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Hello

I have had a large colony of hisser roaches for about 5 years, and had never seen a mite. Yesterday is was doing a check and saw mites everywhere - there has to be thousands crawling around. Considering I do a check every couple of days (move the cartons, stir up the substrate), I didn't notice any then (or they were in such small amounts, I didn't see them) They are tiny, light brownish in color. I haven't changed any thing in six months - same food same substrate, same conditions.

After reading through some other posts, I'm not sure about them - some posts say its ok, some say get those lesser mealworms, others say that they are harmfull.

I haven't noticed anymore dead than normal, so I don't think they are harming the roaches, but I'll check in a few days and see.

So, any comments, suggestions

Laura

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I would ditch the substrate and if you feed a grain based food, ditch that too for a while. It sounds like you have grain mites and they WILL over take the colony. I had that issue with my dubias and figured out it was chicken mash and dog food. Now I feed everything bearded dragon pellets, fresh veggies, and now more recently water gel.

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Yea that's not normal for hisser mites. Probably grain mites. Get some lesser mealworms. They work great for mite problems and they clean up molts and dead roaches. Used them to fight off a huge mite infestation about 6 months ago and have been mite free ever since. Also keeping the enclosure on the dry side will help fight the mites. Take care of the infestation quick because it can get bad really fast. Grain mites smell worse than death.

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If you do add bait for the mites they're just going to multiply. You can remove the roaches and thoroughly clean their enclosure to remove most but not all mites. Don't use a substrate for a while and keep it a little drier. Don't feed them any grains and remove uneaten fruits/veggies. If that doesn't work get some lesser mealworms or maybe something else like predatory mites

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I had bought some roach jelly from Bugs In Cyber Space. I saw the mites in one of my roach homes had crammed themselves in to one so I took it out ajd put it in the freezer. Two days later, all dead! Its a good treqt and a mite bait too. Cant beat that.

To work though, its best to remove all food from thier home so if the mites want something to eat, they have to go into the jelly cups.

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Is there anything that I can put in the tank that will attract the mite - like some kind of food, so I can remove that everyday, and remove the mites on it?

I guess a free bag of chicken feed wasn't the gift I thought it was :(

Laura

All of this is sound advise. I would add one more detail. See if you have any dead bodies of roaches. Sometimes the roach will be dead and laying on the substrate and you will turn it over and the whole entire internal area is a giant mass of grain mites. You can easily scoop up the body and the tens of thousands of mites and get it out of the enclosure. It really speeds up how quickly your colony will recover. You may also read conflicting advise that a very large grain mite outbreak cannot kill your colony. This is not true. The grain mites can cover the roaches so they can't get oxygen. They will die and the grain might explosion is driven even further by all of the dead roach bodies. I have lost entire colonies this way.

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