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Let's Talk Mites

Discussion in 'Skinks' started by aromatherapykim, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. aromatherapykim

    aromatherapykim Elite Member

    I was handling my youngest blue tongue Saturday evening and letting my guests take a look at her and suddenly I saw a black speck go across her nose...and I thought there's no way that's a mite...then I really focused in on Teddy's head and there they were crawling all over my poor girl! I absolutely panicked and I'm sure my guests were thinking I was completely insane but I was not calm.

    Teddy was put into a tub and I rubbed her down with olive oil and let her sit for around half an hour while I completely gutted her tank, cleaned it with a water/vinegar solution and put down paper towels, a shallow water bowl and a budlight box hide. I then went and wiped her down with water and dried her and put her back in the tank.

    The next morning I went and got prevent-a-mite. Sprayed Teddy's tank and let it dry for several hours, again soaked Teddy and scrubbed her down with a toothbrush, and put her back in her bare bones tank. The two tanks close to hers are for my red eyed croc skinks and my young leopard gecko. Neither show any signs of mites. I have checked over all my other animals and everyone comes out clean. I plan to gut everyones tanks throughout this week and treat with prevent-a-mite and leave bare bones with paper towels for a week or two or minimally until Teddy comes out clean.

    Since Saturday night when I found the mites I have not seen more. I feel like it would be way too lucky to assume the first olive oil rub down and soak took them all out but visually I have seen no more.

    This is my first brush with mites. They are horrible and vile little bugs that have helped open my eyes to the fact that I need to have processes in place for situations like this. So my question to you is what are your mite procedures? What do you use to treat them? Do you treat preventably or only when you find mites? Have you had horrible infestations that have spread over your collection or just on individual animals? Have you never had to deal with mites?
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Oh yeah, dealt with mites way too much actually. Just when I think they're gone, 6 or 8 weeks later I find one again. No idea how Ioriginally got them, though I suspect I purchased some contaminated coco fiber bricks. Now every time I get a snake out to handle it the first thing I do is run my hand down as much of it's body length as I can, then check my hand. And for me, provent a mite alone hasn't been enough. Been using a combination of that to treat the racks and nix or permethrin 10 from the farm supply store to treat the snakes themselves. Learned a hard lesson about quarantine in this process too. None of my lizards have ever gotten them though, even the leos I was keeping in the snake room at the time. I think your on the right track though, any animals near the affected one need to be treated whether you find mites or not. I thought I had them licked at one point, only to find a horrible infestation across the room in my boa cage. Which brings me to another point, treat the floor around the cages too. Since youmcaught it early, you probably won't have the problems I have had, but stay on top of treating it until your sure they're gone. I suspect this is why I keep having them return, that or they're somehow coming home on my clothes from the monthly expo.
  3. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    About the only thing I do preventatively is follow good quarantine procedures for new snakes. I also PAM my quarantine enclosure before the snake comes home.

    I had a nasty little outbreak (my only one) a while back. It was a pain in the but, but the PAM did the trick just fine. I also separated out my severely infested snakes from the syptom free ones, and I think that helped. Nightly soaks for everybody for about a week, everyone on barebones paper towel and hides for about a month, and 2 heavy PAM treatments did the trick for me. I think I picked them up off a bag of cypress from a pet store.

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