Got mites from a store bought animal : cue suffering (an ongoing story)

This will be a bit of a doozy.

Hi! I’m Tande, I’ve introduced myself before and then disappeared and check the forum here and there when I need to look at other people’s processes. I am also an idiot. I’m sure we all have our bad days and good days and I’m going to look a fool in this story in a multitude of ways.

First way I was an idiot: I bought a store (Petco) animal. We go there for feeders and they had just gotten in this little fella and he started buzzing his tail and well, it was sort of a done deal as soon as I was allowed to hold him. I am usually not this foolish! I have many many other animals that I’ve gotten from trusted breeders I’ve met thru the last three years. I have read the horror stories and seen the pictures of animals bought from big box stores.

But I, in my hubris, thought that I was not those people! I already had a quarantine tank setup in my bedroom and ready to go (we’ve been debating garters for the last few months and generally if there’s a good deal on a Eastern Hognose I’m one to jump for it. This is how I have 17 animals). My quarantine tank should be enough to handle whatever a store bought animal could come with, right?

First few days he’s a great little guy, I set up paper towels, a water dish, a hide (we picked out a silly strawberry one just for him). We leave him alone sans the few times I check on him to refill his water and such. He’s a curious little guy and tends to watch us or the dog/cat when we’re in the room. It’s genuinely adorable. I don’t get him to eat when I offer him a pinkie but that’s alright, its just his first week and he needs to settle in.

After a bit it starts to get obvious he has mites. He’s a pink little guy and mites are black little dudes crawling around on him. I’ve dealt with them before on a skink several years ago and had little issue getting rid of them (PAM is a godsend). But ratsnakes you can’t do that with. I’m super cautious about how to deal with them so I give the little guy a soak with dawn dish soap, clean out his tank, and then order some predatory mites. I’m in America so Taurus mites are not an option, at least from my knowledge.

Alas, there are other options on amazon so I went with those and tossed them in to his cage when they showed up and keep a lookout on progress.

They do nothing. The little guy still has mites, every so often I give him a bath, keep checking on the progress of the predatory mites and alas. Nothing. Perplexing. I decide that maybe I should try a different brand from another website.

These take longer to ship but while that happens, I’m still doing as I do - feed the hognoses every week, the ball pythons monthly, and the little texas rat snake starts eating two pinkies every five days. He’s never refused since and its nice to have an animal that actually eats (I say as someone who had a hognose go on a food strike for 5m+). It’s when one day I’m feeding one of the hognoses I notice.

Mites. There’s mites on the hognoses - well, one to be specific, but all the same, they’re in a rack so I assume the whole rack has them. Panic sets in. I want to cry. The hognoses all eat fine, oblivious to how much their gracious food giver worries over their health and maybe just soak a little more.

While the Texas rat snake was in quarantine in a whole different room, the mites made it to my office and into the hognose tubs. My assumption is its caused by my own stupidity, most likely forgetting to wash my hands after handling the rat snake or even the tongs I fed him with. I am a failure. This is the only time I’ve felt absolute shame in my four years of reptile keeping. It’s all my fault.

When the predatory mites come in, I add them to the hognose tubs and the rat snake enclosure. Shame is upon my family. My impulse purchase has directly influenced my other snakes for the worse. Surely the predatory mites will work, I’ve seen people on mm and fb talk about them like they’re a silver bullet.

They do not work.

I give it a week and there’s no change. Baths every other day in dawn soap (a few drops), changed out between each snake. There are 8 hognoses and the rat snake. I am tired. Life is suffering. We’re only here to suffer. In this suffering I hope the hognose rack will not effect anything else in the room. I am a fool. Though to be fair, I should have just assumed everything in the room to be infected to be safe.

I find mites on my banana champagne boy who is in a bioactive enclosure. He looks oblivious beyond the fact he’s clearly rubbing on stuff because he’s itchy. If only I had the outlook of a banana ball python. Life wouldn’t be so hard. As the orange cats of the ball python morphs, bananas are my favorite yet they’re best explained as their turn for the brain cell is not today.

