuses appear to be more tolerant of insecticides than other juveniles or adults; and they may be the primary stage responsible for resurgences in mite populations after chemical control appeared to have been successful.
 

Cirith Ungol

Ministry of Fluffy Bunnies
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
3,889
I'm positive they're not springtails. ;)



How can you tell a bad mite from a harmless one?
Bad: When you see the majority crawling or sitting on your pet. They usually chose the joints or soft parts or where one type of tissue meets another, rigdes and other such stuff. They'd proberbly try to sit arround the leg joints, arround the eyes, arround the mouth area and so forth. That's when it's serious.
 

doom

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
185
For comparison - good (brown, Hypoaspis) vs bad mites (white, grain mites?). I found a lot of bad mites in chicken food for crickets.

 

tyrel

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
498
Bad: When you see the majority crawling or sitting on your pet. They usually chose the joints or soft parts or where one type of tissue meets another, rigdes and other such stuff. They'd proberbly try to sit arround the leg joints, arround the eyes, arround the mouth area and so forth. That's when it's serious.
Well, I've never seen any mites on my animals, so I suppose they are just the grain mites. It dosent seem to be worth worrying about juding by what you guys said.

During hypopus, do grain mites actually cause any problems for the host animal, or are they just hitchhikers?
 

tyrel

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
498
Well, I've never seen any mites on my animals, so I suppose they are just the grain mites. It dosent seem to be worth worrying about juding by what you guys said.

During hypopus, do grain mites actually cause any problems for the host animal, or are they just hitchhikers?
Edit: I didn't see dooms' photo utill after I posted. It would seem I have the white mites. Is there any way to control these without predetory bugs? Or Is it really nessesary when they are only present in small numbers?
 

Scolopendra

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
240
bump! thought id just revive this thread instead of starting a new one.

yeah so just to clarify, are those brown mites predatory mites? as in the kind that'll eat up the maniacal mites that seem to think they can destroy my ss.mulitans? cuz that would be great seeing as how my AGB has a few of em...
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,984
From what I've read, it's not exactly known what those fast running brown mites on the AGBs eat. They think there is a symbiotic relationship going on there last time I read something about it. Who knows, maybe they do eat smaller mites. But those aren't the hypoaspis pred mites talked about in this thread. On purpose, I sacrificed one of my 35 or so S. heros plings to see what would happen if I let the bad mites go unchecked. No predatory army in it's container and I didn't try to dry it out. The area on the pling that it couldn't reach to groom away the mites shows signs of necrosis/dying. The antennae are rotting and being eaten by mites. Mites out of the hypopus stage look like they are eating that part of the pede to me. The last 2/3rds of the pede looks fine. The last 2/3rds of the pede even acts fine ...moves around and walks and tries to avoid threats. Around the head area, no sign of life. It's thought that the mites are only hitchhikers when they are in the hypopus stage but I've always had my doubts. I would like to believe it but from what I've seen, I just don't. I'm not saying I'm right, I know better than that but my bet is that they do cause damage. I think it needs to be looked into more. Maybe it already has been looked into, but from what I've seen, it really makes me question the issue.

 
Last edited:
Top