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Massive amounts of mites!!


Vulgaris
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So what I originally just blew off as mold that was covering the walls of my roach cage, actually turns out to be thousands of very tiny mites!!! What do I do? I also found out that the substrate is alive with the mites too. The roaches seem ok but what about me? Are they harmful to humans?

This is really worrysome

Thanks for any advice

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They look like wood mites to me. They eat decaying wood and vegetable matter and seem to be harmless. But they should still be nuked/baked because they can colonize an area very fast. You and your roaches do not seem to be in danger so if you don't want to destroy your colony unleash a mass of springtails their way. :)

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The staple of their diet is dry fish flakes, oats, and chicken crumbles. I occasionally drop in pieces of cantaloupe or banana from the cafeteria, but always remove whatever is left over the next day. It is becoming hard to feed all these guys, and I am constantly dropping food items into the cage when I can. But it is sanitary for the most part, the roaches never leave anything un eaten

I am going home next week for thanksgiving break, and HOPEFULLY if things go well, I can move the colony into a bigger cage. I dont want to transfer over any mites though. They are really creeping me out :(

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I wouldn't worry about it too much, they don't suck blood like parasitic mites do.

At my mom's place about fifteen years ago we had an avian mite infestation in the chimney one summer. They literally covered the chimney inside and out before we finally got rid of them. Turns out they are harmless to humans and came from several bird nests in the chimney and rain gutters. It was kinda creepy seeing something like 5,000+ mites inside your house but they were fairly easily removed and just like the bug books I had said, harmless to people. keep us posted. :)

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i think your going to have to manually remove them to be honest, just take all the roaches out and put them into a new bin (it's going to be a pain but just the roaches nothing else) then take the old bin and what ever else is in there and washed it out really well and let it sit out side for a time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interestingly I just noticed these guys in my Panchlora nivea tank...and oddly with a small colony of springtails. I'm curious which one will win out on this little turf battle lol. If the mites become an issue I can just remove the roaches and destroy the substrate but I'm not worried about these little "specks". On the same note I hope the springtails devour the mites and grow in numbers, I want to culture them into some other enclosures lol.

:P

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You've got grain mites which are extremely common and found just about everywhere. They are related to the human itch mite and are common pests in cricket and mealworm cultures. Good husbandry will keep them in low numbers. You should switch out the powdery grain products you're using for kibbled dry dog food to reduce fine grains that get mixed in the substrate. You have to keep the dog food bone-dry since it is just as attractive to the mites. They'll feed on fruit and dead insects as well but moisture combined with grain products is the primary source. They do not eat wood.

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Thank you for the information, Orin!

I moved the roaches into a new enclosure and added a shallow lid to keep the food separate from the substrate. I hope the mites dont come back

I will consider buying a small bag of dog food. Their food now is a mix of dry oats, chicken food, fish food, and some birdseed and rabbit pellets

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