So I’m stuck, my bioactive has mites. I have two other bioactives that I have to assume are with mites, and as well as two skinks above those. Seven more animals were now easily assumed to have mites (there’s two in a rack as well). I don’t want to clean out my bioactive completely, and the predatory mites clearly aren’t working.

Laced between all this time I have complained to Petco over the phone about it since I was concerned for their other animals. I was not called back. I complained to them over their corporate email. They said they’d have the store manager get back to me. He did not. I have only recently made a twitter (ugh) post about it, had petco respond to me in a DM saying they would reach out and crickets (not the kind my skinks like). That’s currently where we stand there.

Anyway with the help of my SO we decide on what to do. If cleaning the bioactives completely out were not an option, how long do snake mites live? Two weeks, give or take. In that time they’ll probably lay some eggs, so that’s another two weeks. I decide two months is long enough to make the enclosures mite free just by them dying out. That is, if they don’t have a food source.

Cue more suffering. The skinks and ball pythons can handle PAM, so we just get seven totes that each of them will live in temporarily (in the living room). The totes get wiped down with PAM, each animal gets their own baths, I set up some under the tank heaters on a thermostat, ta da. But we still need to worry about the hognoses since its clear the “predatory mites” aren’t doing their job.

I move the hognose rack into the bedroom. This is where the quarantine tank is with the rat snake who also cannot handle PAM and if anything their treatment should be about the same.

I get some nature’s miracle stuff after reading thru reviews and mm posts, as well as fb stuff. Surely this will be enough (far too much but you know what, when I want something dead I do as my country (America) does. We bomb it to hell and back). I set up myself with what I need in the bedroom, paper towels, trash bag, spray bottles of water and nature’s miracle, and a gallon of water. One by one the hognoses get their little dawn dish soap bath, their tub gets wiped down, and they get a short wipe down with Nature’s Miracle.

I do not feel bad for these little bastards, not one single bit of sadness for a mite dying before its time from my hand. I am judge, jury, and executioner.

Bubble clearly enjoys her bath, though, and her name sake. The chubby girl is visibly frustrated when she is put into her tub with no substrate, just a paper towel. I make sure everyone has their water topped off since the chemical has a warning that it will dry out the snake quite a bit. Guess we’ll see how their next sheds are…

My hands are now very dry. The Nature’s Miracle stuff dries the heck out of your hands. But it is a small price to pay. When I finally wipe down the rat snake, he actually seems to appreciate it. He doesn’t buzz his tail or bite me. The poor guy has not been on substrate since we brought him home and has had to deal with my reluctance to use chemicals at first. To be honest I don’t think he cares, he just wants more pinkies.

I guess at the very least he’s cute. But has he been worth the trouble? I never want to say I absolutely regret an animal purchase but I surely wish I went about it a different way.

That’s where we stand, with the timer set for my bioactive enclosures to be ready for their snakes again, and said snakes happily taking their dinner even in their tubs. The skinks, Hotdog and Little Smokey, hate it. But they hate everything.

I’ll keep this thread updated with how things go and if anyone has any suggestions on what to do from here I’m happy to hear. I know I’m an idiot. Hindsight is 20/20 and I know full well what mistakes I did and will learn from them. I’d like to think almost every keeper has their run in with mites at one point in time whether they admit to it or not but if you’ll learn anything from my rambling hopefully it’ll be more careful in regards to quarantining animals. Sure as heck I will.


Hello @tande! Well first I want to say welcome back to the forum! Next I want to say that you are quite a writer/storyteller! I am not making light of your situation in any way, but as I was reading your post I had to chuckle at how you related your experience with the evil little creature known as “The Mite”!

All kidding aside, don’t beat yourself up for something that’s almost impossible to avoid at least once or twice in the reptile keeper’s world. But if you had not taken that little cutie pie home, and he is certainly cute, who knows what would have happened to him.

And as far as the store that he came from goes, I worked in animal care at a big chain pet store for a few months in 2020 and snake mite problems take bottom priority. Trust me. It’s all about the almighty dollar and animals are considered disposable on the sales floor but once they are out the door the mites are a freebie. And management could not care less!

As a pet keeper only, I have had a snake mite infestation once so far and I was devastated because it was my fault. I housed a sick snake in the same enclosure with another snake and it died overnight. About a week later I discovered mites. Ta da! So I am a total dufas. CPS should come and take away all of my noodle children right?

