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Roachsmith

Grain mites again

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I don't get as many of these since I started using fresh grain and added more ventilation to my roach tanks. But I still have them and they like to pile up on top of the tanks when I spray them. Is there a way I can kill these things? I thought rubbing alcohol might work as long as my roaches aren't near it. I know they're not harmful they're just annoying especially when there's lots of em in one spot.

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Grain mites are very common in the environment so it is very difficult to eliminate them. You can find places that sell mite paper. Cages are placed on the paper which is covered in a miticide powder to prevent mites from infesting a clean culture. Many people who culture fruit flies use this paper. However, keep in mind the mite paper won't help if there are any mites present in the culture, substrate or food. The most realistic control is keeping the food as dry as possible and not feeding more than will be consumed in a day or so.

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Thanks, I'll have to check out that paper. I also noticed they won't go above a certain height. Any cage above 4 feet doesn't have mites. I moved my dubia tank up higher and there's no mites in there either. Might have something to do with temp or humidity.

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Hi!

Wouldn't the predatory mite, Hypoaspis miles, be a good idea?

I have used them on several occasions and they have worked great.

Have a nice weekend!

Best wishes

Fredrik

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Hi Fredrik,

Nice to have you here!

Have you used the predatory mites? I've always worried they'd attack beetle eggs or other things I don't want killed. Also, they sound like they burn out easily. I've tried chernetids which are specific mite predators and they're hard to keep going.

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Roachsmith - I am almost a 100% sure that they aren't a threat to newborn nymphs. They are simply too small.

Orin - Many thanks for the welcome. I'm happy to be on board.

Yes, I have used H. miles for controlling mite infestations in some millipede tanks, wild caught tarantulas and a few cockroaches with good results.

Hmm, beetle eggs.

I can't guarantee anything, but I don't think that they are a threat to small size eggs from millipedes and beetles, because the eggs are still so much larger than the predatory mite. And as long as there are harmful mites in the tanks, the predatory mites will focus on their main diet.

Here's a short story from one of my first experiences with the Hypoaspis miles which I posted in another forum a while ago:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi guys!

I don't know if you have already discussed this, but there is a very good and natural way to get rid of mites.

I made a few imports a couple of years ago and received some nice looking Haplopelma sp.

Some of them were infested with mites and one of them were especially heavily infested.

For you who have had some experience of Asian tarantulas, you know that they are very aggressive and should not be handled.

But this spider was almost motionless and I didn't think it would survive.

But I thought I should give it a try anyway.

I began removing visible mites with a brush which I had covered the tip with vaseline.

It did some difference but far from the result I was hoping to see.

So I started to search for other ways to get rid of the mites and one person suggested that I should get some predatory mites, Hypoaspis miles.

After a few trial and errors I finally found a supplier who had some in stock and I ordered a culture.

Immediately after receiving the predatory mites, I added the culture to all of the containers with the newly imported tarantulas.

The day after, I was about to manually try removing more mites from the tarantula which have had the worst infestation.

Guess if I was surprised when the tarantula immediately after opening the lid of his container, raised his forelegs in a defensive posture and struck the substrate hard, letting me know that he was not in the mood to be lifted

Those predatory mites really work and best of all, they also get rid of those small flies.

They are very expensive, but trust me, they will make it worth all the money you've spent.

Some people say that they also can help removing mites/ticks from reptiles, but that's nothing I have witnessed myself so I will leave that unsaid.

Please forgive my English

---------------------------------

There is one more thing.

Even the harmless species of mites, the ones who simply uses the host animal as a taxi, can pose a threat to our beloved pets.

If they get overcrowded, they can cause stress to the animals and in worst case block their spiracles.

Here are a few links for further reading:

http://www.buglogical.com/catalog.asp?acti...15┬žionNumber=33

http://www.biconet.com/biocontrol/infoshee...isBulletin.html

http://www.ipmofalaska.com/Files/hypoaspis.html

Best wishes

Fredrik

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Good to see this thread, as this is a great concern for me. In the past few weeks i've noticed an explosion of the mite population, i believe they are just plain old dust mites (the red mites i usually see on the millipede rarely leave the millipedes themselves) but they are no longer just in the roach tanks, they are all around them, on my computer, on my desk, the entire room is filled with them. Now i normally wouldn't be too concerned as I always thought mites were harmless but I've heard they can be a serious health risk and i spend a lot of my time down here. My Nauphoeta cinerea tank is literally foggy with mites.

How concerned should i be with this, or what would be the best course of action that would not harm my roaches or force me to individually take every tank outside, remove all the roaches, clean it out, etc.

Frederik- these predatory mites.. what is to say that they won't become a problem eventually themselves. For one they may harm the smaller roaches, and more a concern- what's to say their population won't get out of hand too?

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Good to see this thread, as this is a great concern for me. In the past few weeks i've noticed an explosion of the mite population, i believe they are just plain old dust mites (the red mites i usually see on the millipede rarely leave the millipedes themselves) but they are no longer just in the roach tanks, they are all around them, on my computer, on my desk, the entire room is filled with them. Now i normally wouldn't be too concerned as I always thought mites were harmless but I've heard they can be a serious health risk and i spend a lot of my time down here. My Nauphoeta cinerea tank is literally foggy with mites.

