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Ball Python AND Coastal Carpet Python Questions

Discussion in 'Pythons *General*' started by MouseMurderer, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. MouseMurderer

    MouseMurderer Member

    Alright, so my first question is about my roommates ball python, we have mite spray for him and we have treated him 3 times with it (with the other snakes in the same room). To treat him, we took him out of his cage and put him in water to the temp the internet said to try to keep it at, then emptied the cages bedding and soaked all his leaves hides water dish and anything else in a tub with very hot water. Then after about an hour of soaking, we replace all the stuff in their cages and spray each of the snakes with Zoo Med Mite Off (usually trying to layer the snake twice) then put them back. Unfortunately my roommates ball python keeps having bugs coming off of him onto our hands while being handled. It's bumming me out and worse I'm worried for the snake, we use forest floor cypress bedding from pet smart.

    Now onto my Coastal Carpet Python, he is a little nippy because he's young so i use gloves to handle him, usually not always. Lately he has been spending time in his water bowl a lot, and he was too big splashing all the water out so i got him more of a water tub to fit nicely in. I figured he was trying to cool off at first, but then after i got the tub, he started bringing his whole head under and swimming circles in the water completely submerged. I thought that was sweet for a total of 10 minutes till i started thinking that there might be a reason he's doing that more that being a water bug, well now I'm concerned he has mites, he's in the same room as the other snake with the mites problem.
    So basically what i want to know for my Coastal is, do they like swimming or should i be concerned about the chance of mites?
    AND have you heard anything about forest floor cypress carrying mites sometimes?

    My roommate is out right now getting mite spray now, so we plan to do that again and again, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Mites can take up to a month to kill - their eggs are not affected by most mite sprays. Getting rid of them is also a lot of work.

    1 - throw out all of the substrate in ALL of the cages. Get some cheap plastic storage bins for your snakes to live in for the next few weeks. Use velcro to secure them if necessary. Use heat pads to keep them warm. Furnish them only with mite-spray laced paper towels for substrate, and a cardboard box hide, and a water dish. Each snake should have a bath daily, and afterwards, be wiped down with your mite spray of choice, then returned to a bin that has just been cleaned, bleached, and re-furnished with fresh paper towels, freshly cleaned water dish, and fresh cardboard box hide. Keep these bins in a different room of the house.

    2 - bag up all of the furniture for the cages (decoration, branches, caves, water dishes, everything) in a large garbage bag (use more than one if you need to) Spray mite spray in it (or RID, or whatever), and seal it up, and place someplace safe for a month. If you have a garage or attic, that works nicely. The poison, and lack of food should kill them all. If there are wild temperature swings where you put the bags, even better. When I lived in Florida, I just put it in my car - where the temps got extremely hot during daytime hours.

    3 - Wipe down all the walls of the cages with a good solution (I like a mixture of bleach and dish soap), paying particular attention to corners - that is where most mites will lay their eggs. Seal the cages up as well as you can - Cover every vent and lid with a barrier mites can't cross, so any left in there don't wander elsewhere. Tape them up if you have to. Spray them, too with a mite spray. Allow to sit for several weeks. This way, any stray mite eggs hatch, and the babies are killed.

    4 - If the room they are in has a carpeted floor, you will also need to treat the carpet for mites. Vaccuuming daily (some people recommend putting moth balls in your vacuum) will suck up any stragglers. Using a steam cleaner with some bleach or mite spray solution will also help. If the floor is not carpeted, simply mop with a solution of bleach of mite spray every other day or so.

    5 - When both snakes have shown no signs of mites for at least a week (checking them daily after their baths, looking in their water dishes, etc) they are clean of mites. Wipe the cages down again, and place your snakes in them with paper towels (still laced with mite spray) and simple cardboard hides. Keep a close eye on them for a couple more weeks to make sure no more mites appear.

    Prevention in the future:

    Examine the animals at all pet shops, even if you are not buying animals. If the animals have mites, the mites will travel around, and end up on things like substrates, feeders, and decorations, and could get introduced to your cages.

    If you handle other animals (shows, shops, friends houses,) make sure to wash your hands thoroughly - even if you see no signs of mites. They could come home on YOU too.

    Quarantine your animals. New animals should be observed for at least one month before being introduced to a room with other animals.

    Petroleum jelly - Mites cannot climb through it, so putting it on the legs of the tables and stands that your cages sit on will help cut back on their travel to other cages. When I quarantine a new animal, I place a ring of petroleum around the top of the cage, to prevent mites from even leaving the cage.

    A word about the mite sprays and pesticides you use to kill them: Check your labels. If the mite spray you are using says it contains permethrin, be aware that permethrin is very toxic to cats, and take cautions that any cats in the household to not come in contact with the permethrin, or things being treated with it.
  3. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    Read and follow directions above. Mites can kill the snake. Use separate tools, containers everything for both snakes. Get the carpet python far away from infected snake. Like other side of house. Use alcohol sanitizer for hands after handling each one.
  4. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    I've heard that the zoo med mite spray is not very effective.

    Provent-a-Mite is most people's go to. It is a neurotoxin, so its more for treating the room then the animals/cages.

    Baths should be enough to drown what's on the snake, and the bleach should take care of the cage. The reason you have to keep repeating the process is because of the egg laying cycle
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I have never used zoo med spray, but a company called Natural Chemistry makes a very good product. I keep it very very handy.
  6. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    I use zoo med for the snake and provent a mite for cage. However anything with promethrin will work. Example equate lice bedding spray at Walmart.
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I also prefer the Natural Chemistry spray.

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