Is the Substrate Safe?

Nephrite

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
148
Alright hey guys! I recently got a cocofiber brick to fill in some new enclosures. When I finished expanding the brick I realized how much substrate actually was in that small ass brick! So I just left it in a tray outside, for another time. I just picked up a couple new T's and I'm planning on using that substrate. I'm just worrying and thinking of every worse possible outcome. Could it be possible various flys planting their eggs in the substate in the time it was outside? Or beetles climbing the side of the tray and burrowing in it. To be completely honest I'm kinda scared to look around as I do have a phobia for the ocean. Looking around in the substrate kind of represents that feeling as I don't know what could be underneath. What to do?
 

Haksilence

Bad At Titles
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
405
Yes, there is a possibility it's attracted other passengers, but never fear! There is an easy solution to this and is a good practice to utilize on all new substrates.

Place the sub on a cooking tray, put your oven on 250-300 and let that mudpie bake for an hour or two, mix (to evenly get rid of damp spots) and then again for another hour or so.

I do this to all new substrate and organic products I use in my enclosures (substrate, wood, sucks, cork ect) this guarantees that outside contaminants aren't going to survive he trip to your T's home.
 

Poec54

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
4,763
I've never baked any substrate in over 40 years. It doesn't prevent contaminants, it just kills what's alive in the substrate, which is rarely of any threat to tarantulas. In the OP's case, the flies came from when he put it outside to dry, and those flies can get in his house and lay more eggs in his tarantula cages. In a properly vented cage, there's no issue with mold, mites, or flies. Use cross ventilation, not baking. To dry substrate inside, use a small fan instead of putting it outside. I use bagged top soil (cheap stuff with no additives, $1.50/bag) and don't have to go thru the manipulations with cocofiber.
 
Last edited:

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
I keep my extra substrate in the shed out back when I'm not working on T enclosures. I've never had trouble with using it later without baking. If you find something or just want to bake it to be sure that's fine too. I really doubt there is any difference either way in regards to coco fiber substrate.

I'd just grab a cup and start using it myself.
 

8Legs8Eyes

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
126
When you say you left the tray outside - do you mean just sitting out in the open, and for how long exactly? If that's the case I would be more worried about what chemicals could have come over from a neighbor, or would want to know if agriculture or water has been recently treated near you.

Not saying the soil is poisonous - just want to make sure you are aware of what is going on around you. I used to live next to a slough surrounded by strawberry fields and there was spraying going on constantly for one or the other.

Just trying to bring up a concern other than creepy crawlies.
 

Nephrite

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
148
When you say you left the tray outside - do you mean just sitting out in the open, and for how long exactly? If that's the case I would be more worried about what chemicals could have come over from a neighbor, or would want to know if agriculture or water has been recently treated near you.

Not saying the soil is poisonous - just want to make sure you are aware of what is going on around you. I used to live next to a slough surrounded by strawberry fields and there was spraying going on constantly for one or the other.

Just trying to bring up a concern other than creepy crawlies.
We live in apartments, we have our shared courtyard among the other residents. I left it outside there. It's been there for a good 2 weeks now. I doubt any sort of chemicals got into there. No one really plants or waters outside since the ground is dry and hard and horrible for planting.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
I doubt any sort of chemicals got into there. No one really plants or waters outside since the ground is dry and hard and horrible for planting.
How could you reasonably doubt that? I spray commercial grade pesticides every two to four weeks. I know my neighbors don't know, because I do it at night (it's too hot during the day).

Two weeks is a long time. I don't like leaving substrate outside for more than a day for this very reason.
 

Poec54

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
4,763
The rules have changed. Don't make any assumptions about something being left outside for a couple weeks. This is not a normal year, and what happened in the past probably doesn't apply. We're in the midst of a Zika panic and there's more mosquito spraying by municipalities and individuals than ever (by airplanes, helicopters, truck foggers, back-pack sprayers, etc). As infected people come back from Brasil, it'll probably be ramped up even more.

