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  1. #1
    Elite Member cap77442000's Avatar
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    bugs in snake tank

    Hi. I've just noticed little white bugs all over my snake tank. They look alittle like head lice but have their legss in front of them near their heads. I brought deflea for herps and a reptile tank cleaner. What kind of bug do you think it is and what else can I do for him? Does he need to go to the vet or will the deflea work? I also gave him something for worms.
    Please respond as soon as possible. Thanks in advance, cheryl
    5 Dogs
    Candice a collie, Budweiser a black lab, Shotzie a rottweiler, Rocky a german shepherd, & Gizmo a chihuahua.
    4 Tabby cats
    Magic, Phoebe, Tinkerbell, & Skitzie. Pookie & Boo black & white cats.
    Spike a cockatiel. Heaven a leopard gecko. Link & Lucy fire bellied toads. Luke and Laura fire bellied newts.
    Disturbed a albino african clawed frog. Snowy a silver molly. Fire a blood fin tetra. Jaws a black molly. Another fish tank with fish and snails galore.






  2. #2
    Elite Member furryscaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cap77442000
    They look a little like head lice but have their legss in front of them near their heads.
    Hmm, head lice DO have their legs up near their heads. It could be another species of louse. Its also possibly a larva of something. Hard to say without a picture.
    Hi.

  3. #3
    Elite Member cap77442000's Avatar
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    head lice

    Sorry don't know much about head lice just what I hear. I don't have kids and really don't remember if I ever had head lice. Do you think that the deflea will get rid of them? I used regular potting soil, maybe them came from that? Anyways thanks for responding so soon. I can't take a picture of the bugs they are to small. They are just little white dots that are running all around.
    5 Dogs
    Candice a collie, Budweiser a black lab, Shotzie a rottweiler, Rocky a german shepherd, & Gizmo a chihuahua.
    4 Tabby cats
    Magic, Phoebe, Tinkerbell, & Skitzie. Pookie & Boo black & white cats.
    Spike a cockatiel. Heaven a leopard gecko. Link & Lucy fire bellied toads. Luke and Laura fire bellied newts.
    Disturbed a albino african clawed frog. Snowy a silver molly. Fire a blood fin tetra. Jaws a black molly. Another fish tank with fish and snails galore.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Jay DeMore's Avatar
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    Do they look like this
    If so they are spider mites, commonly found in gardens, they could have been brought in from the potting soil.

    See this website for more info.
    http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05507.html
    Answers are great. But I prefer questions!

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  5. #5
    Elite Member Bitis Gabonica's Avatar
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    Sounds like whatever it is what brought in on the soil - we often see millions of tiny white bugs crawling around in the snails' tank, and i believe they come from the soil and appear to eat the poo! They don't do any harm, but I would prefer them not to be in my snake's enclosure - give the tank a good clean and leave the soil for now, see if that helps.

    I would be reluctant to use any products such as the flea stuff without consulting a vet, or making sure you need to use it, and would see if a thorough clean of the tank works first.

    Couple of questions - what snake is it? And why do you have soil in the tank?
    "If you know everything you may as well blow your brains out because the reason for existence is to learn more everyday." - Mark O'Shea, 2004

  6. #6
    Elite Member Jay DeMore's Avatar
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    I should have mentioned this earlier, Do Not Use!!! any type of pesticide (my personal opinion) there are many all natural remedies. If you find that the soil is the reason for the mites simply put it in the microwave for about 45 seconds before putting it in the enclosure. Antibacterial soap is another good way to disinfect and debug a tank, just make sure it is rinsed thoroughly before any animals are returned to it. Vinegar is also good in some cases. There are always options other than poisoning the environment.

    Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox. lol
    Answers are great. But I prefer questions!