I ordered PAM ASAP while my guys are sitting in their water bowls. I had never used it before so when I got it I called the phone number on the can and there was a guy that answered right away, no customer service yadayadya……. He told me to remove the snakes and dump any substrate. Then he said to spray a bunch of single sheets of paper towels, unprinted newspaper or whatever, let them dry, and put them back in the cages. He also said to spray some PAM on a piece of cloth and wipe any cracks and crevices in the enclosures and also all around the openings including any ventilation holes because mites can and will crawl a long distance to find a host.

He said to repeat this process once a week for at least 3 weeks and then once a month for awhile. He said there was no need to treat the snakes at all because the mites are only on the snake long enough to feed a bit, then they crawl off to lay their eggs so when they hit the treated papers/paper towels, they die. And of course any eggs are annihilated as well.

I did exactly as he said and the mite problem vanished. However I did not have to deal with bio active. So you see, the mites could easily have traveled from one room to another whether you washed your hands or not.

I realize that all this rattling noise doesn’t physically help your situation but hopefully you will be comforted by knowing that mites are sneaky crawling vicious little vile microscopic creature monsters that will stop at nothing to dine on innocent reptile flesh and it’s our job eradicate them off the face of the earth! :snake:

Please do keep us updated on your progress and don’t be a stranger to this forum! You have a unique perspective and way with words and you would be a lot of fun to have around! The very very best of luck at getting rid of the little stinkers (mites). :pray::heart::snake::blush:



First of all, you are not an idiot. It happens. Now if you let it happen a second time, then you might be an idiot. :laughing:

The first ball python I got decades ago was from a local pet store and it came with mites. I can’t remember the stuff I used to get rid of them; it’s probably not even sold anymore. It worked like a charm, but I didn’t learn my lesson. I bought a second ball python from the same pet store some months later. Luckily, this second one did not come with mites.

The one thing I know that still holds up true today is that you need to attack this problem very aggressively. I would strip down ALL of your enclosures to the bare minimum: container, paper towels, water bowl and hide. Mites and their eggs can hide in the tiniest of cracks. It sounds like you are doing some of that. As painful as it sounds, I would teardown and rebuild the bioactive. The key is to be aggressive and thorough to get rid of mites.

There is a Snake Discovery YouTube video called “How to Treat Snake Mites (newest version!)” in which Emily recommends PAM. She goes on to say RID is a great alternative with the same active ingredient at 1/4 the cost.

I wonder if PAM (or something else) can be used proactively before the first sign of mites. Can you imagine if mites ever hit Kinova? These huge breeders have got to be using something proactively. There are just too many ways mites could be introduced. Imagine if one of Justin’s minions came to work after handling an infected herp. I imagine Kinova has all kinds of protocols their workers are supposed to follow to prevent an infestation of mites (washing hands before coming onto property, etc.), but we all know how humans can become complacent. It killed Steve Irwin.

Anyways, treat it aggressively and thoroughly and you will prevail in the end. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.


First off it has to be said: @caron is 100% right that’s a great piece of writing! I make long barely coherent posts and reading yours was like a short story of Steven kings! Yes this is a horror story and I feel so bad for you but if you ain’t getting paid to write you need to be!
Now to the mites: you are correct to assume your whole collection has them, and it is definitely from cross contamination from you. That does not mean it was because of you not being carful, these mites can get on clothing shoes, rugs, other pets like cats and dogs. They are horrible so don’t beat yourself up too much!
I have to say 2 very unpopular things at this point in herpetoculture: Predator mites don’t work, they can be a wonderful preventative weapon but if you already have a mite problem they usually can’t completely eradicate them, which is what you have to do! The next is bioactive setups look wonderful, but it is hard to tell if/when you have a mite problem and really can’t completely get rid of them without completely starting over, which as you know is a lot of time and work to do properly!
I understand your concerns over Pam or any others that could be dangerous. Like @caron stated though you do not treat the snake, only the enclosure and it should keep any danger to your snake at a minimum.Even new snakes that I am sure don’t have mites I still treat the quarantine enclosure with Pam before I put the snake in just to be safe. I also basically follow what @caron lays out for the treatment schedule. I am sorry you just have to treat aggressively like everyone else is saying, this problem won’t go away unless you do. I would put your rack in a garage or far from your collection while you treat so hopefully after cleaning and spraying the rack with Pam or something similar and not having any snakes in it for a few weeks you won’t have any reinfection. I would just use bins with under tank or heat tape on all your collection right now, not use bioactive enclosures at all until you are 100% sure the mites are gone and haven’t come back, I know it’s a ton of work and more money but if you get rid of them right, hopefully they won’t return. There is some great info on the community forum if you just search up mite treatment as well. We all feel for you, most of us have gone through this before. Good luck!


