hundefrau

Sterilizing hardwood and leaflitter

7 posts in this topic

Hey you guys :) (Sorry for so many newbie questions)

I am in the process of setting up a new enclosure for my A. tesselatas, as their old box needs cleaning. I read in seceral places that some people go out and just grab a bag full of leafs and some wood (oak was recommended) from parks or forests). That sounds like a neat idea!

My question: How would you handle the wood and leafs to kill off possible pests? I read of bathing the stuff in hot water or putting it into the oven (how much temp. and how long?).

Thanks in advance :)

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I put it all in a glass bowl with a lid. Make sure it's a bit moist and then I put it in the microwave for about 8 minutes. That goes fast and works very well. 
It only makes the house smell a bit... forest like. 

My archimandrita's devour those oak leaves... 

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Adding up on the topic of woods in the bins... I was at the animal supply store today and checked out if and what kind of wood they had. They had these bridges of hazel sticks (for rodents) as well as pieces of mangrove and something calles "Fingerwood".

Do you think these are suitable for Archimandritas? Or do they harbor any poisonous substances I should know of and stay away from? :o

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Hazel sticks are certainly ok. I suppose the mangrove wood and fingerwood are those decorative hardwood root systems. If so, they should be fine as well, as these are very hard and I don't think many roaches can shew on them. In any case, I have a large piece of such mangrove wood in my Archimandrita tesselata enclosure. It's rather smooth and the roaches have a hard tine climbing it. I prefer cork barks pieces for the roach bins. 

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Thank you for your suggestions, stanislas:)

The pet store has corkbark in different sizes as well, but I read somewhere that corkbark can have harmful/lethal effects on insects, so I did stay clear of it till now. But if it's non-harming I think I will try that as well :)

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I have my Archimandrita tesselata roaches on cork bark since 2014 with no ill effect. 

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I have three Hisser species with cork bark in their enclosure (G. oblongonota, G. portentosa and E. javanica) and all seem to be doing fine. I've had the oblongonota nearly a year, the javanica 8 months and the portentosa 4 months with no ill effects, though I do sterilise the bark (pour on boiling water to soak for a few minutes then microwave for at least 2 minutes) before I put it in their cages. 

They are definitely eating it (very slowly!) as I see them doing so occasionally and the holes and crevices all get bigger over time as they chew it away, though a small piece will still last several years at the rate mine are going! The javanica and oblongonota have both had several broods of young (which also eat the cork bark) and most of those have got to adulthood (the ones that didn't were probably not healthy individuals anyway) or are growing well, so I am pretty sure cork bark is completely safe for roaches. I can't speak for other insect orders / groups though.

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