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Help with hissing cockroaches


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Hey guys I have a huge problem since last year's winter my hissing colony got grain mites in their plastic bin, I breed mealworms and superworms with oats as substrate but my roaches stay in a different room I don't know how this happened since my dubia don't have grain mites besides I have breed mealworms/superworms for almost 2 years now is there an effective way to get rid of them without harming the roaches? since that plague started I noticed like 4-5 adult roaches dying per week my last cleaning was in December replaced all the egg carton etc but the mites breed again they are so many mites the vaseline melt off, tried asking in imageboards and people told me to get rid of all roaches and start a new colony that's insane took me like 4 years or more to have my colony I won't just kill them off the mites themselves aren't going anywhere they're just inside the bin besides they aren't feeders I just keep them because I love them last time I cleaned they were over 500+ including nymphs is there a way to save them?

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Ok, first off, you'll need to take out all the roaches, replace all substrate/hides, and clean the cage out with soap or bleach. Then, add new hides, substrate etc, and put the roaches inside.

Hissers like it relatively dry, so take advantage of that and keep you enclosure dry. Mites don't do very well in dry conditions, so that can help a bit with the infestation.

Only feed your roaches as much as they will eat in a couple of days, leftover and moldy food can make mite populations explode! Make sure your roaches are well ventilated, stagnant air can lead to higher mite populations in my experience, though increased ventilation alone will not eradicate mites.

You are gonna want to look into a clean up crew, and clean-up crews like a substrate, so if you don't have one yet, you are gonna need to add one. Luckily you never really have to clean out the substrate, especially in a dry cage. Springtails and isopods make great cleanup crews, and they can be easily bought on many websites. Lesser mealworm beetles would also work great for hissers, as they tolerate dry conditions pretty well. Isopods and springtails like moisture, so you would need to keep one corner of the substrate moist for them.

Mites can never be completely eradicated, it's all about keeping their numbers down and under control. Hopefully this helps you do that. :)

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Won't the soap/bleach harm my hissers? last December I cleaned it with water only and scrubbed a lot it's a 30 gallon sterilite plastic bin I don't have them with substrate at the bottom I used carton boards and just egg cartons then the space in the middle to put their food plates I might have to clean them again soon because there's so many mites :( and don't know about cleaners explain? I noticed my dubia bin is dry perhaps that's why mites aren't present in there? the mites I'm tallking about are these https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour_mite

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As Salmon said, as long as you wash the bleach off, it should be fine.

Cleanup crews eat leftover food, dead bodies, and roach frass, all of which are food sources for mites. The cleanup crews are supposed to out compete the mites for food, thus lowering the mite population.

I would get some coconut fiber/Eco earth to use as the substrate, it's what I use in almost all of my enclosures, including my hisser cage.

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Alright thanks for the info, I did have coconut fiber when I started my colony but you see you can't put egg cartons with that because they absorb the mouisture back then when I started my colony used like 4-5 inches of substrate and logs for the hissers now I just use carton boards for the bottom + egg cartons

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Well you can keep hissers dry, so you won't have to worry about the eggcartons absorbing the moisture from the substrate. :)

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Hisserdude how do I keep it dry? I have 9 blocks of coconut fiber i haven't used it but when I make it, it's always wet and takes months to get dry that's what happened with my scorpions it was wet with moisture last summer and during winter it got dry the loose dry coconut fiber is expensive

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Well eventually if you stop misting the cage and you have decent ventilation in there, the coconut fiber should dry out. Just make sure after you soak the bricks you squeeze all the excess water out if the substrate. Alternatively you can leave it out in the sun, that's how you're supposed to dry it out.

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I got mite in my hissers once. I did all the stuff listed but I also put the hissers in a lil tub with course sand and shaked it very vigorously. It dislogged the mites on their body and I put them in thier clean tank. No problems since. I did have a bin of sand and mites it was crazy they were everywhere. I put the sand in the freezer then threw it out.

