Mites N Mold

kellygirl

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2002
Messages
1,056
HELP!!! Ok, so I've got major problems and I JUST got my millipedes last week!

I just peeked in on my AGBs and saw 3 or 4 tiny red mites crawling on one of them but as soon as I shined my flashlight into the enclosure, they disappeared into the millipede's legs! Now how the heck do you treat THAT? A substrate change won't work because they are in the millipede's legs! :(

And I'm having trouble with mold in my Tanzanian Red Leg's enclosure. I left an overripe banana peel in overnight and the next morning, half of the top layer of substrate was covered in fine, long, hairy white mold! So I removed the top layer of decorative moss as well as the peel and hoped for the best... but nope, it is coming back again. Is there any way to clean the moss or do I have to get rid of it completely? How do I prevent this from happening again?

Dang! Millipedes are gonna be harder to keep than I expected... what are you supposed to do to prevent mites and mold when the humidity is so high?

kellygirl
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,294
Hi Kelly,

For a start the mites are normal and will not hurt the millies :)
They help keep the millies clean.
Mold can be reduced by less water, your substrate may be too
wet.
If your moss is the long fiber kind, you can boil it to kill the mold,
or just replace it. When you mist, just mist the moss, not the
substrate. Moss holds tons of water, millies will eat the moss to.
So you will always be replacing it.
I used distilled water for misting.
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
First off, there's a very good chance that the mites on your AGB are commesuals that do not harm the pede. They feed on mold and debris that accumulate on the pedes and are generally considered bennificial. Most impotrted AGBs have these and they cause no problems. If you do want to get rid of them anyway, treatment with predatory mites (Hypoasis miles) is effective.

Your millipede cages need not be as moist as you may think. Let the top layers dry out. As long as there is some subterranean moisture in the substrate, it's OK if it's dry on top. This should keep most of your mold problems in check. My millipede tubs are well ventilated with 3-4 inches of substrate. I let them dry out considerably between moistenings. A few cork slabs here and there create humidified shelters if things get too dry for them.

Damp conditions with poor ventilation become unhealthy enviroments very quickly.

Wade
 

kellygirl

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2002
Messages
1,056
Thank you so much! Wow, what a relief about those mites! :)

So what is the best way to have a well-vented tupperware container? :?

kellygirl
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Burning lots of holes with a soldering iron ($8 from Wal Mart), or cutting out a section of the lid and hot glueing a section of screen in.

You could also simply keep the substrate dryer. In a limited ventilation enclosure, the humidity is going to be high even if the substrate is only a little moist. Mister Internet made a good point in annother thread about the difference between "humidity" and "wetness". For example, if you take a plastic container with only a few holes for ventilation with bone-dry substrate and add a water bowl, the humidity is going to go up even if the substrate remains dry. I'm not suggesting that your millipede enclosure be bone dry, but I'm just making the point that it doesn't take much moisture to raise the humidity if there isn't much ventilation.

Personally, I'm not very good at finding that balance in limited ventilation enclosures. I prefer to give alot of ventilation even if it means I have to re-moisten more frequently.

Wade
 
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