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ZipperMouth

APHIDS EVERYWHERE

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So, the other day i picked a beautiful Magnolia flower for my boyfriend who lives up north where there are no Magnolia trees.

I set the flower down on top of my Madagascar roaches enclosure and went to bed.

Today i go to clean the water and give fresh fruit..and there are BILLIONS of aphids..EVERYWHERE...the food dish with the chick seed in it looks like its about to walk away. ITS FULL OF APHIDS.

They have swarmed all three of my roach containers..they're all over the book case..

I dont know how to get rid of the aphids without killing all my roaches..please god help me...

-Jae Marie

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Aphids are harmless unless you're a plant. They will quickly starve and dessicate without a host plant to feed on. If it's really bothering you, just grab your vacuum cleaner and suck them up. Vacuum cleaners are probably the best method of quickly controlling any sudden outbreak of small organisms since it uses no chemicals and since you'd have to find some way to remove all their little dead bodies anyways if you chose to go with pesticides.

Are you sure they're aphids? They're usually quite noticeable if they've infested a plant in great numbers and do not feed on anything except plant juices. What you're describing sounds much more like you've gotten a sudden increase in population of grain mites. They infest grains and can very suddenly become a massive infestation if there is sufficient humidity for them to complete their life cycle. If they are grain mites, you most likely introduced them into your enclosures with grain-based food at some point and the conditions have been just right for them to reproduce successfully.

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well, yes i know they are aphids. And there was plenty of plant matter in the enclosure with the roaches,.the chick feed for protein, some fresh apple and some orange slices.

I checked the flower after i picked it for spiders or june bugs and didnt see any,.the only thing i can gather is that between the apples and oranges and the heating pad and the nice warm, moist eco earth they just exploded in polulation..its was crazy i wish i had taken a picture of it. it went from one or two aphids to an intire corner of my bookcase covered..

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If you can remove the apples and orange pieces, they'll quickly starve if they are aphids. They won't feed on chick feed :)

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I'm still skeptical about what you're seeing.

Aphids produce on average of 12 offspring per day and each nymph takes about one week to reach reproductive size. It's extremely unlikely to have an enormous explosion of aphids within a day or two and they would not do well at all on cut fruit and do not eat anything except the contents of plant phloem. In order for them to feed efficiently on plant juices, the plant needs to be intact, be turgid, and have sufficient internal pressure. Although aphids are called sucking insects, they actually rely on the internal pressure of the plant to push the plant's fluids into their digestive system when they pierce through the phloem with their tube-like mouthparts.

If they're not mites and you're seeing them swarm in your chick feed, another likely pest you're seeing are psocids. They will feed on grain-based products and require little to no additional moisture to survive and reproduce. They're roughly similar in size to aphids and have a somewhat similar appearance. They're also commonly called booklice because they're frequently found feeding on old and moldy books.

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That's some great information on aphids. I didn't realize that since I've found them on fallen apples.

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I suppose they could make great feeders for those that have small inverts and small things that need small prey. I have used them to raise froglets.

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okay so i took the whole container roaches and all to the college in my city and found out they arent freaking aphids.

THEY ARE mites.

they're called grain mites and they were in the damn chick feed i got from the hardware store.

im so pissed,.they have now infested my intire 2lbs of chick feed and idk how to get rid of them. i dont know what eats them...

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Microwave the bag of chick feed. Grain mites are difficult to completely eliminate once they're in a enclosure. You could change the substrate and wash the cage with bleach or soap and hot water. I occasionally see some mites in my enclosures, but they're under control. I recommend using a cleaner crew to help keep their numbers very low. I've heard grain mites can cause some serious damage to colonies, although I've never experienced it and I'm not sure how.

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I was pretty sure you had grain mites or some sort of grain pest from what you had described. Grain mites are pretty irritating pests and there's pretty much nothing within reason that can be done to effectively get rid of them from a bag of feed aside from acaricides designed for use against that specific type of grain mite.

I once left a bag of chick feed underneath my desk and forgot about it for a while... It started to get rather dusty around the desk one day until I realized that the dust was alive and moving and that they were dust mites coming from the long forgotten bag of feed. There was probably at least a full cup of just grain mites by the time I was finished vacuuming. Grain mites are amazingly hardy little critters and can survive both high heat and the freezer. I suggest tossing the bag of feed, vacuuming everywhere, and laundering anything fabric as grain mites can cause some rather severe allergic reactions in some individuals. Even if you're not susceptible to them now, allergies can always crop up with exposure.

I've once had a grain mite infestation kill a roach colony by gathering at and damaging the ovipositors of females and fresh oothecae in the process of being laid. The oothecae laid were eaten from the inside out and the females were irreversibly damaged and no longer capable of reproducing. They seem to be quite opportunistic and will take advantage of easy alternative sources of nutrition if numbers are high and food is running out. Aside from that incident, I've only seen them irritate roaches by gathering at their spiracles and joints.

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As far as a cleanup crew, I would use a combination of Alphitobius diaperinus, springtails, and sowbugs all in your enclosure. They eat excess food rather than the mites themselves, though. I'm thinking the A. diaperinus, the lesser mealworm beetles, may eat mites since I've noticed much less since I've added them to my Blattella germanica tub. Once they get too abundant, place cut styrofoam cups filled with water and a lot of them will drown. Outside of those, I've read on this forum that some people have used predatory mites, which will actually eat other mites, but others feel they could irritate or hurt roaches. I saw some at my local gardening center, but they were too expensive for me to play around with for now.

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