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  1. #1
    Elite Member monkeytechahoo's Avatar
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    Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    A month ago I had to throw out my superworm colony because I saw tons of teeny tiny need a microscope to see them properly white moving dots all over inside the bin, all over the worms, just an invasion of "what are they" things. Organic soil substrate used in the super colony.

    I cleaned & sanitized the bin, and it's still sitting outside, and the area where the bin sat. As well as the wall behind the bin.

    Last night I just found the same dang little critters in my mealworm colonies. tossed them out too and redid the whole dang process. I even did my bird cages that sit in the same general area but with about 2ft of space between the cages & the bins. Ground oatmeal used as substrate in mealworm colony.

    Any ideas? These tiny things are way too small to take a pic of, I tried it. *lol* Teeny tiny, look like dust, white things that can crawl on anything. Up the sides of the bins and such.

    I've got my Bearded Dragon & daughter's gecko just on roaches since the first infestation. My gecko is givin me some stuborness, but I've got mealies in the fridge for him since that's the ONLY place I haven't seen the invaders. But I'm not starting colonies again till I get some answers, which sucks because we all know how great it is to save money on feeding.






  2. #2
    Elite Member purplemuffin's Avatar
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    Could they be mites?

    Raising mealworms This website mentions mites..not good!!
    -Kat

    The family:
    1.2.0 Leopard geckos (Bubba, Freckle, Speckle)
    1.0.0 Ball Python (Maru)
    0.1.0 Common Boa (Nagini)
    0.1.0 Cockatiel (Bella)
    0.1.1 Pacman Frog (Guacamole, Chimichurri)

  3. #3
    Elite Member monkeytechahoo's Avatar
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    That sounds like them, TY Kat!

  4. #4
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    I have never had mites occur in my cultures. Possibly because I microwave all my bran bedding.
    Sounds like it may be time to sterilize and start over.
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

  5. #5
    Elite Member monkeytechahoo's Avatar
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    I didn't even think to sterilize/microwave the oats. I'll do that this weekend and start over..again..*lol*

  6. #6
    mld
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    OK, what's up with these mites? do they happen a lot, I've never noticed any in my bins thank goodness. Any pictures of them out there?
    Michele


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  7. #7
    Elite Member monkeytechahoo's Avatar
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    Michele, I don't have a camera that can take a pic of something that tiny. My kids didn't believe me at first until I made them stare at the bins to see something other than the worms moving. *lol* They are like "tip of a needle" tiny white dots.

    I don't know how they got in there. Our windows were open almost daily when this started, so maybe they "blew in" or came in on the oatmeal, or even with the worms themselves. I've dumped everything and will start over in a few weeks.

  8. #8
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    Hello, hope I might be of some help here. A friend of mine asked me to post up my recent experience with these little critters infesting my roach bin so that it might help you out.





    I ended up picking these little guys up when I bought a some extra Blaberus Cranifers to boost my current colony that had gotten hit hard during a heat wave. As you can tell it was a pretty major infestation. Generally I wouldn't have worried much since seeing 1-2 mites is kind of normal in a roach colony as a large portion of mites are generally Detritivores and are actually beneficial. But if they get out of hand then they can be a problem. If one is keeping a naturalistic viv you can usually add isopods to the mix to help keep them in check, since the isopods will eat all of the food the Detritivores mites would consume, or you can just keep the cage super dry.

    I couldn't do either of those things for the roaches since they are Detritivores themselves, and they need humidity to really flourish...so I came across a thread talking about predatory mites and a link to a company, biocontrol network, that sells them. I called them up and explained what I was dealing with to the technician and they recommended a specific species and quantites. They arrived the next day in a little shaker bottle with instructions:



    Here is a shot of the mixture... basically wood chips, hypoaspis, and eggs... about 15,000 total:



    I started off the first night by misting down the roach tub, and misting the shaker bottle like the lady on the phone recommended. She said they would be dehydrated a little and would need water. I shook out about half the shaker directly onto the roaches... basically all over the tub. I repeated this 3 days later with the rest of the shakers contents and also left the open bottle in the cage.

    ... the good news is it's now been about 3 months and the infestation is gone. I'm sure if I really looked I could find a handful of mites in the bin, as the Detritivores are pretty prolific, and basically everywhere in the world. But they are at least on a managable scale.

    If you only have a few mites, i wouldn't sweat it as they are keeping things clean. But if you see them effecting your super worms, or just over populating, or if like myself you have many other inverts (tarantulas) then you can either dump the colony and start over and sterilize things like they others have said.... or if that is too much, then the predatory mites from my experience worked really well.

    Hope that helps.

  9. #9
    mld
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    Wow, thats great information! Can this product be used as a preventative measure also? How much did it cost? Thanks for sharing!
    Michele


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  10. #10
    Boa
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    Re: Tiny White Critters in Worm Bin

    Thanks for posting that great information, so far I've been lucky and have nothing in my bins.

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