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How bad/urgent are grain mites?


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Well, I have grain mites in one of my smaller enclosures. And, since it was sitting on top of my large enclosure, probably in there as well. 

From what I've gathered, grain mites are sometimes allergens for people, might eat eggs/nymphs if I have an absurd amount, and are basically inevitable because they come in on cat food. 

Is this a "oh I'll just dry the enclosure out and feed less, maybe get some mite paper" situation or a "HOLY HECK TIME TO SIFT AND QUARANTINE" situation? I can't really find any sources for mite paper that deliver very quickly. 

And, on a related note, what's a good mite paper brand and where can I get it? 

Or could I theoretically just sit all the cultures in an inch or so of water with dish soap in to break the surface tension so no mites can escape? 

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It really depends on how many grain mites you have, if they haven't completely covered every surface of the enclosure then you can either try drying out the cage, feeding your roaches less or keeping them more dry if they are a dry resistant species, (like hissers). 

Grain mites do not eat eggs or nymphs unless they are dead, but in enough numbers they can block up breathing spiracles on your roaches and kill them by suffocation. 

If the enclosure in question in a humid enclosure I'd recommend getting Pink Tropical Springtails, Sinella curviseta, they are very prolific and are great at out competing grain mites. :) Plus they are good for keeping mold levels down.

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They definitely haven't gotten that prolific. They're all over the lid and kinda on the walls, but they aren't covering everything. I checked, too, and the roaches only have a couple of mites each. 

The hissers don't seem to have any mites with them, but I keep their enclosure really dry. There's a water bowl that's just a little bowl stuffed full of sopping wet moss, and everything else is just barely short of desert-dry. 

The other three species are horseshoe crabs, death's heads, and Roth's burrowing roaches. I'm trying to keep them all wetter, so I'll try the springtails. Any idea how wet the springs need to be? 

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OK then, doesn't sound too bad, hopefully a stricter feeding regime and some springtails will help keep them under control. :)

Yeah, that's the nice thing about hissers, it's easy to keep them dry enough to where grain mites aren't  problem. 

The springtails like it fairly moist, but they don't need sopping wet conditions, so as long as your enclosures are decently moist the springtails should do well. I've found that they do best with bark pieces in the enclosure, they really like hiding underneath them. 

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Is there anything that roaches will eat that grain mites won't, so I can make sure the roaches have a constant food supply without having to worry about the mites? Frankly, I'm a bit forgetful about feeding things, and I don't want the roaches to go hungry because they're all still growing, so I've been overfeeding a bit to make sure they still have food if I forget. I know dry hardwood leaves work for some species, but I'm not sure if they're applicable for all. 

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59 minutes ago, Betta132 said:

Is there anything that roaches will eat that grain mites won't, so I can make sure the roaches have a constant food supply without having to worry about the mites? Frankly, I'm a bit forgetful about feeding things, and I don't want the roaches to go hungry because they're all still growing, so I've been overfeeding a bit to make sure they still have food if I forget. I know dry hardwood leaves work for some species, but I'm not sure if they're applicable for all. 

Unfortunately there are very few foods that the mites won't eat, grain mites will feed on pretty much any decaying organic matter, grains, fruits, veggies, animal matter, apparently they'll even eat dead leaves, (and few roaches could subsist on dead leaves alone).

Carrots take a long time to rot though, and the mites will be rather uninterested in them until they do so, which makes them a great backup food in case you forget to feed your roaches. Just chuck a large carrot in their cage and you won't have to worry too much if you miss a feeding. :)

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