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roachboy

mite problem?getting worse

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tigers are still having mites manly on a selectyed few the others seem to have nothing to do breeding has pretty much stoped and am wndering if i need to take away the badly infected roach.they seem to only be seen on two and a ton of them one male.its been 4 monthes without any babies and am wondering if some how this is effecting them all my other groups of roaches seem to be breeding like crazy.

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is there a way to get the mites off the roach?? mine have them too, and I know some are good, but what DO you do if it gets out of control. I was wondering that last night when looking at my hissers. It seems I can see more than usual on them. Good Question roachboy! I am very interested in answers too! :)

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I've heard of people using predatory mites or pirate bugs to eat all the mites. I haven't tryed it myself though. If you have a small number of roaches you my be able to manually clean them and place them in a new container but if you have large culture this isn't practical.

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Pirate bugs? like isopods? I know with Milli's to run them under a little stream of water, I wonder if this would work with the roaches? I am not to excited about picking them off them! lol..

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I read somewhere that you can put them into a bag of flour, and gently shake the mites off, and spray the roaches with water to get rid of the flour. Never try that method personally though.

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Oh! I had a friend try that and it killed them! Got in their lungs I suppose.. I would not want to risk it.

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Are these the commensal mites that are supposed to be found on hissers, or a different species? The commensal mites are big and often can be found clustered around the legs and joints of the roaches.

If these are commensal mites they're probably not affecting breeding, and if there are a lot of them, it means something else is wrong. If you're feeding a lot of grain based foods (dog food, cat food, etc) try switching brands. If you don't have a lot of roaches, you can make a dent in the mite population by changing the substrate and cleaning everything, and giving the roaches a bath in hydrogen peroxide. You'll be surprised to see what falls out of their joints- that's part of what the mites are eating. It may seem cruel but to thoroughly clean each roach you're going to have to completely submerge them and swish them around under the H2O2. If they "drown", leave them out on a piece of paper towel to dry and they'll be fine within a few minutes to a few hours.

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Pirate bugs? like isopods? I know with Milli's to run them under a little stream of water, I wonder if this would work with the roaches? I am not to excited about picking them off them! lol..

No. Minute Pirate bugs are true bugs in the genus Orius. They are common and they r produced commercially for agricultural use.

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there are only six on the cage right now.for some odd reason threw is no breeding going on.All my othe roahes are already in the hundreds.i am thinking about taking out one of the males there are two males 4 females to see if that is part of it.Everytime i see the biggest male on the glass i see 20 or more brown colored kinda things small usually around the legs,neck and head.I've also noticed a few on the smallest female who just had her last molt.Seing so many of them on one of them and nowing there must be more has got me wondering if it can possible be hurting it.Also having it in the room as my 6 snakes and all my other roaches i'd like to be sure if it is the normal roach mite.

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Roachboy, many of our readers on this forum don't have English as a first language. Just something to think about as you ask your questions.

Twenty mites does sound like a lot for a hisser, but most of our hobby hissers have these mites. They aren't anything to worry about, but they can be a bit unsightly. Do a substrate change to rule out non-commensal mites, and get a soft paintbrush. Run your roach under lukewarm water for a few seconds while you're brushing it. They breathe through holes in their abdomen, so don't let the abdomen get covered with water for too long. Keep repeating this exercise until you see the number of mites reduced.

Zephyr, have you tried the H2O2 method repeatedly? That sounds really dangerous. Seems like anything that would harm mites would also at least partly damage the hisser. I've never tried it though. Do they just let go and drown?

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Most mites are not a problem, and some can be beneficial. If in doubt, most countries have suppliers of Hypoaspis miles, a species of mite that eats other mites. They wont rid you of the commensurate mite that lives maturally on hisser roaches, but will reduce the number of them and consume grain mites and cellulose mite, among others. You be thankful of you are talking about commensurate mites on hissers. This is naturally occurring and I can't imagine why someone would want to get rid of them.

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Zephyr, have you tried the H2O2 method repeatedly? That sounds really dangerous. Seems like anything that would harm mites would also at least partly damage the hisser. I've never tried it though. Do they just let go and drown?

I have been using the H2O2 method for two years now. After using it once members of a colony never needed it again. The roaches are just fine and I believe it has more of an indirect effect on the mites; it kills fungi and mold that grow on the hissers as well as helps to clean out any food stuff that get caught between their limbs which would eventually mold over. Out of one batch of 30 G. grandidieri "Black" who were treated in this manner, all of them survived the treatment (surviving is a bit of a negative word; they were pissed off while they were getting bathed but were fine right after) and went on to breed and live long, healthy lives. Several of them are still with me today.

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Do you dilute it, or leave the solution under strong light for some period of time which turn it into mostly water?

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I'd like to think that H2O2 method is safe, and your experience seems to prove it does not harm them, but it seems like it would kill all the good bugs on our bugs too. If roaches are anything like humans we need these bugs to remain healthy. That may be a stretch, but most who have this product in their house have it for its germ killing properties. It stings and bubbles when we put it on a wound. Though insects don't feel pain like us, you did mention them being irritated. What about repeated spot-cleaning the mites with a Qtip dipped in H2O2. Do you think that would be effective?

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I'd like to think that H2O2 method is safe, and your experience seems to prove it does not harm them, but it seems like it would kill all the good bugs on our bugs too. If roaches are anything like humans we need these bugs to remain healthy. That may be a stretch, but most who have this product in their house have it for its germ killing properties. It stings and bubbles when we put it on a wound. Though insects don't feel pain like us, you did mention them being irritated. What about repeated spot-cleaning the mites with a Qtip dipped in H2O2. Do you think that would be effective?

I should have been a little more clear on their irritation; it was less of an "I'm in pain" and more of a "stop making me hold still" reaction. After one bath there were still mites present and the colony still has them today, but they are not overwhelmingly numerous as they were before. Coincidentally before the bath just being near the colony nearly sent me into anaphylactic shock, most likely because of penicillium fungus that spread onto the hissers' exoskeletons from citrus I had fed them.

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Interesting about your reaction to the fungus. I feel really fortunate that nobody in my family has any allergies to my bugs. I think you're one of the people that can really appreciate how tragic that would be! We hear this from time to time in the hobby and it occasionally crosses my mind when my wife or one of the kids gets pollen reactions every spring. So far, so good though. Thanks for the clarifications on the chemical bath.

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If you don't have a lot of roaches, you can make a dent in the mite population by changing the substrate and cleaning everything, and giving the roaches a bath in hydrogen peroxide. You'll be surprised to see what falls out of their joints- that's part of what the mites are eating. It may seem cruel but to thoroughly clean each roach you're going to have to completely submerge them and swish them around under the H2O2. If they "drown", leave them out on a piece of paper towel to dry and they'll be fine within a few minutes to a few hours.

Zephyr, do you dilute the hydrogen peroxide or use it full-strength?

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I'd be curious to know as well...I had a colony of hissers donated to me, and they have the mites as well..Per the Entomologist who gave them to me, he stated while they aren't harmful to the roach, they aren't either. The mites eat the fungus and other things that the roach leaves behind...Kinda like the remora fish on a whale or a shark. I haven't mixed my personal batch of hissers into the batch that was given to me because of the mites...And I dont like the idea of having mites in my house either LOL!

SO - if the H202 method works, I'd LOVE to see a write up on it, and perhaps if the H202 is diluted, or its straight peroxide without any water added to it..

Zephyr - Thanks for the information - I'll look forward to reading your reply on HOW you did it with H202!

Nate

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