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  7. #7
    Subscribed User BlackJack's Avatar
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    It sounds like what you have there are the protonymph stage of snake mites. (they are of a similar family to lice). This is a few stages after hatching and before they feed again, shed again and become adults. If you look carefully, you'll probably find a lot of them crawling on your snake and drowned in the waterbowl (looks like fine pepper, but with legs). You might also find some tan sticky stuff all over the inside top corners of your terrarium or on the outside walls and ceiling... these are the eggs or the newly hatched larvae.
    I wrote a long post to esbat a while ago on how I've dealt with mite infestations. Mites It's not the quickest way but it's a safe way to get rid of them. (Not very practical for someone with several dozen snakes, but I've managed this quarantine and treatment with 4.)
    Do NOT spray or wipe pesticides around your snake.!!!!!!!!.. what kills mites is also highly toxic for reptiles. (I just got an e-mail from someone who accidentally killed their Green Tree Python by putting it back into a terrarium treated with Provent-A-Mite and not fully ventilated afterwards!) Whether you use Reptile Relief or Provent-A-Mite or one of the other treatments READ the instructions carefully. If you have arachnids or turtles too, you must be EXTREMELY careful...

    Good luck. They are awful beasties for the snake, fortunately they don't bite people, but they can hitchhike on you to another snake's enclosure.

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    Andrea

  8. #8
    Elite Member Bitis Gabonica's Avatar
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    I thought of that too Andrea - snake mites in the first stage are white, but as adults are black. Best to be safe and check carefully for mites, particularly around the eyes and under the chin, and also watch the snakes behaviour - is it soaking excessively? Is it aggitated or off food?

    However, what is being described and the way it is being described doesn't sound to me like mites - for starters, if they are so obvious then the adult mites should be more so, and it does sound similar to the bugs in our snails' tank.
    "If you know everything you may as well blow your brains out because the reason for existence is to learn more everyday." - Mark O'Shea, 2004

  9. #9
    Subscribed User BlackJack's Avatar
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    That's just the crazy thing Rachel: I almost never saw a live adult mite during our infestations, so it was very confusing at first!
    The two times we had mites, the first thing we noticed was these tiny white bugs crawling on the glass doors and beige sticky stuff on the walls. I had to look VERY carefully on the snakes and saw some more of these little guys: but only after soaking them in water did a few of the adults drown and fall off. I never saw adults drowned in the water bowl, though.
    Also a-typical: my snakes never soaked or showed any signs of being bothered by the mites. But almost like it happened over-night, those little white buggers were everywhere and then we noticed the eggs and found a few adults in the tiny grooves and dark places in terrarium and under some raised scales on the snake; also around the vent.
    We looked at them under the microscope and confirmed that they were snake mites: the larvae only have 6 legs, but after they shed and morph, they grow another pair as adults.
    Once you've found them, you have to look well EVERYWHERE in and around your terrariums and treat everything! I took apart one of my terrariums and found eggs, larvae, protonymphs and adults INSIDE the florescent light fixture, even INSIDE the plugs and cables!!!
    Strangely enough, I never saw any mites in the "typcial places" on my snake " the eyes and the mental groove under the chin. But there were quite a few that fell off and drowned when I soaked the snakes in a tub of lukewarm water for 30 minutes or so.

    I'm not sure why my mite infestations sound different from what others have described, but that's the way it was for us both times! I'm not sure, but perhapswe caught our infestations very early: as there seemed to be hundreds and hundreds of larvae but hardly any obvious adults, so maybe we got them before they had a chance to grow up. ?????????

    Good luck!

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    Andrea

  10. #10
    Elite Member cap77442000's Avatar
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    thanks

    Thanks for responding so soon. I did clean the tank and I left out the soil. I'm going to put it back soon though because the snake is freaking out to much. He has no where to hide right now. I just want to wait a little longer and see if they come back. I didn't see him soaking or anything like that but he was always climbing to the top of the cage like he was trying to get away from something that is the reason why I looked in the first place. They are just little white dots that run around on everything. What do the eggs look like? Maybe if I know what to look for I could stop them before they start and keep my snake happy and in good health.
    Again thanks for everything,
    Cheryl
    5 Dogs
    Candice a collie, Budweiser a black lab, Shotzie a rottweiler, Rocky a german shepherd, & Gizmo a chihuahua.
    4 Tabby cats
    Magic, Phoebe, Tinkerbell, & Skitzie. Pookie & Boo black & white cats.
    Spike a cockatiel. Heaven a leopard gecko. Link & Lucy fire bellied toads. Luke and Laura fire bellied newts.
    Disturbed a albino african clawed frog. Snowy a silver molly. Fire a blood fin tetra. Jaws a black molly. Another fish tank with fish and snails galore.

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