Okay, I have to echo the other wonderful posters here when they said you are one heck of a story teller/writer! And you’re definitely not an idiot! Those little buttholes need to be eradicated from this planet! And when we had them it was absolutely terrible because we had white snakes and thought they’d be super obvious, yet they were so well hidden! The soaking is what clued us in when we went searching for the reason for them soaking. We absolutely had never had them before and we do not have any idea how they made it into our home. We had strict quarantine protocols even as just keepers of ball pythons. Our best guess was the coco husk stuff we had started using maybe had them. Once we destroyed those things for good, we baked the coco chunks as advised on a forum until we had used it all, and then we switched to aspen and haven’t had any issues since. But man those things remind me of lice…give me the heebie jeebies, the ick, the blech. Good luck and please keep us updated. I’m always up for having more knowledge about all things reptile!


I wanted to thank everyone for their praises on my storytelling! I have been frustrated over this mess and it was much too easy to ramble and try to add in some cute animal pictures and silly jokes. I’m fairly hard on myself, especially when it comes to my animals since they’re just little guys in my care and did nothing wrong (besides Hotdog, who bites toes). I was intensely nervous since I had made some obvious mistakes though will very much own up to them!

We’re on day 3 of the snakes in the livingroom and bedroom. The other night I spent it cleaning out the hognoses and getting them onto paper towels and wiping them down, and they all seem to be sad they no longer have anything to burrow in. Thankfully paper towel/toilet paper rolls have made great replacements for hides for now since they’re all fairly small (sans Quetzalcoatl, my adult female mexican hoggy, who even if she doesn’t fit, she sits). The snakes + skinks in the living room have been doing as they do and only now I realized I could have probably moved my three stack rack into the living room (after decorating it in PAM) instead of having all seven in tubs. I half was nervous since I intend to move the hognose mamas into it later down the line and was generally nervous about the chemicals around them. I’m fairly certain I’m treating them way more fragile than they actually are (I say this as I heard them hiss and bonk their heads against their enclosures when I sneeze).

I’m going to try to save what I have for my bioactive with the simple wait after removing the snake from the enclosure and waiting for them to die out. I had just started seeing my CUC wobbling about doing they’re thing after 2 years of hard work (I was way too excited to introduce a dozen giant canyon isopods in that 4x2x2, a veritable feast for all of them but alas, far too big for them to grow quickly in population). I have three in total, each with their own different isopods (magic potion in one and just normal small grays in another) and while I could maybe try to isolate them while cleaning it out I still hope I can wait out the death of whatever mites are there. It’s why I’m waiting two months instead of the estimate month or so, just in case - and keeping the lights/heat on since it should make the eggs hatch for certain (as sometimes they will hibernate in colder temps). But we’ll see if my attempt is for nothing in two months and I’ll keep you updated!

One thing I have found to handle the nervousness of buying substrate for the rest of my animals is I tend to buy in bulk. I live in Iowa so the temperatures are going to be either way too hot or way too cold (especially when left in the car), so letting the heat of nature do its job has done well for me. I haven’t had any hitch hikers yet - though I’m certain if I left it in my garage or outside I’d probably get some unrelated friends in regards to bugs and maybe mice.

I have heard however that PAM is great prevention as well, whether it be by making salt circles around your collection since it sticks around from my understanding (how long, I am not sure). I was hesitant to use it since I have heard of people having issues with it with their hognoses but also I have heard of people using it around their hognoses so long as it dries out before they introduce the animal back to the enclosure.

