How likely?

Ratmosphere

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If I buy a millipede that has been de-mited and use heat treated substrate for it, is there still a chance I can attract mites? I really hate them. I don't want to put my collection at risk.
 

basin79

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If I buy a millipede that has been de-mited and use heat treated substrate for it, is there still a chance I can attract mites? I really hate them. I don't want to put my collection at risk.
I thought millies needed mites.
 

mickiem

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@basin79 they don't have to have them. They do fine without them.

@Ratmosphere the kind of commensal mites that live on millipedes really don't seek life away from their host. I have never seen one roaming on its own. They are not a problem type mite.
 

ErinM31

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If I buy a millipede that has been de-mited and use heat treated substrate for it, is there still a chance I can attract mites? I really hate them. I don't want to put my collection at risk.
Yes, but no more so than other inverts that like damp conditions (most cockroaches, some tarantulas, etc). Mites are everywhere and even if you are careful about everything that you intentionally add to your collection, they might still catch a ride on your shoes, etc. I would recommend just taking all the reasonable preventative measures -- not overfeeding and removing uneaten fresh food and kibble after a day or two and also adding springtails. I think it is the conditions out of balance and relatively free of competition that can lead to mite infestation. Before I started keeping inverts, I kept toads native to the area and I added leaves, a wood hide and other things from the outdoors without ANY freezing or baking and I never saw mites. Likewise, I started culturing some of local microfauna along with introduced springtails and there are a few isopods and some unexpectedly prolific snails, but no mites.
 

basin79

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Not that I am aware of. Perhaps there are a few species of millipede that do?
It was something I read that's all. Sort of like a symbiotic thing.

Happy to learn otherwise.

I like my pedes with modified fangs at the front.
 

ErinM31

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It was something I read that's all. Sort of like a symbiotic thing.

Happy to learn otherwise.

I like my pedes with modified fangs at the front.
It could be -- there is even a species of millipede from South America that has a symbiotic relationship with mosses and has numerous kinds growing on its body! :wideyed: To my knowledge (and I could be mistaken), many species of millipede have commensal mites; they don't do the millipede any harm, may provide some benefit, but I am not aware of them being required for the millipede's survival.

You're referring to centipedes there? :eek: I know nothing about them except that they are venomous escape artists, lol! :anxious:
 

basin79

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It could be -- there is even a species of millipede from South America that has a symbiotic relationship with mosses and has numerous kinds growing on its body! :wideyed: To my knowledge (and I could be mistaken), many species of millipede have commensal mites; they don't do the millipede any harm, may provide some benefit, but I am not aware of them being required for the millipede's survival.

You're referring to centipedes there? :eek: I know nothing about them except that they are venomous escape artists, lol! :anxious:
Informative and have a like too. Centipedes are phenomenal.

That's very interesting to read about the milli and the moss. Maybe the commensal mites stop/deter harmful mites?
 

ErinM31

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Informative and have a like too. Centipedes are phenomenal.

That's very interesting to read about the milli and the moss. Maybe the commensal mites stop/deter harmful mites?
I don't imagine that I'll ever keep centipedes, but I no longer have an irrational fear of them. A large one would probably freak me out but I am no longer disturbed by small ones and sometimes pause to watch them when I am looking for millipedes. Progress! ;)

Have a look at the millipede Psammodesmus bryophorus -- how cool is that?!!! :astonished:

I've read that there aren't any mites that parasitize millipedes. Infestations hurt them indirectly through tactile stress and potentially interfering with their breathing (which I believe is also why they are bad for tarantulas). I suspect that if commensal mites do their millipede hosts some good, that it would be through keeping them clean and eating potentially pathological fungi.

Interestingly, while I don't know of any millipedes that require mites for their survival, there ARE species that require ants -- "obligate myrmecophiles" is the term. I have wondered whether Orthoporus ornatus might only lay eggs in ant colonies...
 

ErinM31

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Just read that it is nearly impossible to not attract mites; even if you take the proper steps of sterilizing everything.

http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatr...lipede-and-tarantula-terrariums/#.WDij2aOZPp6
Exactly! And millipedes won't survive letting the substrate dry out as is recommended for tarantulas. I've had more mites than I would like from time to time but I do not believe that they have ever harmed anything. In fact, they've been most numerous in millipede enclosures that were doing really well such as with my Narceus americanus pedelings -- probably because I was frequently adding supplemental food to keep us with the appetites of over 200 growing millipedes! :wideyed: I have seen two species of mites -- tiny white and tiny red ones. There populations have dropped since I've introduced springtails to every enclosure that will support them and I have cut back on the use of foods that attract them. I really don't think that small numbers are anything to worry about -- you just don't want an infestation of them.
 
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