Nematode Plague?

Depro900

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Hey everyone I was just wondering about this nematode situation. I understand that they're parasites, but I don't really understand how do you get them and how to prevent them? Are they as common as people say and are they truly the plague of the tarantula hobby? Could it be transferred to other T's and or reptiles? Any help would be appreciated thank you!
 

boina

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Nematodes are not per se parasites. Most nematodes are detrivores and live in soil and are completely harmless. Some nematode species are parasites. However, parasites are highly specific. Some nematode species even parasitise humans, others you'll find indogs or cats, and still others parasitize tarantulas. Tarantula nematodes parasitze tarantulas and nothing else, not even true spiders and definitely not reptiles. The only way to get them is from an infected (usually wild caught) tarantula.
Nematode infections in hobby tarantulas are rare since most are captive bred nowadays. Buy your tarantula from a reputable breeder and not from a pet shop and in all likelyhood you won't ever see a tarantula nematode.
 

cold blood

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Are they as common as people say
Who says they are common?? They are exceedingly rare, and are seen most often on wild caught adults. IMO they are something to know exists, but not something to outright worry about. I've been keeping for 18 years, the only nematodes I have seen have been documented on the web.

But yes, they can transfer (among tarantulas) from what I understand and if left unchecked, probably take out a collection.
 
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G. pulchra

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I've never seen one with my own eyes and I've been around a lot of T's over the years.
 

Depro900

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Who says they are common?? They are exceedingly rare, and are seen most often on wild caught adults. IMO they are something to know exists, but not something to outright worry about. I've been keeping for 18 years, the only nematodes I have seen have been documented on the web.

But yes, they can transfer from what I understand and if left unchecked, probably take out a collection.
Alright I thought they were common, I thought someone on youtube said they were in the hobby today but it could have possible been about mites if they are more common?
 

Depro900

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Nematodes are not per se parasites. Most nematodes are detrivores and live in soil and are completely harmless. Some nematode species are parasites. However, parasites are highly specific. Some nematode species even parasitise humans, others you'll find indogs or cats, and still others parasitize tarantulas. Tarantula nematodes parasitze tarantulas and nothing else, not even true spiders and definitely not reptiles. The only way to get them is from an infected (usually wild caught) tarantula.
Nematode infections in hobby tarantulas are rare since most are captive bred nowadays. Buy your tarantula from a reputable breeder and not from a pet shop and in all likelyhood you won't ever see a tarantula nematode.
Thank you this was very helpful. I never would have thought they were that rare. So are mites the real parasites to look out for then? :/ They are possibly my biggest fear in ruining my collection, are they also species specific?
 

cold blood

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Thank you this was very helpful. I never would have thought they were that rare. So are mites the real parasites to look out for then? :/ They are possibly my biggest fear in ruining my collection, are they also species specific?
Mites are common...theyre pretty much everywhere...but very few mites are parasitic (those are exceedingly rare)...mites are more of an irritant than anything. The single biggest over-reaction in the hobby in general is with mites...people get all in a tizzy and panic and start re-housing and sterilizing...lmao. See mites, just dry the enclosure and pick out any bolus you see or dead prey (both of which should already be cleaned, but are a general attractor for mites). Mites have virtually no drought tolerances, so its fairly easy to make the enclosures inhospitable for them.

Mites will drive you bonkers, but they won't ruin a collection unless you were practically cultivating the mites.
 

Depro900

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Mites are common...theyre pretty much everywhere...but very few mites are parasitic (those are exceedingly rare)...mites are more of an irritant than anything. The single biggest over-reaction in the hobby in general is with mites...people get all in a tizzy and panic and start re-housing and sterilizing...lmao. See mites, just dry the enclosure and pick out any bolus you see or dead prey (both of which should already be cleaned, but are a general attractor for mites). Mites have virtually no drought tolerances, so its fairly easy to make the enclosures inhospitable for them.

