Mites on slings

dopamine

Arachnobaron
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
341
Hello everyone i just purchased a tiny H. maculata sling from a shop here in Tucson and am disappointed to find mites. I've gotten three other slings from this shop and all were fine. I immediately got rid of the substrate he came with and washed out the container then replaced with fresh coco fiber. The problem is i see a couple mites on the sling itself. I've read this might not be a huge deal if there's only a few and that a molt will take care of it, but who knows. I don't want the remaining mites to lay eggs and re-infest the substrate. I searched threads on here but only found a couple vague responses on each thread. Anyone have any ideas or should i just try and wait it out?
Sorry i'm not able to get a decent picture. The sling is maybe as big as a finger nail.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
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14,331
If its a recent purchase, just bring it back. If not, you may have to purchase some predatory mites, they only eat mites, and die if there's no more food to eat;) I haven't run into your specific issue so my knowledge is limited on this one.
 

14pokies

Arachnoprince
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
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Are they attached to the T around the joints, pedicel or chelicerae or are they just crawling around on the T?
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
650
I had an A. versicolor sling with mites, and I followed this method of getting rid of them, with success:

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/methods-of-mite-control.44372/

I put the sling in a clean enclosure on the calcium carbonate sand with a bottle cap water dish. Each night, I transferred the sling into a new enclosure with sand and a bottle cap. I did this for a week until it molted (and I would advise you to do this until yours molts as well). I removed the molt immediately. A day after it molted, I put it in a normal Avic setup. Not a mite to be seen since.

I only knew there were mites because I have a macro lens and just happened to be taking photos of the sling. I would never have noticed them otherwise. Parasitic mites, to my knowledge, are dangerous if they are attached at joints, chelicerae, etc. If you see mites crawling ON the T or in the substrate, they may not pose a risk. There are about a million different kinds of mites, after all, and some are even beneficial. Before doing anything with your slings, be sure these are bad mites, not good or neutral mites.
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
650
If its a recent purchase, just bring it back. If not, you may have to purchase some predatory mites, they only eat mites, and die if there's no more food to eat;) I haven't run into your specific issue so my knowledge is limited on this one.
I bought predatory mites when my versi sling had parasitic mites, but the issue I ran into was that the sling was so fuzzy, the predatory mites had trouble getting to the parasitic ones! I wonder if it would have been more successful with a different, less fuzzy species.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Dec 8, 2006
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I bought predatory mites when my versi sling had parasitic mites, but the issue I ran into was that the sling was so fuzzy, the predatory mites had trouble getting to the parasitic ones! I wonder if it would have been more successful with a different, less fuzzy species.
Thanks for the info, in all the reports I have read from people w/those, no one I have come across has mentioned that!
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
650
Thanks for the info, in all the reports I have read from people w/those, no one I have come across has mentioned that!
No prob! I could clearly see the predatory mites walking all around, and on, the sling, but seemed to be foiled by all the hair. None of them were anywhere near where I knew the parasitic mites were. Here's a pic of the sling, you can clearly see the parasitic mites. They were on the sling's chelicerae and all the leg joints.

After I'd transfer the sling each night into the new sandy enclosure, I'd take another photo to track the progress of the mite removal. There were less mites each night.

 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Dec 8, 2006
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14,331
No prob! I could clearly see the predatory mites walking all around, and on, the sling, but seemed to be foiled by all the hair. None of them were anywhere near where I knew the parasitic mites were. Here's a pic of the sling, you can clearly see the parasitic mites. They were on the sling's chelicerae and all the leg joints.

After I'd transfer the sling each night into the new sandy enclosure, I'd take another photo to track the progress of the mite removal. There were less mites each night.

Why were you using sand?
 

dopamine

Arachnobaron
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
341
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've decided to keep him/her and just see what happens. I don't see any mites on the spider anymore, though now i wonder if what i saw were actually mites after talking with the store owner. The spider is behaving normally from what i can see. I'd post pics but it's so small and the little container it's in doesn't have the best visibility.
 

dopamine

Arachnobaron
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
341
Are they attached to the T around the joints, pedicel or chelicerae or are they just crawling around on the T?
I saw a couple of white specs. One was on the abdomen, and another couple by the spinnerets. The only one i saw actually move was on the plastic of the vial.
 

14pokies

Arachnoprince
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Oct 25, 2014
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I saw a couple of white specs. One was on the abdomen, and another couple by the spinnerets. The only one i saw actually move was on the plastic of the vial.
Sounds like the type of mite that feeds on bolus and dead crickets..

I would put the sling in a condiment cup without sub or a water dish over night and freeze its enclosure. ( Your freezing just the enclosure not the T)

Let the enclosure thaw back to room temp and put the sling back in it. Clean the area where the enclosure was kept with a very diluted bleach water solution.. I helped a friend clear mites from his collection this way recently..
 

dopamine

Arachnobaron
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
341
Sounds like the type of mite that feeds on bolus and dead crickets..

I would put the sling in a condiment cup without sub or a water dish over night and freeze its enclosure. ( Your freezing just the enclosure not the T)

Let the enclosure thaw back to room temp and put the sling back in it. Clean the area where the enclosure was kept with a very diluted bleach water solution.. I helped a friend clear mites from his collection this way recently..
Thanks for the suggestion, but i already replaced the substrate and washed the vial right after seeing the mite. It already has no water dish just due to it's size. I'll be replacing his vial with something bigger after his next molt, which will probably be soon. I guess we'll see what happens.
Glad to hear your versi pulled through!
 

Formerphobe

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Feb 27, 2011
Messages
2,341
I saw a couple of white specs. One was on the abdomen, and another couple by the spinnerets. The only one i saw actually move was on the plastic of the vial.
Sounds like cleaner mites. Parasitic mites will be attached to the spider around chelicerae and leg joints and you won't see much movement.
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
650
Why were you using sand?
Calcium carbonate sand - like what you'd use for a hermit crab - desiccates the mites. The T can drink from a water bowl - the mites cannot. They dry up and die when they crawl into the sand. At least, that's the theory.
 
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