How concerned should i be with this, or what would be the best course of action that would not harm my roaches or force me to individually take every tank outside, remove all the roaches, clean it out, etc.

Frederik- these predatory mites.. what is to say that they won't become a problem eventually themselves. For one they may harm the smaller roaches, and more a concern- what's to say their population won't get out of hand too?

Hi!

I have been told two different stories about the H.miles when there is no food left (soil dwelling insects)

One is that when there are no mites, springtails etc. left in the tank, they will starve to death.

The other one is that when there are no small, soil dwelling insects left, they will survive by eating algae and plant debris.

All I remember from my experiences is that there were very few soil dwelling insects left in the tanks, after the introduction of H.miles, which makes me beleive that they will die by themselves when there is no soil dwelling insects left.

I have never heard about anyone, who have had any problems with the Hypoaspis feeding of the "wanted insects".

So I think they are one of the safest ways to get rid of unwanted soil dwelling insects.

I think that if you use chemicals, you will probably get rid of the unwanted insects, but you will also lose some of the pets as well.

Please forgive my English, I do hope you all understand what I'm trying to say.

And if there is anything that sounds strange, please let me know and I'll try to rephrase it.

Best wishes

Fredrik

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Hi!

I have been told two different stories about the H.miles when there is no food left (soil dwelling insects)

One is that when there are no mites, springtails etc. left in the tank, they will starve to death.

The other one is that when there are no small, soil dwelling insects left, they will survive by eating algae and plant debris.

All I remember from my experiences is that there were very few soil dwelling insects left in the tanks, after the introduction of H.miles, which makes me beleive that they will die by themselves when there is no soil dwelling insects left.

I have never heard about anyone, who have had any problems with the Hypoaspis feeding of the "wanted insects".

So I think they are one of the safest ways to get rid of unwanted soil dwelling insects.

I think that if you use chemicals, you will probably get rid of the unwanted insects, but you will also lose some of the pets as well.

Please forgive my English, I do hope you all understand what I'm trying to say.

And if there is anything that sounds strange, please let me know and I'll try to rephrase it.

Best wishes

Fredrik

Don't worry about your english, i know of people who know no other language and they barely have mastery over this one. One last thing- i noticed that the smallest culture of these mites is over 7,500 on one of those websites. now, that's fine for getting rid of mites by the point is to reduce the visible number of mites, adding 7,500 NEW mites means i'll have visible mites for who knows how long and since i don't live alone, I don't think anyone would appreciate dozens of mites crawling all over their stored food/goods.

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I wonder if it would work just to put a ton of isopods in the tank to eat all the mold so there wouldn't be anything left for the mites. They do an awesome job in my tarantula tanks.

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A couple of weeks ago I dispensed a liter of Hypoaspis miles. Here is what happened:

1. A significant reduction of gnats, of which I had a large population in the room.

2. A significant reduction in mites of ANY kind. I had at least 5 obvious different mites living in harmonious balance (though in large quantities) with the roaches, and now they are 95% gone. Grain mites seem gone entirely as food left too long in a tank no longer attracts any.

3. I still have loads of springtails in every tub/tank. Which is fine, as I kinda like them and they live in close quarters with all the roaches without issue. Its just that I thought Hypoaspis would go after them also.

4. In some substrate I cannot find any mite, Hypoaspis or otherwise. Maybe they leave dormant eggs? Or they burned out entirely?

Overall, given that the culture cost me only $22 dollars, and the "problem" bugs seem absent, and (they did not seem to effect my mealworm colony), I would say it was worth it to clean out some seemingly large mite populations. I think I may do it one more time just for grins and then watch carefully to see if/when mites return. Recommendation: A+

Matt

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Thankfully I've never had any mite problems, as the only roaches I have with substrate are hissers, although I did get fruit fly maggots once with the old substrate. x.x

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A couple of weeks ago I dispensed a liter of Hypoaspis miles. Here is what happened:

1. A significant reduction of gnats, of which I had a large population in the room.

2. A significant reduction in mites of ANY kind. I had at least 5 obvious different mites living in harmonious balance (though in large quantities) with the roaches, and now they are 95% gone. Grain mites seem gone entirely as food left too long in a tank no longer attracts any.

3. I still have loads of springtails in every tub/tank. Which is fine, as I kinda like them and they live in close quarters with all the roaches without issue. Its just that I thought Hypoaspis would go after them also.

4. In some substrate I cannot find any mite, Hypoaspis or otherwise. Maybe they leave dormant eggs? Or they burned out entirely?

Overall, given that the culture cost me only $22 dollars, and the "problem" bugs seem absent, and (they did not seem to effect my mealworm colony), I would say it was worth it to clean out some seemingly large mite populations. I think I may do it one more time just for grins and then watch carefully to see if/when mites return. Recommendation: A+

Matt

Good morning, Matt!

I happy to hear they worked, I told you so :)

Money well spent.

About the lost Hypoaspis, there are two different theories, depending on who you ask.

Some people say that they die, starving to death when there are no mites left to eat, while others say that they will survive as a scavenger, feeding on algae and plant debris.

I don't know which one is correct, maybe both.

Anyway, it was great to hear about the success.

Best wishes

Fredrik

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