Little mite problem

Envoirment

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
60
Usually not bothered about the odd mite here or there - but recently I've found a significant number of them floating in the water dishes of a handful of my tarantulas. I believe the culprit was some mealworms I gave them so all of those have been disposed of and ordering new food from a different supplier.

Should I just keep replacing/washing out the water dishes (which are essentially mite traps) and let the substrate dry out to kill them off? I usually keep on top of removing things like boluses or poo so I don't think that was the issue.

Most of my tarantulas are kept in the standard dry substrate/water dish/hide type enclosures, but I usually overflow the water dish once a week for some of my more tropical species (N.chromatus/A.genic).
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
650
Depends on what kind of mites they are. Soil mites are beneficial, for example. Can you describe the mites or get a photo?

I did have soil mites take over my A. genic's tank, and kill off all the springtails in it :mad: But as far as harm to the T, there wasn't any. I only changed the substrate because I was putting her in a different enclosure (a breeding box of sorts).
 

Envoirment

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
60
They're small white mites and upon further research appear to be grain mites? I will assume they're pretty harmless to tarantulas and could've been in the oat meal substrate of the mealworms I was keeping!
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
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11,889
Mealworms should be kept in the fridge...this way you wouldn't ever have a mite issue with them.

Crickets are the most likely source...as is a roach bin.
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
154
I had a grain mite infestation a while back in my mealworm colony and was able to curb it for a little while by putting their enclosure into a water bath. The vast majority of the mites crawled into the water and drowned. I'd hoped I'd outsmarted them until they came back a few weeks later and I tossed the colony and ordered new mealworms. This time, I froze all the oatmeal substrate before putting the mealworms in and so far I've had no issues. I don't keep mine in the fridge because I selfishly want them to breed so I can make mealworm flour for myself. Yeah protein.

All this is to say that hopefully (probably?) the mites in your Ts' enclosures will die off without an edible substrate--and, like you said, by crawling into the water dishes. I'd keep an extra eye on the new substrate--I later discovered that the oatmeal I was using for substrate was already infested and the outbreak was my fault. Womp womp :embarrassed:
 

Envoirment

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
60
I had a grain mite infestation a while back in my mealworm colony and was able to curb it for a little while by putting their enclosure into a water bath. The vast majority of the mites crawled into the water and drowned. I'd hoped I'd outsmarted them until they came back a few weeks later and I tossed the colony and ordered new mealworms. This time, I froze all the oatmeal substrate before putting the mealworms in and so far I've had no issues. I don't keep mine in the fridge because I selfishly want them to breed so I can make mealworm flour for myself. Yeah protein.

All this is to say that hopefully (probably?) the mites in your Ts' enclosures will die off without an edible substrate--and, like you said, by crawling into the water dishes. I'd keep an extra eye on the new substrate--I later discovered that the oatmeal I was using for substrate was already infested and the outbreak was my fault. Womp womp :embarrassed:
Thanks for the advice! Sadly my mum wouldn't be all too happy having mealworms in the fridge.

The mites have dwindled in number considerably over the last few days, so looks like everything is now under control. :)
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
11,889
I had a grain mite infestation a while back in my mealworm colony and was able to curb it for a little while by putting their enclosure into a water bath. The vast majority of the mites crawled into the water and drowned. I'd hoped I'd outsmarted them until they came back a few weeks later and I tossed the colony and ordered new mealworms. This time, I froze all the oatmeal substrate before putting the mealworms in and so far I've had no issues. I don't keep mine in the fridge because I selfishly want them to breed so I can make mealworm flour for myself. Yeah protein.

All this is to say that hopefully (probably?) the mites in your Ts' enclosures will die off without an edible substrate--and, like you said, by crawling into the water dishes. I'd keep an extra eye on the new substrate--I later discovered that the oatmeal I was using for substrate was already infested and the outbreak was my fault. Womp womp :embarrassed:
Yeah but putting them in the fridge for a few weeks would have just paused the mealworm operation...starting over is more time consuming.

@Envoirment Mealworms in the fridge wouldn't even be noticed. Just put them in a small Tupperware cup in the back. Its literally no different than leftover green beans. Or spend $20 on a used dorm fridge and keep them in your room.
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
154
Yeah but putting them in the fridge for a few weeks would have just paused the mealworm operation...starting over is more time consuming.
Well shoot. I saw a couple people on old threads say they had tried this without success, but maybe they didn't give it enough time. I'll keep this in mind for the future--although I hope I won't have a need to use your advice! ;)
 
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