Mites will drive you bonkers, but they won't ruin a collection unless you were practically cultivating the mites.
Thank you so much I was going bonkers this helps a lot lol. So basically take care of the animals how you are supposed to and you won't or (rarely) will have to worry about parasites.
 

Depro900

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Nematodes are not per se parasites. Most nematodes are detrivores and live in soil and are completely harmless. Some nematode species are parasites. However, parasites are highly specific. Some nematode species even parasitise humans, others you'll find indogs or cats, and still others parasitize tarantulas. Tarantula nematodes parasitze tarantulas and nothing else, not even true spiders and definitely not reptiles. The only way to get them is from an infected (usually wild caught) tarantula.
Nematode infections in hobby tarantulas are rare since most are captive bred nowadays. Buy your tarantula from a reputable breeder and not from a pet shop and in all likelyhood you won't ever see a tarantula nematode.
I know this thread is a few days old but I was just wondering, I noticed one of my snakes might have gotten mites from when a buddy of mine watched him while I was on vacation and now I am taking care of it in my care but I am worried they could transfer to my T and invert collection. Are mites species specific as well or should I take all the proper measures to ensure it doesn't spread. You or anyone know? Sorry to bother but you seem very knowledgeable!
 

The Grym Reaper

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Buy your tarantula from a reputable breeder and not from a pet shop and in all likelihood you won't ever see a tarantula nematode.
This, the only T I've lost to nematodes was a WC A. avicularia that I got from a pet store, none of my others were affected.

Mites will drive you bonkers, but they won't ruin a collection unless you were practically cultivating the mites.
True, bloody things love my roach bins but they won't go near my T enclosures, all the ones that aren't too dry have springtails in anyway.

I know this thread is a few days old but I was just wondering, I noticed one of my snakes might have gotten mites from when a buddy of mine watched him while I was on vacation and now I am taking care of it in my care but I am worried they could transfer to my T and invert collection. Are mites species specific as well or should I take all the proper measures to ensure it doesn't spread. You or anyone know? Sorry to bother but you seem very knowledgeable!
I think snake mites are species specific and have specific methods to remove/prevent them.

Scavenger/grain mites (these are generally greyish/white in colour) aren't much more than a nuisance (more for you than anything else). As @cold blood said above, they have almost no drought tolerance and so won't be able to establish themselves in dry/clean enclosures.
 

Depro900

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This, the only T I've lost to nematodes was a WC A. avicularia that I got from a pet store, none of my others were affected.



True, bloody things love my roach bins but they won't go near my T enclosures, all the ones that aren't too dry have springtails in anyway.



I think snake mites are species specific and have specific methods to remove/prevent them.

Scavenger/grain mites (these are generally greyish/white in colour) aren't much more than a nuisance (more for you than anything else). As @cold blood said above, they have almost no drought tolerance and so won't be able to establish themselves in dry/clean enclosures.
Awesome great information, but how would you go about drying out an enclosure for a C. fimbriatus lets say since they require moist substrate?
 

The Grym Reaper

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Awesome great information, but how would you go about drying out an enclosure for a C. fimbriatus lets say since they require moist substrate?
I personally use springtails in any enclosures housing species that require moist substrate as they outcompete mites for food and are a good indicator that I'm keeping the sub moist enough (if the springtails start dying off then it's too dry).
 

boina

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I know this thread is a few days old but I was just wondering, I noticed one of my snakes might have gotten mites from when a buddy of mine watched him while I was on vacation and now I am taking care of it in my care but I am worried they could transfer to my T and invert collection. Are mites species specific as well or should I take all the proper measures to ensure it doesn't spread. You or anyone know? Sorry to bother but you seem very knowledgeable!
No problem and than you for the compliment :). With snakes it's the same problem as with tarantulas: There are scavenging mites and then there are real snake mites. The real snake mites that parasitize a snake are rare and they don't just appear out of no-where, they usually come from contact with another infected snake and they are specific and won't even go near your tarantulas or other inverts. Most mites you'll see are the scavenging type and they get everywhere. They can become a nuisance in snake enclosures, especially vivarium style enclosures. As @The Grym Reaper said the cure all against scavenging mites are springtails or letting it dry out. If you don't want to let it dry out - and even most moisture loving species can go for a short while on dry substrate - use plenty of springtails.

