Mites! I need help

Hey guys, I recently picked up two new pythons, a 5 level/tub enclosure, and a herpstat for an absolute steal. But I may see why now. One of my snakes definitely has mites, I’m not sure how bad of a degree it is but he has them either way. I do not believe the other snake has mites but I want to treat her as if she does just to play it safe. Both snakes are under 200 grams at the moment. I have heard that leaving the snake to soak in a dawn dish soap and water bath can help, if so how long and and how often should I soak each snake? I have both on paper towels right now as a result of seeing the mites. Any and all advice helps immensely as this is my first time dealing with snake mites. Thank you


When we acquired a vpi axanthic het albino for next to nothing it was no surprise she had a few issues… and mites.
I bought a mite (pesticide) spray from the pet store and a natural mite bath spray for the bp collection.
The treatments come with detailed instructions.

Remove and throw away all bedding.
Treat all of the enclosures and hides or wooden things or whatever accessories you may have with the pesticide.
Repeat for a few weeks or something like that to prevent eggs from hatching and the mites returning.
It worked great for us.


Stratiolaelaps scimitus are preditory insects that eat snake mites and fungus gnats…


It’s labor intensive but fairly simple to get rid of them. Frontline spray for dogs and cats can be applied directly to the snake (lightly, and best to rub it on their head not spray their head) to kill and/or prevent mites.

It will kill the mites it comes into contact with. You just have to clean every nook and cranny imaginable if you want to end this in one shot. Otherwise, a couple times a year, they’ll spring back up.

To lower mite load prior to using chemical treatment (for best results) coating the snakes in a thin layer of vegetable oil, waiting 60 seconds, and then applying dawn dish soap to the snake waiting another 60 seconds and rinsing the animal clean should suffocate the majority of the mites. You can also soak the snakes in a tub prior to this step to further reduce mite load.

For equipment (tubs, water dishes, etc) fill your bath tub with enough water you can submerge the equipment. Add a couple of drops of dish soap to cut the surface tension of the water. Submerge all equipment for 60 seconds. Spray with frontline at this point for best results.

Edited to add: You have to clean every single thing in your snake room. If you have carpet, vacuum daily. Pay special attention to the bottom of the rack shelves especially as they’re the ceiling when the tub is closed and will undoubtedly have mites and eggs on them.

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Great suggestion, I’ll probably work in a number of the methods listed above to cover my ground fully. I already vacuumed my snake room and cleaned/disinfected the entire rack system with Chlorhexidine. I also have reptile spray on the way and will start implementing that as soon as it arrives. Until then I will give each snake a proper vegetable oil/dawn bath, diluted of course. If I truly want to play things 1000% safe and end up ordering Stratiolaelaps scimitus; would I put some in my snakes enclosure then spread the rest randomly throughout my snake room? If so do they also die once all of the snake mites have been taken care of? Thank you all for this information, it helps immensely

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I do know the answer to this. Once all of the other food sources are gone they will start eating each other and eventually they wipe each other out.


First always remember that certain solutions will kill the mites on the snake but not the eggs that they leave in the cage that are pretty much impossible to see. What I did in the past was get a spray called ‘reptile Spray’ by Natural Chemistry. You remove the snake from its enclosure and put the snake in a tub or something similar with a lid…Sprat the botton and lower sides of tub and sprat snake and with hands ensure it gets all over snake (not eyes). Leave the snake in tub while you deal with cage. Then you grab a spray called ‘Provent A Mite’ (ONLY for cage DO NOT put on snake). You remove EVERYTHING from enclosure (including any backgrounds and water dishes). You spray the entire inside of enclosure buy not heavily (a little goes a long way…READ INSTRUCTIONS ON BACK PLEASE). Let it dry until there is hardly no odor or wet spots (any wet spots grab tissue and gently wipe down spot). Wash all water dishes etc in hot water and soap. If backgrounds are hard to clean (such as 3d backgrounds) I spray with provent a mite and stick out in my garage and leave there for 2-3 months. Ok so once all is dry pull snake from tub and put in clean tub with luke warm water just to get some of reptispray off so it dont dry on animal. I then put snake back in dry envlosure…Some wait 24hrs before putthing water dish back in. You’ll probably have to re-treat after 2-3 months. PROVENT A MITE is DANGEROUS so read instructions. Careful with BABY snakes…I can’t recall but I think Provent A Mite can’t be used in small snakes so please do you research.

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Just make sure and follow the instructions to the letter👍


Frontline is more effective than provent-a-mite.


I’ve tried both Provent A Mite and Front line and for me Provent A Mite did the job but Front Line did not…But hey who knows maybe I did not use the Front Line properly.

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Soak 20 - 30 minutes in water with a drop or two of regular dawn dish soap…put the soap in after you fill the tub a stir…just enough water to fill submerge the snake but it can still keep its head above the water…looking for about 80 degree water… do this about once a day…

After the soak rub down hachlings with olive oil a few time a day.

Keep them on papper towels a clean their tub daily
And keep a water b9wl lage enough for the animal to soak itself should it chose to

DO NOT USE MITE SPRAYS ON HATCHLINGS…using mite spray can cause neurological issues later in life…even if you use them correctly. They are toxins and those are babies…if they were sub adults and up I’d say go with the sprays, but hatchlings NO

I’m curious we’re you got this information from?

I’ve been rescuing, rehabbing, and rehoming reptiles for just about 15 years now…I work with a few different vets and local pet shops

Specifically permethrin which is the active ingredient in provent a mite and rid (bed bug spray people use as an alternative to povent a mite)…is where we’ve seen most problems. No your not spraying the animal but you are spraying the tub and the animal is coming in direct contact with the tub, specifically the sides of the tub.

