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Black mites

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by Trinket snake, Aug 17, 2006.

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  1. Trinket snake

    Trinket snake Elite Member

    When i bought my ball python i found a small mite crawling on him, but didnt think much of it cause i could only find one. Then i started noticing flies in his tank and could see two types of mites little white ones which i think are fruit fly mite and small black ones on the water dish. Iv killed all the ones iv seen and havent seen many for a while, until today. I read a book on ball pythons and it said mites go under the scales, so i checked him over and found loads under his chin under his scales. There was about six that i could just see, so i got some tweezers and got them off. He didnt seem to mind as he held still so i could get them off. Then my brother looked at him really closely under his scales near his mouth and found more. He wouldnt hold still so i couldnt get to them, hes about to shed so will they come off with the skin? or should i take him to see a vet? Iv taken all the wood chipings out and put newspaper down for him. In the book i have it says to get a plastic container make holes in it and put a piece of fly paper in it, wait a couple of days, and repeat. Ive put the container in and im sure it wont woek but ill give it a go any advice would be helpfull:)
  2. venus

    venus Founding Member

  3. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    i've never dealt with mites either and i hope i never do. but after reading some threads on here dealing with them they can be very frustrating but they can be treated. good luck! :)
  4. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    this is the reason it is very important to quarintine new arrivals... the only way snakes in your collection really get mites is from other snakes... therefore mites should just be a once off problem if ever.... i am glad you spotted them!well done and good luck...
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Thats the problem with mites, where there is one there are many more. These things are basically born pregnate and all it takes is one to start a colony of thousands!
    Strip the cage down and wash it well. Put the snake in the tub and give it a good long soak to drown as many of them as you can. When you reassemble the tank use only the bare essentials. Paper substrate, hide, water bowl.
    Get a good spray like Reptiel relif by Natural Chemistry. Its the safest most effective thing out there and follow the label instructions.
    Fruit flies and mites are two completely different things. If your bugs are flying then they aren't mites.
    This is a new one on me! What book is this? This is NOT going to work.
    They used to suggest using No Pest Strips outside the cage to combat mites but they descovered the insecticide caused neurological damage, particularly with young snakes.

    Unfortuanately with mites the pesticide route is the only way to get rid of them.

    Not true. Mites can come in by any number of ways, including on your clothing or supplies that you bought from a shop where they were at.
    They are sneaky little beggers!
  6. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    really...i have never got mites on any of my snakes? maybe i am just lucky.... it was something i also heard from a breeder i know... but i suppose they must come from somewhere to begin with lol
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yes anything that has been in a place where the mites are can be a transport vehicle to get them into your collection.
    Thats why there are some pet shops here local that I will not even go into.
  8. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    yeah...but they came from the herps tho...then transported onto ya
  9. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Good luck with your mite problem!
  10. Tippmann357

    Tippmann357 Elite Member

    Yes. I have had the same problem with my new corn snake which I have bought 2 weeks ago. Same problem with friend's Ball Python aswell. We each purchased a mite spray called Jurassi Mite for 10$ from a local PetsMart. Kills the mites on contact and protects for 30 days. Doesn't harm snake either. I just sprayed snake before it's shedding and then sprayed the accesories in the tank along with the glass. So it was all good. I figured it came from the petstore. You know how they don't care for the animals too well. I hope it helped. :D
  11. Tippmann357

    Tippmann357 Elite Member

    P.S. Do not use tweezers. They pose a possible harm to snake. Before I got my spray I gave him warm baths in water and vegetable oil for 15 minutes each day until I got the spray. Kills most of the mites but not all. Also, since you have a ball python there may be some in the heat pits. Buy the spray and follow it's instructions! :D
  12. Queen 'O Green

    Queen 'O Green Elite Member

    Stupid mites! My first snake (Ok, so I have only had two... but it was still my first one) came with mites from the pet store. As mentioned it can be really frusterating, but not the end of the world. Your critter is lucky you found him now!

    One thing that really helped was that I took everything out that I could and stuck it in the freezer for a few days. It kills the mites without having to use chemicals. Of course... you still have to nasty up the cage, but it saved some effort and caused me a bit less stress. I would also suggest soaking your little fellow every day for at least a half hour. That way anything hiding in the scales, or having just hatched in the scales will suffocate. Plus, if you are using spray on the python himself, soaking (or veggie oil, just don't get it on his nose or it "mite" make it hard for him to breath. Ha... ha.......... ...... ...ha.....) will help him not to get dried out too much and ease what could be be a tough next shed.

    Good luck!
  13. Trinket snake

    Trinket snake Elite Member

    Its called the guide to owning a ball python, i didnt think the idea would work either.
  14. Trinket snake

    Trinket snake Elite Member

    Ill stop using twezzers then :). Ive been giving him baths now but if there on his head or in his heat pits i cant hold his head under water lol. I have just found two on him and killed them, but i cant see any under his scales so thats a good thing.:) Im going to go to the pet shop and look for some spray tomorrow, hopefully theyll be gone soon. (p.s. Thanks to every one for the concern and help:)
  15. Trinket snake

    Trinket snake Elite Member

    Im going to take queen o greens advice and freeze all the things in his tank, should i freeze the wood or put it in the oven?
  16. Queen 'O Green

    Queen 'O Green Elite Member

    Either way works fine, though it is quicker to put them in the oven. Make sure not to burn them... LoL. Maybe 250 would be good, for a half hour?

    Just don't do what I did... I put mine in the oven in the evening, then forgot about them until the next night. :eek: Thankfully it was pretty low, so I didn't burn the house down... I'm pretty sure I got those mites though! :p
  17. Tippmann357

    Tippmann357 Elite Member

    No problem:) When the mites go onto the snake's head you can use perhaps a q-tip or something when they crawl onto his head from drowning to death lol:D
  18. Trinket snake

    Trinket snake Elite Member

    Havnt seen any for a while but will keep my eyes open.
  19. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Firstly, I would like to dispel a few myths; not all pet shops treat their animals poorly, but can still end up with reptile mites - the number of people entering the shops each day can result in mites, from them being transported in from their collections on clothes etc. Mites are extremely bad - they reproduce at a phenominal rate and will weaken the immune system of the reptile by feeding off them. By the time you see a few mites you have a severe infestation and you must act quickly.

    Please please DO NOT use tweezers!!! You can cause severe pain to your reptile not to mention damage; initially take all of the substrate out of the tank and dispose of it, clean the cage furniture thoroughly and bathe the snake - this will drown some of the mites but it will not completely eradicate them, as they will move to the eye area to get away from the water. We have always used a product called Frontline, which is a product originally designed for cat and dog fleas; this should be used with caution and diluted with pure alcohol - a vet will advise as to the right solution to use. Use newspaper or kitchen roll in the enclosure for a while, as this will make it easier to spot any more mites and is easier to change. You can also use the Frontline solution on cage furniture, but if you can't get hold of this there are other products on the market that have been mentioned.

    As Merlin said, do not use something called a No-Pest Strip, as this has been researched to cause harm to the reptile. Also make sure you always quarantine new reptiles away from others to avoid an infestation like this from spreading. Having mites can be very stressful - we have had to get rid of infestations a few times in the past, but you can kill them off without causing damage to your animal, so be positive! Good luck.
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