microwaving substrate?


Old Timer
Jun 23, 2003
So, from what i've been reading from everyone is that they microewave their substrate to remove any possible mites, ect. My question is are their any negative effects to doing this? And how long should I microwave say a pound of peat moss or soil?:?


Old Timer
May 30, 2003
There is no point in sterilizing substrate because
you're keeping it in non-sterile air. As soon as you microwave it you're reexposing it to all the things you're trying to get rid of. And from what I've read by doing that you can actually be killing good bacteria that will help keep the bad bacteria populations in check.

Just keep your cages clean from remains and you should have no problems. Clean up *all* remains within 24 hours and they'll have no chance to settle in.

Jim B.
P.s. I once tried this, and none of the mites died. they just started running around like crazy when they were getting nuked. strong little buggers :?


Old Timer
Mar 10, 2003
If you want to do it you then make sure the substrate is wet and put it in a tupperware container or a large ziplock bag and nuke it, The hot steam should kill off any pests and their eggs. I get the substrate hot then stir it ...nuke it ....stir it, nuke it.... to make sure there aren't any "cool pockets" where anything can hide. When I finally stop I keep the tupperware or ziploc sealed till the the substrate inside is cool enough to touch. As for how long you nuke it depends on the power of your microwave. I do 5 minutes to start and then 3 minute intervals between stirring.

You can also bake it in a pan in your gas/electric oven but this way might/will stink.

Like palespider said, you may also kill off some beneficial organisms that will open up your substrate to be more likely to grow molds or fungii depending on how damp you keep your substrate and the amount of ventilation.