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Zephyr

Mites on B. boliviensis!

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A friend I sold a few B. boliviensis to said he noticed some mites on the wings of adults and on the stubs of nymphs. I didn't look too much into it. Now, my colony is reproducing but many adults are not molting out properly and the nymphs have a rough, bumpy appearance and are often skinny. I checked the wing stubs and the wings of several and found mites! On the nymphs the mites are few in numbers and rest between the stub plates. On the adults, however, it appears the mites are feeding on the soft tissue right where the forewings connect with the mesothorax.

My question is... How do I get rid of them? I already intend on cutting the population into at least 1/4th and rehoming them, but I'd like to get rid of these mites once and for all. I fear they could spread to my other related Blaberus species (B. discoidalis, B. atropos, B. brasilianus.) A year or two ago I was having a similar problem with my B. discoidalis; I was told they were too dry. When I increased the humidity (to about 90%) it did little to stop the adults from dying and nymphs from becoming skinny; I think these mites may have been to blame.

Should I keep them incredibly dry? Hot? Should I take a q-tip and manually remove some mites from the adults I keep? Should I give them a bath in hydrogen peroxide? Should I use completely new substrate? Will newborn nymphs be okay to salvage? This is one of my favorite species and it's hard to find pure ones these days, so any suggestions are appreciated!

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i would defiantly start with a whole new enclosure and substrate after that i'm not sure. i would try to find some adult that haven't been infected with the mites or if that not possible try cleaning the mite off some of them.

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I think what I'm going to do is use brand new substrate with the enclosure change. I'll check the teeny tiny nymphs under the microscope to see if they're carrying the mites. If not, I'll take some and put them in the new enclosure.

As for the adults, I'll pick out the strongest, fattest few, and wipe right where the mites are with rubbing alcohol on a q-tip. The alcohol, in such a small quantity, should be harmless to the roach but lethal to the mites.

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I don't know if this would help, but for snake mites, we use an extremely diluted solution of Nix (one little 2 oz bottle to a full gallon of water) which kills the eggs, too, not just the mites. Maybe using this solution with a Q-tip on the affected areas? I would, of course, isolate any individuals you test this on from the rest of the group, just in case it has a bad effect on them. Try it out, leave it on for an hour or a day or whatever & then rinse them off (so that hopefully, they won't ingest it from each other.) ONLY use Nix, though, as the other lice shampoos are a lot harsher & have much stronger insecticides in them. (Nix is the only one that is considered "safe" for babies!)

-Carey Kurtz-

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So far it seems like the alcohol treatment worked, but also I separated out another group and am keeping them hot and dry; no signs of mites on these either.

I set up yet another group to try out some of the colloidal silver you sent me; maybe that might work too.

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