Permethrin like all toxins are processed through the liver. If the liver can not process at the rate it is beening absorbed into the body the toxin makes its way to the brain…picture drinking 6 beers over the course of 6 hours…most healthy adults wouldn’t even notice. But same 6 beer in half the time and its time to call an uber.

Hatchings have smaller livers…imagine you gave those 6 beers to a toddler. Unfortunately permethrin’s effects can be permanent, this also goes for a sick or malnutrished animals; the effects are going to be stronger because the liver isn’t at full function.

Admittedly my evidence is anecdotal, but we’ve (the vets I’ve worked with and myself) havr seen it enough time as to make a strong correlation between permethrin and neurological ailments

When you take into account that mites are no where near as dangerous as people seem to think. You have to ask yourself why risk it. Especially when there are other treatment options for small and/or sick animals. On a healthy adult animal permethrin is a far more superior treatment option. Just not for small or sick animals


Whenever I use prevent mite I always give about 2 hours for it to clear. And then I wipe it out.

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This is why I suggest Frontline spray. It is widely used in the hobby, some of even use it periodically as a preventative.

The active ingredient in frontline spray is fipronil. The concentration is .29%. The rest is an alcohol based delivery solution.

When 79% concentrated fipronil was applied to human skin, less than 1% was taken into the body over 24 hours. Even when ingested it is poorly absorbed (less than 50%).

Lab rats fed the highest concentration of fipronil did develop thyroid cancer after 2 years of ingesting it daily. Lab rats fed a lesser concentration did not develop cancer.

It’s an extremely low impact chemical as far as insecticides go.


I am going to have to respectfully disagree here. Mites can definitely take a toll on a snakes health and immune system. If you have a fairly large collection this can be a big deal. A huge mite outbreak is very hard to get rid of once it infects your entire collection. Pro-vent-a-mite and frontline when used correctly has never had affect on anyone I knows snake. Mites are definitely not something you should take lightly.


I didn’t say mites are not a problem, I just said they are not as dangerous as people seem to think.

Permethrin can kill/do permanent damage with in hours of exposure as it has been designed to do so. Mites can not.

I have used and will continue to use provent a mite on otherwise healthy sub adult and adult animals.

As for the newly bred and the nearly dead…nope not while there are other options

I also use Frontline. Had mites twice. Once on a new hatchling ball python about 1,5 years ago and about a year ago on a baby corn. Both times I got them under control without even cleaning the enclosures of all snakes but I did discovered them before they got to the other reptiles. I only cleaned the enclosures of the snakes who where having them.

You have to get the Frontline spray (we call it puppy spray) and not the drops because the drops are a lot more concentrated and might cause problems for your snake. Spray the Frontline on a tissues or make up whipe and rub it on the snake lightly. I personally would not spray directly on a snake because if you use to much it can harm the snake. Avoid eyes and mouth and cloaca. The body of the snake absorbs the Frontline and will kill the mites even where you don’t rub it. Get the water out of the tanks for 24 hours so the snake can not crawl through it and the drink Frontline water. Also rubbed Frontline on the outside of the enclosure so if a mite wants to crawl out it meets a Frontline barrier. Also put the snake in quarantine, so far from all other reptiles and don’t handle any other reptile after you handled the infected snake until you took a shower ect. I also rubbed the whole surroundings of the other snakes with frontline so if one mite escapes and finds it way to the other reptiles it will still meet a second Frontline barrier. After one week repeat the Frontline treathment. Twice is enough.

With the baby corn i was too scared to really wipe the whole snake with Frontline so I wiped only it’s belly and washed it of after an hour to prevent overdose. It was just a 8 gram baby. I wiped the bottom of the tub from the corn and covered it with normal paper after it was dry. I also wiped the corn several times with coconut oil ( do you know that people from the Dutch Caribbean islands also use coconut oil against head mites on people? Studies shown that headmites die from coconut oil. I don’t know if it has the same effect on snake mites, but it’s natural just like olive oil so it doesn’t hurt at least). Snake mites have a life circle of about 10 days. After the mite is full it drops of like a tick and lays it’s eggs often in substrate or under paper. Then the eggs get on the snake again. The clue is to break the circle and kill the mites before they get the chance to multiply.

Watch the other snakes well. If you are worried they did spread they you can also whipe the other snakes with Frontline. If the mites have nothing to eat and everytime they want to the meet pesticides, even without cleaning the enclosure they will not survive.

There is also a video about the use of Frontline on youtube from muscle serpents university. This is where I got the idea but later on I discovered that very many breeders here in Holland use it.

Here is the video:

If you want to know mite about it the just look on youtube. There are several video’s about the use of it on snakes. Hope you get rid of them soon. At least with Frontline it is not a too big problem.

Good luck!!


Thank you, I’ve heard of people using Frontline but I myself have not…so thank you for this info will be looking into it

My issue is with permethrin, I’ve seen it do alot of damage to young and/or sick animals

I’ve used Natural Chemistry Reptile Spray, and it’s done the job twice for me now.

Just recently had a minor infestation with my hatchlings, I moved both racks out of the reptile room and have been treating them.

Every time I found a mite, I would squash it. If I found one under one of my snake’s scales, I would gently pull it out with my nail and also squash it.

I just deep cleaned my white rack, and did not see any mites while inspecting the tubs and the snakes.
I’ll be deep cleaning the black rack tomorrow morning when my fiancé gets off work, and while I did inspect that rack and the babies as well, I only found 1 tiny live mite on one of the hatchlings and removed/killed it. I saw another in a water bowl but it appeared to have drowned, but I squashed it anyways to be sure.

I’m confident a thorough scrub down with hot water and dawn dish soap will get rid of the rest of the mites. I might do one last treatment in a few days with the spray, just to make sure.