I'm in a high rainfall state and where they've previously sprayed by airplane one or twice a month in the summer, they're spraying twice a week now, and they even sprayed throughout the past winter (which they never did before). The game plan here is to set out mosquito traps and when they test positive for Zika, they'll bring in fogger trucks and saturate the neighborhood, and with wind that can drift even further. If you're at work, you'll probably never know it happened.
 

Nephrite

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
148
Alright Alright chill. So with all that you guys are suggesting about the pesticides. Should I rather be safe than sorry? Making the substrate garbage to use now?
 

Tarantula20

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Messages
93
I agree with everything that has been said don't take the chance its not worth it, Eco earths not that expensive anyway.
 

Ellenantula

Arachnoking
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
2,007
Replace. Since you placed it outside, you can never be sure. It's probably fine but who wants to take the chance, yannoe? :(
I keep dampened substrate inside to dry -- I suppose in this day and age -- that is best.
 
Last edited:

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
Alright Alright chill. So with all that you guys are suggesting about the pesticides. Should I rather be safe than sorry? Making the substrate garbage to use now?
I'd just give it the cricket test and if the cricket is fine then use it. If it dies toss it. We test soil when we switch to a new brand/type. Why not test this the same way?

No need to throw something out when you don't know.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
Whenever I get a new bag of topsoil or peat moss, my house smells like dirt for a week or two. I just pour it out into one of those under-the-bed containers and leave it by a window with plenty of sunlight. Tends to dry out in a few days.
 

Poec54

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
4,763
Alright Alright chill. So with all that you guys are suggesting about the pesticides. Should I rather be safe than sorry? Making the substrate garbage to use now?

Dump it, don't screw around with it anymore. Would that be a financial set back for you?
 

Nephrite

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
148
Dump it, don't screw around with it anymore. Would that be a financial set back for you?
Nah it's alright, I guess I'll just dump it, make the ground of our courtyard look somewhat better. My family doesn't like to waste, but they'll understand.
 

Poec54

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
4,763
Although it varies throughout the country (it's only profitable to ship dirt just so far) you should consider bagged top soil. That's all I use.
 

mistertim

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
551
Those bricks are, what, 10 bucks, if that? Its not worth it. Just get new sub. You could try the cricket test too but I would rather just be completely safe. If you're worried about the whole drying out process you can just get a bag of loose, dry, coco fiber instead of the brick. Or you could go with Poec's suggestion and just do topsoil.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
Those bricks are, what, 10 bucks, if that? Its not worth it. Just get new sub. You could try the cricket test too but I would rather just be completely safe. If you're worried about the whole drying out process you can just get a bag of loose, dry, coco fiber instead of the brick. Or you could go with Poec's suggestion and just do topsoil.
They are 3 dollars each. I still don't see why everyone is freaking out though. I keep my extra dirt outside in the shed with all the other dirt and it's always been fine. Not every town is spraying like they are in FL because of the outbreaks. Their not here nor have they ever sprayed for mosquitoes (or anything) here. A lot of the people on here collect wood from outside to use in their enclosures if they live in more rural areas. No one bothered to ask the OPs location. They just went all in with the it's not safe.
 

mistertim

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
551
They are 3 dollars each. I still don't see why everyone is freaking out though. I keep my extra dirt outside in the shed with all the other dirt and it's always been fine. Not every town is spraying like they are in FL because of the outbreaks. Their not here nor have they ever sprayed for mosquitoes (or anything) here. A lot of the people on here collect wood from outside to use in their enclosures if they live in more rural areas. No one bothered to ask the OPs location. They just went all in with the it's not safe.
Yeah, but what about aliens messing with his stuff? Didn't think of that one, did you smart guy??

 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
Yeah, but what about aliens messing with his stuff? Didn't think of that one, did you smart guy??

I agree that is just as likely as anything else we imagined happened to his coco fiber while having no evidence either way. :p
 
Top