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More Mite Questions

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by Dragoness, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Ever since my Carpet python was discovered to have mites (a while ago) I have treated not only him, but all my other reptiles (and their cages) for the blasted little buggers.

    Each cage got an initial clean and bleach, even if that snake had no evidence of mites. Each cage was also treated with mite spray, and has been treated and bleached each week. Substrates have been removed and replaced with paper towels, carpets, etc.

    My question is, how long do I need to keep this up? I'm a little paranoid, so the mere sight of a snake in a water bowl sends me into a panic (even though the snake is opaque, or about to be opaque). I have not seen any specks in water bowls that could be drowned mites, nor found them on the snakes, nor been able to find them on the paper towels when I wipe the snakes down.

    A few of my snakes are due for an annual checkup, but I think all of them need to visit the vet (mites can transmit disease can't they?) just to be sure. They'll probably all be going in over the next month.

    When can I let up with the routine? I intend to keep the mite spray in use as a preventative, and I'm even thinking about spraying down the carpet and furnishings in here again, just in case there are any wanderers outside of the enclosures...
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Ugh! I came home from work today, only to notice my small boa (whose cage HAS been treated for mites several times) is soaking in his water dish. Pulled him out to check on him, because that's very unlike him. He has them too now, apparently.

    Tomorrow, trip to wal-mart for permethrin based mite killer, because this de-flea stuff doesn't seem to be cutting it.

    I have been bleaching and spraying every cage at least once a week, (usually 2-3 times) and wiping down the ALL of the snakes with the mite spray ever since discovering mites on just the Carpet Python. It appears that they have spread despite my efforts.

    Tomorrow, I'll have to move all my invertebrates and the cats to the bedroom, along with all the reptiles in their travel carriers, after spraying everything with bleach and permethrin. Then back out to the herp room, which is essentially getting bombed. Going to shut off the AC too so it doesn't suck up the permethrin and vent it into bedroom (cats are sensitive to it). Every enclosure will be hauled out, bleached, scrubbed, and then hosed with permethrin.

    Every piece of cage furniture is going to be baked (if safe to do so) and/or heavily bleached.

    All of the racks, shelves, and fixtures, as well as the carpet, curtains, etc are going to be sprayed with permethrin. My carpet is bleachable, I'm considering running the steam cleaner through the room with bleach in it.

    Is there any reliable way of making sure none have hidden out in my roach bins or super worm bins? how do I even begin to start with that stuff???
  3. okiron

    okiron Elite Member

    Holy moly. I wish you luck.
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Thanks, it looks like I will need great quantities of it!
  5. okiron

    okiron Elite Member

    It might be easier to walk away and just burn it all :p But I don't think your apartment manager or neighbors would thank you too kindly for it.
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'll be moving in March - my snakes had better be mite-free by then, because I don't feel like bringing that problem with me (though I will already be bombing the trailer my stuff is in to avoid bringing cockroaches - the chances of mites surviving the move is pretty slim.). I know you can get anti-parasitic drugs, and that will also help kill the mites from the inside - I think it's usually used as a de-wormer (snake blood would become a LOT less palatable). I need to make an appointment with my vet - I want everyone checked out to make sure the little buggers are gone for good, and didn't leave behind any diseases. And if they aren't gone after a few rounds of this, I'll ask the vet for some doses appropriate my snakes. If it's oral, I can do it myself. If it's injectable, I'll need to ask if he does house calls, because I really don't want to risk taking mite-infested snakes anywhere they might leave some mites for another reptile to pick up. Like an Exotics vet's office.
  7. kandi

    kandi Active Member

    Remember bleach doesn't kill eggs so keep the stuff that cannot be baked out of the tank and bleach many times over again. Mites are terrible to get rid of, I have fought my own battle with reptile mites along with all 4 of my kitties. Good luck!!!
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Jen, from what I`ve seen online, the products for ridding reptiles of mites don`t work too well, and the stuff they use as a dewormer can be quite harmful according to some of the websites (I`m sure you`ve already looked on the web), but be careful about what you use. Luckily for my animals, I`ve never had the problem. One site I found mentions that temps over 131f will kill them, if it`s somehow possible to do that with the enclosures?
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Everything, and everything is getting bleached, and hosed with Permethrin repeatedly. Those things which can be baked will be baked for 2-3 hours at 250F.

    A lot of stuff (accessories) is actually getting sealed up in garbage bags with some permethrin, and placed in a car for 60 days in addition to everything else.

    Let me tell you, a car in a Florida Parking lot in August/September... temps will be HOT HOT HOT, there will be permethrin in the bags with the mites, and they will have no food source for 2 months. (this is after being bleached and or baked.)

    I also have a heat gun I can use to heat parts of the cages where mites might be hiding - it gets hot enough to burn paper and flesh, so I can superheat anything I can't reach with bleach and toothbrush.

    I intend to bleach/spray everything about every 3 days for 2 weeks to kill everything off as it hatches.

    Also steam cleaning carpets with bleach every other day, and vacuuming with moth balls on days I don't steam clean.

