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little white mites


bluefire
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i found my peppered roach trapped in its water crystal dish. It had looked like it tryed to burrow in the water crystals because it had dried water crystal on it. i let it out and it emeddiatley began to start burrowing. when i looked closely at the water crystal container there were really really small mites in it not like the big ones you normally see but ones like the size of a period. there were dozens of them and they freaked me out.

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They sound like grain mites to me, a very common problem in the hobby. (the only big mites I've ever had were phoretic mites, those I find much worse than the grain mites) I would suggest not putting food on the substrate, introducing isopods to clean up any food that's left over in the tank from the roaches dragging it around , and that should keep them down to a minimum. Upside is, unless there are TOOOOONS of them, they won't hurt your roaches at all!

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which isopods would work best and where can i get them also roaches normally have these mites that clean the roaches and in return the mites need the roaches to survive.

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There are several different types of mites in the world. :) Some species of roaches (I believe it's only certain hissers) have "good" mites that are beneficial to them - but these mites only live on and survive by being on the roach. They generally don't go wandering around an enclosure and they don't swarm. (They may go exploring a bit though - I've had them all over my hands and camera before!)

Mites found elsewhere in a roach enclosure - like floating in the water dish, hiding among water crystals, or swarming the food - are a different species. These types of mites are commonly referred to as wood mites, grain mites, or food mites. There's probably several different species of them found throughout the USA, but they are native and they live in our homes every day. They just happen to flock to warm moist places since it's their perfect place to live, which means that roach enclosures (and also scorpion and hermit crab enclosures) are a favorite place to set up shop.

Personally, I view them as performing the same clean-up duty as isopods and springtails. (And it seems like you'll get huge populations of either mites or springtails, but not both.) They don't seem to bother the animals living in the enclosure as I've only found them to eat decaying matter. They're just unsightly, and some people are creeped out a bit by having mites around.

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