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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
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
2,280
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
Joined
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
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
191
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
Joined
Jul 7, 2005
Messages
3,160
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
Joined
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.
 
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