Help With Grain Mite Infestation!!

simon780

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
24
I am having grain mites problem with my mealworm colony, they are found all over the room!! I have been feeding the mealworms oatmeal and dump tissue for mositure.

Now I have got rid of the mealworm colony where most of the mites were found, and I found some on the sides of the containers, not badly infested, but I can see them with my naked eyes easily, and inside my crickets and roaches enclosure.

Has anyone got experience dealing with them? Can they reproduce without oatmeal? Do they eat dead roaches or crickets? Do I need to get rid of my roaches/crickets colony too?

I am really worried, becuase all my tarantulas and scorps are all in that room, I would appreciate any help if anyone can give me some advice, thank you!!
 

Takumaku

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
273
Relax, grain mites are completely harmless. Just let the substrate dry out and the mites will disappear.
 

simon780

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
24
thx Takumaku, although they are harmless, I really don't wanna see them in that room :mad: , I guess I will just wait then:wall:
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
Arachnosupporter +
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Sep 12, 2002
Messages
2,316
Once you've got an infestation it's best to replace the substrate to remove the majority as drying out may take a long time or never depending on the type of substrate and humidity (most dog food at 70% humidity never dries out enough to kill the mites). Since it's just mealworms consider feeding them out and throwing everything away and waiting a few weeks to restart a culture.
 

simon780

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
24
After 3-4 days, I can still see some mites around, but the situation has got much better, I will not use any grain products for feeding my feeders at the moment, I am totally terrified.

I was breeding mealworms purely for fun, my scops and spiders never touch them, I will not start another culture until I feel comfortable again, this is a bad memory, but I have learned, not too keep them too humid.
 

arachnocat

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
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Nov 27, 2005
Messages
792
OMG! I'm so glad I found this post. Tonight I went to pick up my meal worm container which is just a big tupperware box and noticed it had "dust" all over it. Well I quickly saw that it wasn't dust, it was billions of white mites! Scared the crap out of me. I mean it was COVERED with them! I put the box outside because I wasn't sure what the heck they were. Some were on my cat who was laying by the box. I thought they were lice or something. Eew eew eew! I'm so relieved to know that they're just grain mites. I've never seen so many mites. I think I'll take a pic so you guys can see. It's nasty.:eek:
 

Vermis

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Dec 11, 2005
Messages
207
Tonight I went to pick up my meal worm container which is just a big tupperware box and noticed it had "dust" all over it. Well I quickly saw that it wasn't dust, it was billions of white mites! Scared the crap out of me. I mean it was COVERED with them!
Ha! Same thing happened with me a few weeks ago, with my box of superworms. I started getting worried about a few mites I saw with my cowpea beetles and lateralis, but it was nothing compared to the drifts of mites in and around the worms. I spent that night washing each worm (it was a, um, spur of the moment thing :8o ) and putting them in a clean tub. The old substrate was burned and the infested tub given a very thorough disinfection.

Funnily enough, the mite problem with the beetles and roaches cleared right up after that. :p
 

simon780

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
24
OMG! I'm so glad I found this post. Tonight I went to pick up my meal worm container which is just a big tupperware box and noticed it had "dust" all over it. Well I quickly saw that it wasn't dust, it was billions of white mites! Scared the crap out of me. I mean it was COVERED with them! I put the box outside because I wasn't sure what the heck they were. Some were on my cat who was laying by the box. I thought they were lice or something. Eew eew eew! I'm so relieved to know that they're just grain mites. I've never seen so many mites. I think I'll take a pic so you guys can see. It's nasty.:eek:

I am just hoping that they will disappear after some weeks, I can still see some are crawling around, this is going to take some time, they are everywhere in that room. People say they make no harm, but I really don't wanna see them :wall:
 

Smertrios

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
2
Hi, this is my first post! I was searching google for a soultion to my mites problem when I found a link bringing me here. I am reading here that they are no problem but I wonder if that is true for eggs and newly hatched superworms. I have 2 bins of supers LOADED with mites and at 3-1/2 weeks I am seeing no sign of any superworms.

I want to be selling superworms but the mite infestation is really bothersome... Any advice on raising and selling superworms would be appreciated.
 

Smertrios

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
2
Grain mites cause reduced animal weight, allergies and asthma they are also very difficult to get rid of at moisture levels above 13%... The moisture level in my superworm bins is usually ALOT higher than 13% =< I have no good way to check but I would bet that the grain I buy is also above 13%.

Grain Mites and agricultural animal feeds...
http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/GQ/GQ-13.html

Grain Mites cause allergies and asthma...
http://www.livingwithbugs.com/mites.html
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Jul 7, 2005
Messages
3,158
Oh, god dude. Grain mites are the nemesis of any invert keeper.

I've battled them twice. The first time was so bad that a mirror in an adjacent room looked like frosted glass...not to mention the six inch tall pile of grain mites I managed to accrue when I swept them up. The second was when I forgot to clean out an old tank that still had food in it.

Remove all grain products. Do not try to salvage the mealworm colony. It is done for. End of story. Full stop.

Second, vacuum your room as thoroughly as you can.

Third, wipe down all surfaces with a rag soaked in alcohol.

Repeat step three a few times per week and you should be OK.

Look for a product called damp-rid to get the humidity down in your room, if you can.

<edit>

Holy thread revival, batman! I've got to check the dates on these things before I just wontonly reply.

Oh, well...here's to hoping this helps somebody else.
 

Matt K

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
941
Cheshire is absolutely right. To rid them you have to eliminate as much of the source as possible, and super-clean the room a couple times a week for at least a couple weeks to get all the wandering mites you cant see. Most people get this problem from over-feeding.

