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Matt K

Powder mites, and how to beat them:

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Exactly as the title says. It's a mite that looks like a tiny whitish spec of power. It could even be mistaken for that exept for the fact that they tend to group together when on a host insect, and look like patches of dust that does not easily come off.

Periodically these turn up on some roaches here and there, though I have only seen them on species that are small (i.e. Gyna lurida, Pycnoscelus sp., etc.) and seem only to congregate on adults and rarely on nymphs. When I see them I burn all the adults and wait for more nymphs to mature.

Anyone else seen this/these or know how to resolve them? I have tried a couple of different species of predatory mite without any luck.

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I'm pretty sure you're talking about the insanely annoying ubiquitous grain mites. You can buy mite paper to keep all the cages on and do thorough cleanings but chances are they'll still win. The realistic way is to keep them at a low level using husbandry practices. It helps to keep the food in a dish and to not feed more than will be eaten in a few days. I've had a grain mite presence but have not had them on roaches (roach food, centipedes and grubs are a different story).

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I've only had them in huge masses in my dubia tank. They like it hot and humid so they like the tupperware bin. The worst was when I was trying to raise mealworms. I thought there was dust all over my container but it was covered in mites. They were all over my room, on my carpet, on my cat. It was gross.

I'm going to try raising mealworms again soon and put the bin on top of the mite paper. I hope that works.

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Well, I too had grain mite issues in the mealworms but not anymore...not sure why they were there and now they are not....

I have tiny amounts of grain mites and several other mite species in every cage, and none of them are problematic or in anything other than small numbers. I only see grain mites on a piece of long uneaten food (usually leftover fruit (i.e. orange peel or something)).

The mites I refer to are about a third the size of a grain mite and only look like a stantionary group of dots. A local vet let me take some I scraped off and look at them under a stereoscope where they were quite plainly seen as mites.

Like I said, I have a wide variety of tiny things creeping around in every tub, mites, springtails, and other yet-identified creepies, but none cause a problem. But a few of my small species of roaches have these powder-mites (my own term) clustered on the adult roaches only. None are found on the nymphs. The only exception to this was a large male Hemiblabera sp. that has some and I isolated it from the rest who currently seem clean.

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Those are grain mites. The dust form is the 'mass population explosion form' while the sticking to roaches is the hypopus stage. There are many different mites you may have in your cultures but the dust/hypopus/sessile-white are the same animal (different forms of the same species).

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Those are grain mites. The dust form is the 'mass population explosion form' while the sticking to roaches is the hypopus stage. There are many different mites you may have in your cultures but the dust/hypopus/sessile-white are the same animal (different forms of the same species).

Ooohhh, suddenly it all makes sense. I have seen so many different mites in the substrate I thought this was something else different. What I have been calling grain mites looks like a pale or white globe that moves slowly and is like a grain of sand but a bit smaller and normally attracted to uneaten food items. Or fresh dog kibble.

So how are thier numbers reduced? I have tried keeping the enclosure damp- no difference or more mites. I have tried keeping as dry as possible for as long as possible- no difference or very slight reduction in mites. They seem to prefer the adults so (with one Pycnoscelus sp.) I burned all the adults and waited for nymphs to mature. This worked at least long enough for the healthy adults to make alot of nymphs and then they got the mite again and production went down.

Its not an immediatly fatal issue, but is annoying and does seem to effect the health and activity level ofthe bug...

:angry:

Odd that I can have so many micro-critters in the substrate and have very healthy animals with the exception of this ONE DARN MITE and its related issues!! (frustrating)

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So how are thier numbers reduced?

Sitting food has to be reduced (also check your main food source, it may be infested, it should be kept in a different area than your cages). The population takes some time to build up. Your dry isn't as dry as you think it is if they are present. I know where you're coming from but I'm not sure of a better way to explain it. They need a minimum level of humidity/moisture to survive, above that doesn't help or hinder them.

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What is the ventilation like on your cage? I noticed I only got grain mites in my tupperware container (which has no air holes) but I didn't have mites in any of my cages with screen tops.

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My cages are very well ventilated... lots of screen, or usually no top or a screen top and/or screen covered holes in the sides. That room I keep much warmer than the rest of the house with fans blowing all around in there, so no still air.

Humidity seems to be the factor. My dry is not-so-dry then, because the humidity in the room is very high. My home humidity is 30-40% and that room is 80-85% humidity. Home 68-70 degrees and that room 72-82 degrees (seperate heater on thermostatic timer so day time is warmer than night). (Average temp is usually 75 or 76).

I may use the house common ventilation for a few days to really dry it out and see what happens...

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Ok. The mite issue predatory mites ect ect .... I have a group of cave roaches and have just discovered dust mites in their cage. Fortunately they have been quarentined since I got them at the end of September. I just never moved them into the insect room ( THANK GOD).

I have looked around and read about the predatory mites and other organic not toxic ways that would be harmless to the roaches.

I spoke to an agricultural supply that sells a large variety of predatory mites for use in greenhouses ect.

They advised for me to use Flour of Sulfur. Their resident expert stated that it would ELIMINATE the mites and would be completely harmless to my B. giganticus , and many other spieces of larger inverts.

I am getting some very soon ( it is really cheap and can be found at plant nurseries and possibly home depot, runs about 3-5$ a pound and is WAY cheaper then the predatory mites which can be very climate specific. many of the predatory mites will survive just fine in a greenhouse or in soil, but I raise alot of insects that i keep on no substrate and the predatory mites would not do well in the temps and humidities that I maintain ( 95 and 50% ).

I will post an update as soon as I have tried it. I will expose 1 B giaganticus to the flour of sulfur and also the mites .... this could be the end all be all to the dust/grain mite problems that I have read about ...lets see. :)

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Interesting. The predatory mites worked excellently for me, but I use substrate in every enclosure in the room and the humidity is 65-80 percent. I would be curious to know how it works out...

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Interesting. The predatory mites worked excellently for me, but I use substrate in every enclosure in the room and the humidity is 65-80 percent. I would be curious to know how it works out...

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I recently have discovered the same problem. They were so small I didn't even see them. I have had a salamander and 5 species of roaches for awhile now. Recently I added a tarantula and scorpion to the mix, and noticed the mites a couple weeks ago. They periodically are found all over the salamander, but seem to be drowned by drenching it with water. I found them on a dead roach partially eaten by the tarantula. The only living roach I found them on was a male turk in the tarantula tank. come to think of it, the only tanks I have them in are the coco bark and wood substrate ones. They don't seem to be causing any harm whatsoever, and the only way I think I could eradicate them myself would be to burn the apartment down to the ground. I would like to introduce a predatory creature if possible.

One other thing.....I have a giganteus colony that is thriving. I keep that colony in a thick layer of oak leaves....in that colony on the leaves and in the frass and old food I have noticed tiny creatures crawling around....they are not mites; they have an elongated thin shape. They are dark brown in color and too small to see if they are insects or isopods...I wish I had some type of magnification..they are extremely numerous and never have been found on the roaches so they are not parasitic..they must be native to Ohio here...they do not jump or anything...what are they?

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Sounds like a variety of springtails. Native to everywhere on the globe.

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I found some soil mites in my Tessslllaaaatttaaa ..peppered roaches lol! I switched them to soil and I think that they love it but HOLY CRAP the mites are ridiculous . Def far to much humidity . I was having an issue with them being to dry and wings being not so lovely. Lately I've had lovely wings and lots of babies but now I have these mites. It's going to be a pain in the ass taking all the babies out of the substrate.

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