    The snakes will be bathed and soaked daily, and wiped with mite killer every 3 days. They are living in plastic sterilite containers for now.

    I read somewhere that a coating of olive oil in addition might help to suffocate more of the mites.

    Do you guys think adding olive oil to this regimen might be beneficial?
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I also read oil can be helpful, it suffocates the mites, even baby oil is good, at least then they`ll smell nice!
  11. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I might add oil to the list - we have tons of olive oil.
    Right now, everything is getting it's preliminary bleach and scrub. Once that's done, all the animals and live plants in the house will be sequestered in the bedroom when we bust out the permethrin. That'll take about 3 hours.
  12. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Sounds like you have your hands full, be careful, use protective glasses and gloves. That heat gun sound like a great idea. Here is a link for the nix treatment for reptiles. you can give this a try. I've heard good stories about it and Randell Reptiles has been using this for years.

    Nix Treatment For Snake Mites - sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'll have to see if I can find some NIX nearby. It's just a stronger concentration of Permethrin, according to the active ingredients label.
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    well, I can order NIX online, along with even stronger concentrations of permethrin (up to 36%, compared to rid having 0.5%). Supposedly, concentrations of 4% or more kill eggs too. Thinking about ordering some of that...

    Today, I am taking my embossing gun, and heating up any corners and hard-to-reach places where eggs might be hiding... using my temp gun to get readings. In short, I'm heating anything I could not directly reach with my scrubbing gear, regardless of whether I think poison got into it.

    When I bathed and wiped all the snakes again last night, I did not see mites on either of my two ball pythons or in their water (haven't seen any on them yet, nor have they been soaking, or acting infested in the least). They are still getting treated though, along with the lizards, none of which appear to have mites.

    we have had a continuous ant problem, and had applied a lot of petroleum barriers on the legs of cages and stuff to keep the ants out. I think it may have saved a few snakes from infestations.
  15. LLoydene

    LLoydene Elite Member

    I too have the used the NIX soulution at a 60 TBS. [water] to 1 TBS.[nix] ratio with very succesful results. It is awesome stuff and it only took me one application to irradicate them!
  16. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    NIX is 4% Permethrin creme. I imagine it's somewhat less than that after dilution.

    I ordered some 10% Permethrin solution, which I can dilute accordingly for use in terrariums only. I'm still using reptile relief on the snakes themselves, and bleach/dish soap on their quarantine and bathing bins.

    After each snake is bathed, we wipe it down to remove any loosened up mites - so far, only getting mites off of about half of the snakes. My Central American boa had more than the carpet python did, and they came in on the Carpet Python. Our large boa does not appear to have any, same for my two BP. Still treating everyone just in case.

    Quick question - in case anyone knows. Are mites nocturnal?

    I'm steam cleaning my carpets with bleach, and it takes a couple hours to dry thoroughly. I'm thinking that if I run the steamer just before bed, I won't have to walk on wet carpets, and with any luck, the mites come out at night, and will perish in the bleach, only to be sucked up by the dry vac the next morning.


    I'm planning on keeping the snakes in quarantine mode for at least 2 weeks following the last siting of a mite, as checked during their daily baths (check paper towel substrate, bath water, and after bath wipe down.). In the meantime, I plan on spraying the cages with permethrin weekly, since they are uninhabited, and following it with another light bleaching and thorough rinsing with time to air-dry before moving the snakes back in.

    After they are moved back in, I plan on continuing the baths, and applying preventative treatments.

    Didn't get to the heating part today - with any luck, I can work it in tomorrow.

    Any nonessential cage decor is bagged up and sprayed, and is residing in my car (in which I have installed a digital thermometer to see if it is getting hot enough to do the job! I was told temps of 130 might kill them off.) At any rate, the stuff is staying there for 60 days.

    Whew, this is exhausting! Who needs a gym when you have an infestation?
  17. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Just to give myself some idea of how long I'll be going batty - my house is trashed because I have moved so much stuff around for cleaning, quarantine, etc.

    How long does it usually take to eradicate these guys?
  18. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    all the stuff I put in my car to 'bake' for long term (30-60 days, plus permethrin in the bag) I also stuck a digital thermometer in the car so I could see exactly how hot it was getting. Went down to check it yesterday, and it was totally fried. Entire screen was black, and the maximum temperature recall (when it finally cooled down enough to display again) read HH. Min was 71. Needless to say, I think tomorrow, I'll go take surface temp readings of the cage furnishings with my temp gun.

    Anyone think putting moth balls in the cages might help? Not in with the snakes, but in their (currently uninhabited) terrarium. To be removed before adding the snakes, of course.
  19. LLoydene

    LLoydene Elite Member

    I guess that I am confussed by all this. :confused:
    Suggestions have been given that have worked ??:confused:
  20. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Now, I am confused, lol.

    I started serious treatment on 8/31, so today is only day 3 of treatment. The infected snake came in in May, so I have no way of knowing definitively how far things have spread, and am taking no chances of missing a single mite. I have a large collection to manage (though not as large as some)

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