In lieu of the rag soaked in alchohol, you can also use spray can of Lysol and some paper towels...
 

OldHag

ArachnoHag
Old Timer
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Sep 8, 2003
Messages
1,712
Ive had that happen. I put the enclosure in the tub, and filled the tub with 2 inches of water and the mites had a mass migration out of the tub into the water and drown!! It was spooky! I let the oatmeal dry out and never had another prob with them. Moisture really is the key, No moisture, no mites.
 

Remigiusz

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
2
Guys... thank you very very much for calming me down.

Tonight I was going to feed my bearded dragon, as I opened the tube with super worms I have noticed roughly a goggle plex or two of tiny creatures living their "mighty" life on the sides of the tube. First I though.... ohh crap, shame, bugs. Then I have noticed that they were on the outside wall of the box too.

I also need to highlight that I kept the tube with worms on top of a wardrobe (as I live with parents and I can only occupy my one room with my personal stuff)... yeah I know stupid, but didn't even think such a thing could ever exist, if there was any problem with the way my worms were kept I expected mold to appear in the worst case scenario.

Anyway... I had to look on top of the wardrobe to see if any of these alien creatures made it out of the tube onto the wardrobe. As I looked I have seen the worse things I could ever see... an entire army, preparing for a conquest of my precious little room. I have opened the wardrobe and I started looking for things I have never looked for before on my clothes... and I realised that the campaign has began, I was terrified. They were everywhere as I had a closer look... whole legions hidden and blending with my jackets, and scouts here and there.

I cleaned the wardrobe out... I have put all clothes in bags and put them in a shed(I'll wash them all up tommorow aft. work), I have hovered the area around the wardrobe, inside it and on top of it, cleaned it with some chemicals and water, everything's was crystal clear. Mum helped me as she propably felt sorry for me being so terrified and mad with myself. Dad said shit happens, but I need to act quickly as he has had a similar problem before but on a smaller scale with his tarantulas.

I started googling for it as my dad said that they are most likely mites of some sort... and it occurred that these gezzers are called grain mites or flour mites, I found out that dry food must be kept sealed, they will infest whole house if you wont take coutermeasures, some people can get rid of it, some can't, sometimes they cause allergic reaction, they are being put in cheese to make it cheeasier etc... but they are not as bad as I initially thought, they spread no disases, they dont bite, they wont eat you in your sleep, they do not celebrate Hitler's birthdays or drink drive. Googled mealworm mites instead and I have found this forum thread. Thank you good people!

I have noticed them across my room in smaller numbers (scouts). But I think it's more less like 3.6 rontget not great not terrible... but still they can reproduce if I will not carry out a deep clean... I'll do it tommorow and I'll see if that helps, but wait! I sleep in there for Christ sake! I can't fall asleep with a thoug of something crawling over me in my sleep! Even though now I know its harmless "except my loving girlfriend she can do whatever she likes :*".

I was prepared to sleep with my mum's dog... he snores and farts like a devil, therefore this very reason made me inspect my bed, I have briliant eyes, I am an inspector for Formula 1 engine components(seriously, I am) I can do that I felt confident!

So I started looking... bed sheets, pillows, extra blankets (its freezing in Englind this time a year)... nothing, I started doubting myself especially that I have found few mites on a table next to the bed... therefore once more I have inspected few areas and again nothing...

Therefore I will risk a statement:

No grain mites were found on the bed, despite the fact that there is a lot of my dead skin in and on this material, (mites love dead skin right?), well I am convinced that they do as my clothes in the wardrobe were also infested and they seemed jolly and happy there... my mattress however was infested with other type of mites already, so called dust mites. They are always there, always were and are propably so numerous that grain mites did not want to mess with them, and tried to stay away from their territory, as they could smell that my matterace is a "might" superpower and even though they are bigger they stand no chance against them.

Karen:
-But were there no dust mites on your clothes you kept in your wardrobe?

Me:
-Yes and no, some clothes like underwear, socks, t-shirts shorts, are washed often enough to keep the level of dust mites very low in the wardrobe, and grain mites have found some areas where they could easily establish some small colonies. Clothes like jackets and cardigans are ussualy sprayed with perfume and things that helped me to attract love of my life however they can kill mites so I heard, and I don't tend to wash them very often as I only wear them occasionally from time to time for short periods of time, grain mites being a larger organism than a dust mite is propably more resistant small quantities of chemicals... so dead skin on clothes Yes! Everlasting dust mite empire in wardrobe No!, not enough food to please them all.

Thank you once again.
 
Last edited:

Polenth

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
439
Guys... thank you very very much for calming me down.
I'm unsure if you needed help as you bumped this old thread? If you do, I handled it liked OldHag. Sit the mealworm enclosure in a tray of water and wash out the mites as they get caught. Dry the mealworm enclosure, which means no moist food for a bit and then only small amounts. Feed drier moist food (like carrots) rather than juicy fruit or water. Also make sure your mealworm colony is well-ventilated. Just wipe or wash the mites off random surfaces.

Other mites in your house have nothing much to do with anything. Grain mites don't like being in dry places like the average bed. They only cross other surfaces looking for more enclosures/food.

You don't need to do the extreme things mentioned in the thread. No need to kill your mealworms... the mites won't survive the drying process. Water on a cloth is fine for cleaning surfaces.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
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Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,962
Grain mites can live on the moisture found in most dried grain products. They stop reproducing when the temperature goes below 50F.
 
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