And as necessary with everything I write I need to include a cute animal photo.

This was before the whole mite outbreak and I knew she was close to shedding but not THAT close :slight_smile: She still has her hoodie on.

Again thank you for not absolutely roasting me for all my mistakes and I’ll keep updating the thread with whats happening and make sure to include photos as well. The rat snake has protested being only on paper towels by climbing into the ceiling of his enclosure, which is very fair.


Sounds to me like you have a good plan going! I like it! I was thinking about your bioactives, maybe keeping a food source out of it(reptile) for 2 months will work. I was wondering if after that 2 months you then put some predator mites in there to find and eat any late hatched straggler mites that shouldn’t be there anyway, that may be a good use of the predator mites as a final defense. Other then that you got your dawn baths and Pam going on, hopefully you should start to notice not as many pepper flakes on the white paper towel and water dish! Time will tell, I am glad you are keeping everyone updated, we’re all wanting to see the mites get what’s coming to em!

On a side note, I need to know more about hotdog and toe biting!:joy:


A quick suggestion for animals that can’t handle PAM, try diatomacoues earth. It’s a white dusty substance made up of tiny diatom skeletons that dry things out. I typically use this on my rats to get rid of fleas, but I got mites a while back and used this for my hognose snakes. I sprinkled diatomaceous earth in their enclosures (bedding and all) and then sprayed the outside of their tubs with PAM to prevent any further mites from getting in. Worked like a charm.


Well @tande, it sounds like you have a plan and a system going! I am loving reading your posts/updates as well! I don’t know what you do for a living (no need to divulge) but you certainly could write a satirical column in a newspaper or create a book of short comical stories or just write in general!

The hoggie “bonnet” picture is precious btw! And as @banereptiles mentioned, I sure would be glad to read about “Hotdog” and “toes”!

So here is something funny for you. When you first mentioned PAM in your first post I thought you were talking about the PAM in the cooking sense……. I was thinking to myself “I never knew that cooking PAM was good to get rid of mites…….:thinking:?


Hahaha I thought the same thing. I was like, “I didn’t know cooking oil works on snake mites, learn something new every day!” And then I thought about it for a second and was like, “Oh, they probably mean Prevent-A-Mite, that makes more sense.” :rofl:


Lol! I didn’t figure it out until later on down in the post when something was said that made it obvious we weren’t talking about “buttery” PAM spray! Glad I’m not the only one whose mind “wonders”! :upside_down_face::face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Now that I think of it pam (the spray) isn’t too farfetched since I have heard of people using olive oil to drown out mites :thinking: Though I’ve a feeling it wouldn’t work as well as PAM the other (poisonous) spray. Do not get them mixed up unless you intend to assassinate someone with a grilled cheese.

Today was clean out day for the hognoses. None of them had visual mites on them. I sprayed out the empty tubs, gave them new paper towels, gave them a good look down for mites Some were nice about it, some where not. Pictured: not:

It’s also REALLY hard to see mites on hognoses since all the dark markings (especially this girl) and the speckles on their chins/headstamps. None of the mexican hognoses wanted to stay still either though the one that has been known to play dead (Gary) did not turn up the theatrics today.

That time I picked him up and he ■■■■ all over me and pretended to be dead. Embarrassed, absolutely theatre group behavior. He’s small (an October baby), but damn can he stink up a tub. Without the substrate every single hognose pooped their worst possible poops. None of them are painters, thankfully, but I did gag.

I absolutely love this species, however, for their extra spicy attitude (and that they’re legal in Iowa :crazy_face: ). No good morphs (that I know of) at the moment but my dream is to see about western morphs being added to the mexican species.

Any who, Ely the rat snake got a clean out and I couldn’t find him anywhere in his cage. He’s been known to stuff himself up in the ceiling and he wasn’t there. He wasn’t under his paper towels. Not under his water dish. :interrobang:

I moved this and found it much heavier (and buzzing). He was giving me the angry tail and a few snaps. I’m not sure why it took me this long to get a rat/corn snake, they have the best personalities I’ve met out of a snake. It’s just cute (if not snappy). Their bites don’t hurt (at least for now) and he’s just so pretty. On examination he had two (2) visual mites near his chin. After cleaning out his cage he got the ol’ snaky rub down thru a palm full of nature’s miracle, and then a wipe down with a paper towel. Changed out his water dish just in case any got in it and put him down.