My fully adult boas live on dry tissue paper which prevents any mite infestation. They are too big to reasonably maintain a more involved enclosure style for me. My Opheodrys on the other hand have a fully planted vivarium with springtails and isopods and banana roaches for clean up.
 

CEC

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Parasitic mites are found around the chelicerae and carapace. More Ts have them than one would think, especially slings IME. They go unnoticed because on slings they are too small to see with the naked eye, it takes a microscope or a good macro lens to see them. Anytime I get new slings I check to see if they have parasitic mites with my camera, most don't have them but you'd be surprised how many do, even from the most reputable of hobbyist/dealers.

Mites get a bad reputation because a keeper's Tarantula will die by unknown causes and by the time they find the dead carcass it's covered in mites so they naturally and ignorantly blame the mites as the cause of death. The mites are usually grain mites which are scavengers doing what they do, eating dead things. Mold gets the same reputation. I believe there are harmful types of mold for Tarantulas but the common types found in enclosures are harmless and a nuisance at best. As mentioned before, both can be prevented, controlled or eliminated.

One way to eliminate parasitic mites from an infected high humidity species is to wait for a molt. Then quickly and gently rehouse your fimbriatus before the mites detach from the molt and hop back on your spider. Throw the old enclosure in the freezer to kill the mites and their eggs... This obviously does take some heavy awareness, though. It's easier with slings because they molt more frequently.
 
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Depro900

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No problem and than you for the compliment :). With snakes it's the same problem as with tarantulas: There are scavenging mites and then there are real snake mites. The real snake mites that parasitize a snake are rare and they don't just appear out of no-where, they usually come from contact with another infected snake and they are specific and won't even go near your tarantulas or other inverts. Most mites you'll see are the scavenging type and they get everywhere. They can become a nuisance in snake enclosures, especially vivarium style enclosures. As @The Grym Reaper said the cure all against scavenging mites are springtails or letting it dry out. If you don't want to let it dry out - and even most moisture loving species can go for a short while on dry substrate - use plenty of springtails.

My fully adult boas live on dry tissue paper which prevents any mite infestation. They are too big to reasonably maintain a more involved enclosure style for me. My Opheodrys on the other hand have a fully planted vivarium with springtails and isopods and banana roaches for clean up.
Alright perfect I am starting to understand these little buggers a lot better now, I can see how people over react to such circumstances. I just may have to find a spring tail culture in my area as they are hard to find and seem very beneficial! Yes I completely agree with your boa situation I have a Dwarf Retic baby right now on eco earth in a 20 Gal but he's growing like a weed so in the next enclosures I will most likely just put paper towels or kraft paper as a substrate lol. Much easier, they are just terrible for retaining humidity!
 

Ellenantula

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I noticed one of my snakes might have gotten mites ... Are mites species specific as well or should I take all the proper measures to ensure it doesn't spread. You or anyone know? Sorry to bother but you seem very knowledgeable!
Snake mites are host specific - the only concern is with other reptiles in the home than the inverts themselves getting snake mites.
My BP had mites when I first got him -- they were black in color -- easily seen by keeping my snake on white paper towels (which helped me gauge success of my treatment). They were gone after second treatment (Provent A Mite) but I continued monthly treatments for about 5 months (such was my paranoia).
Be very careful that your treatment is thoroughly contained and doesn't spread to your Ts -- snake mite treatment can kill inverts. :(

Basically, it's the mite cure that puts Ts at risk, not the snake mites themselves.
 
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