Sand In the Substrate


Old Timer
Mar 14, 2003
I just wanted to voice a worry that I have concerning the mixture of sand in my substrate for the African Black Claw (Opithacanthus *sp* rugiceps) I'm going to be getting. I have read that it is recommended you mix Sphagnum Peat Moss with sand. But here's where I have a few worries. From previous experience, I have found that sand is the perfect breeding place for Sand Fleas. I have 5 cats, 1 Ferret, 3 rats and 1 Guinea pig not to mention myself who would be the biggest casualty of using sand in the substrate. I was just wondering for a desert species, is there any other alternatives to using sand in the substrate?


Old Timer
Jan 6, 2003
If fleas are a great concern:
If you have availability of it, an electronic flea barrier can be purchased and used as a perimeter around the enclosure. A few feet at lowest should be allowed between the sides of the enclosure and the flea barrier. If it can have an effect on fleas, it will, more than likely, do the same on scorpions, which is why the few feet in between would be needed. Flea collars attached to one another also works, but overhead air intake to the enclosure and side exhaust is also required for this method (difficult to achieve, but works great and if enough room is provided between the enclosure and the ring, air intake isn't necessary).

Easiest ways to prevent all species of fleas: Cleanse hands and forearms before and after opening the enclosure top. Keep a good seal between the enclosure and the top. Keep enclosure on a wood surface which is kept clean and at minimum, 3.5 feet above the floor level.

edw. ;)