I will admit to buying him a little mushroom house for his cage when we finally get these mites handled.

One of my ball pythons got to go for a walk with my partner and the dog (we’re the weird people in the neighborhood) and he picked out the one that had the problem with mites, Siri. I got to check him over real quick and did not see any where they usually are. I’ll be doing a cleanout of their tubs tomorrow and might respray some PAM there just in case.


He’s my axanthic blue tongue with an alright attitude. He sits in his foodbowl when he thinks it should be feeding day (every day). My dog (a 30 lb tricolor corgi) is terrified of him. If I need her to leave the room I just take him out and chase her out of the office with him (he does not care). I let him free roam in my office since its fairly safe for him, but anyone working with their feet on the ground will promptly get a chomp on their toes. I’m not sure why he goes for toes - even when its not like I’m actively wiggling them. He has more than once gotten me during a zoom meeting. Everyone at my job knows him (he is a company wide known menace). If you pick him up there’s a high likelihood he will just decide to pee on you. And in my attempt to not make it a learned habit, when he does it I just stand there and take it.

He is incredibly angry about the circumstances that have made him be in a tub for two months but at the least he gets his favorite treat - bananas - and get to stare down the cat (he is very much locked in tight, no worries about her attacking him or even meeting him face to face beyond their Silence of the Lambs wall between them (he is Hannibal in this)). Of all my animals I think Hotdog is a fan favorite just because everyone else doesn’t have to pick up after him or sit criss cross applesauce on their office chair to avoid getting their toes eaten.

I actually do have some left over from when I battled rat mites (ordering Ivermectin in the middle of the pandemic sure was a weird feeling thing). I’m going to add this to the living room as the carpet does have a lot of good hiding spots for mites, as well as my office. A salt circle of PAM might also be added to the outside of my 4x2x2 to keep the demons (mites) at bay. I’m not sure how long PAM sticks around, however, does anyone have any insight?


Oh my gosh, I literally made a mental note to try it out, thinking “yeah, cool, it’s always in my kitchen, I wonder if the plain would work or if a generic brand would too”? You saved me. I would have been buying PAM or on here asking about if the generic store brand cooking sprays work just as well if I ever had the misfortune of having to murder those awful, creepy, rage-inducing, craptastic, month-ruining horrible a-holes again. It even made sense in my brain. Like, they would slide off the snakes and couldn’t climb up a slippery PAM-sprayed outside perimeter wall of any other bin! Today I leaned that 2+2= I DON’T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE. :rofl:


That would have been hilarious if you had started asking about the PAM cooking spray!

That’s exactly what I was thinking! The sliding part I mean! I would have chimed right in! @jawramik was in the boat with us! Unfortunately that boat sailed but we were still on the dock! :joy:


So update on the state of things re: petco customer service
I got a call with them asking for my partner (i assume bc our account is under his name?). Anyway, the tl;dr the store manager was “you should have brought him back bc 30 day return policy” when I’m not exactly one to return an animal? It just feels terrible to do so, especially one with mites. He claims they would have taken it to the vet/handled the mites.

Anyway he decided to tell me that petco would have seen the mites if the white snake had them (aka calling me a liar) so I decided to go look back at the day I got him in my phone
before I bought him:

a few days after taking him home:

So its more obvious in the photo I have of him here but I think what they missed were the lopsided eyeballs - each of those dots there is a mite. There’s one visible in the in store photo (or maybe I’m insane and am imagining things). They clearly got bigger in a day or so with feeding from the snake.

As I’m not someone to just absolutely go off on a retail working, I just gave the photos to the Petco twitter account after basically being told I couldn’t do anything about it since its been past 30 days. I would have been happy with them refunding me for what I’ve spent on chemical supplies.


In other news the hognose that had it the worst (Gary) isn’t doing so great energy level wise and I’m incredibly concerned. I think he aught to be shedding and the chemicals might have messed with that. His hiss is so pathetic now, but his tongue is still actively flicking. He doesn’t want to move much. I worry for the little guy, left him a reptilink to see if he’d eat it after spending the night soaking him and the morning giving him a soak as well. He did not eat last feeding day because he was in blue.