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lovebugfarm wouldn't that stress the roaches? like what if I got pregnant roaches it could cause an abortion? I saw a video once on youtube of some dude dusting them in some kind of flour to get rid of mites but I wasn't sure of doing it I think the problem lays when I clean their enclosure the few mites that stay in the roaches get off the roaches after I put them back and then breed in a few months new mites get born I need summer, in summer I had no problems because it was so hot my hissers breed like crazy and there was no mites in the enclosure, these mites like moisture and cold temperatures I had these same mites before in my 10 gallon tank with hissers I got rid of all substrate and put them in the plastic bin but it took ages to get mites again I dunno how they got there, I changed the roaches from the tank to the plastic bin because it was just too crowded not cause of the mites also they needed more space this is stressing me out takes me like 2 to 3 hours to remove every roach then threw out the dead ones/dirt/egg crates etc then clean the whole thing then finally put em together if I clean them it would be my third time and I use 18 egg crates all lined up plus vaseline which gets messy wish I didn't use vaseline but the little ones tend to try to escape if I didn't lol

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I wouldnt use flour its to fine and they might breath it in. I would be concerned with stress for other kinds of roaches. Hissers are really tough though. They handle the mites pretty well to the dont get affected till mites are out of control. I think a big issue with mites is having alot of frass or dead roaches being in the bin to long. Once a week I shake the bin and tilt it till all the frass/dead/uneaten food slides to once corner and clean it out. Only takes 5-10 minutes to sort out nymphs. Some people say nymphs need frass and some roaches thats true but not hissers really. I keep mine bone dry and little frass they breed just fine for me. As for you vaseline issue I did that way back I feel for you. Upgradeing to a bin with the airtight gasket lid made all the difference in the world. I hope this helps it seems your on the right track. For now its sleep time :)

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I use plates for the food so i don't have a problem with leftovers although I do get the dead roaches in some cases little flies appear when they die and larva eating the corpses inside it's nasty I can't track down all the dead ones so i just remove the ones I see at the spot

can you show me pictures of your bin? my bin is secured with a mesh screen but it's not metal screen i'm sure if I don't use vaseline they'll chew it off my dubia have the same bin but they never reach the top even if they do I check them everyday hissers are the ones that can crawl on any surface, btw I don't have sand I will try to clean them for the third time whenever I have free time if I get mites again I'll do what you said

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I forgot to ask how do you sort the nymphs? many hissers die but I have too many the colony itself won't disappear because of the mites they're just annoying and it does take me like an hour to put them in a temporary bin while cleaning the main bin

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I got mite in my hissers once. I did all the stuff listed but I also put the hissers in a lil tub with course sand and shaked it very vigorously. It dislogged the mites on their body and I put them in thier clean tank. No problems since. I did have a bin of sand and mites it was crazy they were everywhere. I put the sand in the freezer then threw it out.

The various "hisser" species have natural mites on their bodies that are actually beneficial to them. These are different than the grain mites you see swarming leftover food, and they are harmless.

Seeing as sand is abrasive and potentially harmful to roaches, I would think this would hurt them..

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The various "hisser" species have natural mites on their bodies that are actually beneficial to them. These are different than the grain mites you see swarming leftover food, and they are harmless.

Seeing as sand is abrasive and potentially harmful to roaches, I would think this would hurt them..

Yeah, the flour shaking method is used for the symbiotic mites that live on the hissers, not grain mites. If grain mites are getting attached to your hissers, flour ain't gonna get them off. The symbiotic mites are harmless, my hissers have a bunch on them, and they don't show any signs of being stressed out.

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Yeah my mites came from my superworm bin because my superworm bin is infested with those creatures I do change the oats once in awhile after some time they breed again, I keep my roaches in different rooms that's why I don't know how it happened but yeah guess I'll just do a cleanup when I can and see how it goes ? don't see other options :(

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Im a bit ocd I dont mind a few symbiotic mite but when it gets to 30 on one roach I do the sand thing. I know its harsh but im allergic to the hissers and I know its not actually the hissers im allergic to there are alot of theorys floating around on the cause. Some say its the mites people are allergic to or the mold thats also naturally occuring on thier body. Since doing mite cleanings every 4 months and keeping them dry my reactions are much more manageable. No more swollen eyes for me. So yes its not really the grain mites I was addressing its any mites. To avoid grain mites I freeze the grain for 48hrs or more and dont have issues from grain.

As for sorting I take the frass and sift it with a plastic collinder. I let the nymphs climb to the top and return them to the bin. The remaining nymphs and frass are slowly poured into a container and as the nymphs fall in I pull them out and put them back in the bin. Thats essentially my technique but everyone does it differently. I hope any of this is helpful I feel like im adding to confustion. The best suggestion I can give though is to freeze anything grain related for 48 hours that was part of standard procedures on the cricket farm I worked at.

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Thanks for the tip I heard about freezing the oats before then someone told me oats can get mold or just go bad quick after they are unfrozen that's why I did not try it I currently need oats and don't want to waste the few I have since those grain mites are harmless (just annoying) I don't mind my superworms/mealworms having them but the roaches is another story I didn't have as many dead roaches as in the past when grain mites weren't present

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