Springtails out of control! Advice?

Morpheus

Arachnopeon
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Dec 23, 2020
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15
I have springtails in my scorpion enclosure to keep things clean. It's not a bioactive setup or anything, but because of the humidity I put them in there to prevent mould growth. However, as they have an abundance of things to eat (leftover cricket parts, faeces etc.) and nothing to counter their population, their numbers have exploded, to the point where I'm actually concerned there are too many. I had considered getting isopods (woodlice where I'm from) as I know they eat springtails and can help balance things out a bit, but I'm reluctant to add yet more critters to my enclosure and I've heard they can pose a risk to the scorps. I've seen them crawling all over the scorps, and while I know they do no harm, the scorps do have to continuously kick them off and such, which looks irritating to say the least.

Less importantly, there's also the aesthetic consideration as I have a beautiful enclosure which is now swarming with bugs :sick: and quite honestly in those numbers they kinda make my skin crawl!

Any advice on how I should proceed from here?

Thanks!

View attachment 192.168.0.13 01 2021043019001346-1.mp4
 

xXTristinaXx

Arachnoknight
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May 21, 2019
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186
Doesn't look like a problem when the number gets to high it will naturally lower from low food source and competition
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnodemon
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762
Not a problem, but if you really want to try to knock their numbers down a bit, you can dry out the enclosure a little (obviously not for too long, assuming you have a scorp that needs moisture), and stay on top of removing any dead cricket parts you can actually see. If you want to take it a step further you can add dwarf white isopods - they are quite small and aren't protein hungry the way some other species are, so they won't pose a threat to your scorpion. Honestly though, this swarm will burn itself out when it exhausts the excess food supply, and then it will go down to a more reasonable population on its own.
 

LizardStudent

Arachnosquire
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113
I would just start removing the dead cricket bits and keeping the cage tidy, scoop some bits of the substrate out and scoop as many out with it as possible and put some fresh sub in. They'll die down at some point, especially if their protein source dwindles
 

Morpheus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
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15
Not a problem, but if you really want to try to knock their numbers down a bit, you can dry out the enclosure a little (obviously not for too long, assuming you have a scorp that needs moisture), and stay on top of removing any dead cricket parts you can actually see. If you want to take it a step further you can add dwarf white isopods - they are quite small and aren't protein hungry the way some other species are, so they won't pose a threat to your scorpion. Honestly though, this swarm will burn itself out when it exhausts the excess food supply, and then it will go down to a more reasonable population on its own.
I would just start removing the dead cricket bits and keeping the cage tidy, scoop some bits of the substrate out and scoop as many out with it as possible and put some fresh sub in. They'll die down at some point, especially if their protein source dwindles
Thanks, the only issue is that they've burrowed fairly deep now and a lot of their mess is inaccessible. Don't think there is anything in the visible parts of the entrance or outside the burrow. I feed them every week usually, so occasionally I'll wait an extra week to feed them, in an attempt to lower the numbers, not sure it has been very effective.

I will look into the white dwarfs though, perhaps they just need some competition.

White_Dwarf_Grombrindal.png
 

DreadMan

Arachnosquire
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Apr 4, 2021
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64
I had the same problem a month ago. Just wait, or move out the scorp for a day or two and clean out any access springtails.
 

Morpheus

Arachnopeon
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Dec 23, 2020
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15
While we're on the subject, I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips as to how I would remove the scorps to clean out the enclosure without stressing them too much? I don't have any plans to do anything with them just yet, but they've been in this enclosure for a few months now and I will have to replace the substrate at some point. I've moved them around before, when I changed them from their temporary enclosure to the big fancy glass terrarium, but it was a bit of an ordeal and it just felt wrong pulling them out of their burrow, which is ostensibly their safe place.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnodemon
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While we're on the subject, I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips as to how I would remove the scorps to clean out the enclosure without stressing them too much? I don't have any plans to do anything with them just yet, but they've been in this enclosure for a few months now and I will have to replace the substrate at some point. I've moved them around before, when I changed them from their temporary enclosure to the big fancy glass terrarium, but it was a bit of an ordeal and it just felt wrong pulling them out of their burrow, which is ostensibly their safe place.
Substrate replacement isn't really necessary unless you develop a serious problem.
 

Morpheus

Arachnopeon
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Dec 23, 2020
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15
Substrate replacement isn't really necessary unless you develop a serious problem.
Oh that's good to know, it was my understanding from what I've read that you're supposed to totally replace the substrate every 6 months.

Just in case the need arises, how would one best go about taking scorps out of their enclosure without any undue stress? Obviously I have no need to do so at this time (or in the foreseeable future), so I'm just asking for future reference really. Last time wasn't totally awful, but I'd rather any future attempts be a little less difficult/stressful.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnodemon
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Oh that's good to know, it was my understanding from what I've read that you're supposed to totally replace the substrate every 6 months.

Just in case the need arises, how would one best go about taking scorps out of their enclosure without any undue stress? Obviously I have no need to do so at this time (or in the foreseeable future), so I'm just asking for future reference really. Last time wasn't totally awful, but I'd rather any future attempts be a little less difficult/stressful.
It’s going to be stressful no matter what. The easiest and safest way is to carefully scoop out the upper levels of substrate with a spoon until you expose the burrow, then capture the scorpion in a catch cup and transfer it to another temporary container while you deal with the rest of the substrate and do whatever you need to do. You do want to be very sure that the scorpion is definitely not moulting, recently moulted, or about to moult when you do this, as they are quite delicate during this time and can easily be injured or killed.
 
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