Ok, I’ve rewritten this three time now. Each time it gets shorter.

I would cut all ties with the pet store chain and be done with it. My pessimistic self believes they do not care about their customers beyond making a buck. It’s not worth the aggravation to pursue anything with the store. You’ve got enough stress trying to eradicate an infestation in your whole collection. Just focus on the eradication. And just because you don’t see a mite on the snake (that’s if you could inspect every scale inch) doesn’t mean there aren’t snake mite eggs on the snake.

Are you sure you aren’t imagining things with the hognose? Sometimes when we worry about things we hallucinate problems.

How is the eradication going other than the above? I recall all my visible mites were dead and gone pretty much after day one of treatment. I of course continued wiping down all the enclosure’s nook and crannies for days afterwards. The mites did not return.


I haven’t noticed any mites on anyone sans the rat snake, who had it REAL bad and I hadn’t changed him over to a new enclosure (it was already spartan and clean, i might have just missed a few eggs). There’s a few left in his eye (maybe already dead ???) so I’m hesitating to call him clean until he sheds and that fella in his eye disappears.

As for the pet store…I will probably end up going back to the independent one just a little bit further away. They were more pleasant with me and were most likely going to talk to me about me supplying them with mexican hoggies once my ladies lay their eggs. Plus there’s a starbucks on the way there :sunglasses: little treat time. I need to shift towards buying bulk feeders for my snakes, we just need to have a petstore close for random things we might need + crickets for the frogs since they’re so obnoxious to have at home (even if its so much cheaper to raise your own). Petco surely only cares about how much money they make, and I’m certain there’s concerns about that for the local petstore but at least the local petstore keeps the money local(ish).

With the hognose, Gary, he hasn’t eaten what I offered him but that’s alright. He’s just very…stiff in movement? I’m not sure how to explain it beyond wearing a sweater that’s too small for you and trying to work out in it :crazy_face: I’ll keep up the soak and maybe get some shed-ease tonight to see if it helps the poor guy.

Hopefully most the mites are gone, now is just waiting on the subsequent generations to hatch and die off to starvation!!! Which our setup makes it easy since we just took all the snakes out of my office where they were before. I hesitate to say mite free until I don’t see them on the animal for at least a month.

I want to say thank you to everyone who’s read my rambling and also those who’ve helped me out whether it just be joking around with me or helping me figure out tactics on how to handle the mitely menace!!


From the Wikipedia page, from egg to dying of old age looks like 60 days. I think after being clean for 30 days it’s safe to say they are eradicated. I didn’t even wait that long before calling the game back in the day. Looking back, it’s a wonder I was successful at eradication. I guess I was persistent enough. Anyway, just keep treating the enclosures aggressively during that time even if you haven’t seen an adult mite for a couple weeks. Aggressive, persistent and thorough wins the game. We don’t want them buggers coming back.

I’m still curious what big breeders do to prevent an infestation. What lengths do they go to? What rules do they self-impose? For instance, do they not handle strange herps at shows? Do they burn their clothes after leaving a show? Surely they take some sort of precaution to prevent bringing something back to their collection.


I am just glad you are hopefully almost in the clear with mites! As for the pet store, of course big box pet stores don’t care much about there reptiles. It’s more like a product they want to keep them alive of course but not put any more money or effort in on them then necessary. Then when sold, it’s not their problem anymore. If you took it back within the 30 days they may have refunded you but probably still would have tried arguing with you as to where the mites came from. Either way it doesn’t matter now, you got mites and had/have to deal with them for your own collection. I hope this is the end of mites for you! Keep us posted.


I think most breeders at expos insist on hand sanitation before holding one of there reptiles. Then use some kind of mite treatment on their reptiles enclosure (PAM more then likely)when they head home. Definitely wash and dry their clothes! I think some even bag their clothes and wash up immediately upon returning home. I actually think @t_h_wyman had a protocol he follows. If I am not mistaken.
Also @ballornothing would be a great one to ask, has tons of experience!