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Hisser and Mites


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I'm interested in breeding Madagascar hissing roaches but I've read if you do they WILL get mites. I have reptiles so is that a concern? And is there any way to avoid the mites?

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Not really true. I have a bunch of different hissers kept in the same room (regular, wide horn, flat horn, tiger, Halloween), only wide horn and tiger hissers get mites because some of them were introduced from a breeder who had mites in his colonies.

Hisser mites won't do harm to anything unless they get overwhelming or you're allergic. Grain mites in substrate is safe for roaches but bad for tarantulas, mite issues differ from case to case.

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Those grain mites can be a nightmare to deal with though. My discoid colony used to be heavily infested with them. It smelled like some kind of medical chemical. I couldn't identify it, but it was just terrible. I still have no idea what caused such a bad mite infestation. The discoids were kept like all my other feeder roach colonies and only they had mites. I added a decent amount of lesser mealworms and the mites were wiped out in about a month.

Hisser mites are harmless and will usually stay in the hisser enclosures. They live on and clean the hissers so they're good to have around.

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The mites that live on my hissers don't bother them and seem to benefit them, hissers carry mold spores but these mites eat the mold spores thus benefitting the roach and you! I have a mold allergy but am not bothered by the hissers because of the mites living on them.

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Most people who hear the word "mite" think of dangerous things that will hurt themselves or their pets, but there are thousands of species in the world and only a very small percentage of that actually do any damage. The kind of mites that live on hissers don't want to be on anything else and can't affect other animals. You might see them traveling looking for a new host from time to time, and they may end up on your hands if you touch your hissers, but they are completely harmless.

There are other mite species that live in the soil or substrate - like the grain mites Doc mentioned, and I've got at least two or three other species that have taken up residence in my various enclosures (Oribatid and Mesostigmata). Generally these are also harmless so long as there is no population explosion. Even then, I've have grain mites explode in numbers in my hermit crab enclosures and within a few weeks they completely disappear on their own so it's not always a danger. To me, some mites in the substrate is the sign of a healthy ecosystem as they break down waste.

I have a snake in the same space with my hisser and roach colonies and there has been no issues. Snakes and other reptile mites are very species specific and need to be kept alive by a host they can feed on. There is always a risk of bringing in reptile mite infected supplies from an infected pet store, but by default the hissers and their home are not going to be able to support anything that can munch on your scaly pets. :)

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Not really true. I have a bunch of different hissers kept in the same room (regular, wide horn, flat horn, tiger, Halloween), only wide horn and tiger hissers get mites because some of them were introduced from a breeder who had mites in his colonies.

Hisser mites won't do harm to anything unless they get overwhelming or you're allergic. Grain mites in substrate is safe for roaches but bad for tarantulas, mite issues differ from case to case.

Hisser mites will live on any Hisser species if given the opportunity, I have mixed tank of males and the mites go on every Hisser equally as much. Again, its normal to have Hisser mites and is good for them.

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