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  1. #1
    Registered User CharlieJ's Avatar
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    Worms in the Terrarium N I Didn't Put Em There.... HELP!

    Hey all!
    On the side of Carlyle's tank, there are a number of small white/pinkish worms squirming around on the moss and against the glass. A couple of questions to go with this statement:

    What are they?! Where did they come from?!
    They look like teeny tiny larvae, could the required moisture and humidity have brought them out/created them? They are quite comparable to the nasty larvae you find crawling around in the garbage can on a hot summer day, but incredibly smaller than them, about 1/8" in full length.

    Are they harmful? Should I get them out immediately or will Carlyle eat them?
    I'm just afraid they're going to give Carlyle a parasite or infection of some kind. I'm mostly concerned because I know that if mealworms roam free, they may bite back when the gecko/lizard/anything supposed to be eating it isn't paying attention. If these larvae grow large enough are they gonna bite back or make Carlyle sick some how??

    Please help! I'm very concerned and I'm still just a month into this reptile owner thing. I'm still learning!!!!

    Charlie






  2. #2
    Technical Administrator Rich's Avatar
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    Re: Worms in the Terrarium N I Didn't Put Em There.... HELP!

    If you don't know what they, get the gecko out of there. We can't tell you if they are harmful because we don't know what they are. based on your description they could be the larvae of something. Since we don't know what, we can't say they are dangerous so you need to assume they are.

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  3. #3
    Registered User er15ss's Avatar
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    Re: Worms in the Terrarium N I Didn't Put Em There.... HELP!

    If they're in the moss, I'd first ask, is that moss really moist? Like, too moist? I would discard the moss and disinfect that area and the surrounding area, and find a replacement for the moss, and definitely keep the moisture down. Then wait a week or so to see if there is any sign of them again. Make sure there is no toxic residue if it's time to return the Leo to the enclosure.

    But, as said earlier, first and foremost, remove the Leo from this situation until it's resolved.

  4. #4
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    Re: Worms in the Terrarium N I Didn't Put Em There.... HELP!

    I'd take everything out and clean the leo's tank asap as soon and I found those thing in there something go in there and sounds like it used the moss for a breeding ground.

    One reason I don't have moist hide for Mindy, and she gets warm baths a shed time. In my house because of bug problems in the past not just in this house, I don't want to wake up to Mindy's cage covered in maggots of some kind.

  5. #5
    Registered User jclee's Avatar
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    Re: Worms in the Terrarium N I Didn't Put Em There.... HELP!

    I think everyone's idea to clean everything out is sound, just in case it is something that could harm your leo. However, I doubt it is. Clean up to be safe, but my guess would be that a common fly of some kind decided that your moist moss was a great place to lay eggs. I just thought I'd throw that possibility out there to lower your blood pressure a little. Clean everything thoroughly, just in case, but don't let it freak you out too much, as it's probably nothing that would hurt a gecko.

    Also, since it looks like you're replacing the hide-box substrate, I would like to recommend vermiculite, which doesn't mess with wild moss populations, and from what I've read, is less likely to accidentally be ingested and cause intestinal blockage. Another possibility is that the moss you were using wasn't sterilized properly, and the fly eggs hitched a ride that way, and hatched once it became damp enough.

  6. #6
    Elite Member TitoAndKatt's Avatar
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    Re: Worms in the Terrarium N I Didn't Put Em There.... HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by jclee View Post
    I think everyone's idea to clean everything out is sound, just in case it is something that could harm your leo. However, I doubt it is. Clean up to be safe, but my guess would be that a common fly of some kind decided that your moist moss was a great place to lay eggs. I just thought I'd throw that possibility out there to lower your blood pressure a little. Clean everything thoroughly, just in case, but don't let it freak you out too much, as it's probably nothing that would hurt a gecko.

    Also, since it looks like you're replacing the hide-box substrate, I would like to recommend vermiculite, which doesn't mess with wild moss populations, and from what I've read, is less likely to accidentally be ingested and cause intestinal blockage. Another possibility is that the moss you were using wasn't sterilized properly, and the fly eggs hitched a ride that way, and hatched once it became damp enough.
    That was my thought.
    Have you had your leo checked for parasites?

  7. #7
    Registered User CharlieJ's Avatar
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    Re: Worms in the Terrarium N I Didn't Put Em There.... HELP!

    wow thanks for the great responses and I'm sorry I've neglected to check up.
    So, I read that first response from rich and right away jumped on getting Carlyle out of there, then cleared out his tank completely. Of course I had just put a bunch of crickets in there for dinner time right before I saw these maggots, So collecting those jumpers was a chore in itself lol. Then I took out the much too moist moss, yes you all were right about that and I feel like a jerk. Then I collected the cool side log hide and warm side cocohut. Then peeled up the felt-like substrate....which was horrendous once I looked at it and the bottom of the glass tank. It was absolutely infested and I feel like an absolute failure as a mom. I feel like such a jerk, I thought I was doing the right thing getting him moss so he/she can rub against and shed well and be in a healthy humid environment.
    So these maggots were all through out the moss, and completely infesting the carpet substrate, all on top, underneath and had woven themselves into the fibers....just horrible. So I cleaned out the tank with boiling hot water and scrubbed every inch clean of these maggots and made sure they were free from the hides and then put temporary paper towel down as a substrate and replace everything else, now clean, back to the tank. The next day I went and got Zilla's ground english walnut shell substrate. The reptile specialist said that it was pretty easy on gecko's stomachs and wouldn't impact him. so that's where I'm at and so far its almost 10 days and we're still seemingly maggot free. And Carlyle runs around like crazy in his new home, I've made different levels with the ground shell like sand dunes and stuff and he chills all over the whole tank, he/she seems to really like it. Any other thoughts/advice?

  8. #8
    Registered User jclee's Avatar
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    Re: Worms in the Terrarium N I Didn't Put Em There.... HELP!

    Well, I am very glad that you are looking into new substrates, and I'm sure Carlyle is, too. Unfortunately, Ground Walnut has a reputation for being dangerous. It is known for fragmenting and splitting inside the tummy, which can cause a lot of problems. I found an old thread on it: http://www.herpcenter.com/mixes-pack...ed-walnut.html

    You might be able to bag it up and return it, since the pet store told you that it was safe, which was the basis of your purchase, and there's a lot of info on the internet proving that clerk wrong. It might be worth a shot. (The walnut and the Calci-cand are the two most dangerous products sold as substrate at the moment, and I REALLY think they should be banned. Maybe we should start a movement to collect signatures, testimonials of their dangers, and research that can be turned in to the better business bureau. Until they're off the shelves, pet stores will keep selling them as "completely safe." )

    If you search the threads here for "leopard gecko" and "substrate," you should be able to look over the older threads where people tried to decide which substrate to use, and why. In the mean time, paper towels or newspaper do just fine in a pinch.

    Keep the questions coming. We'll help you and Carlyle as best we can.

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