Has anyone heard of picking up mites from pet store purchased substrate? I was talking with another local keeper about my recent mite problem and they believe it is from substrate that I purchased at a pet store. Has any one ever heard of this? Should I be quarantining, boiling, or freezing my substrate? Does anyone have any confirmed instance of this happening?
I’ve never heard of it from pet store substrate (assuming bag was intact and no holes). The only time I got mites in my collection was from me using substrate from an enclosure I purchased on craigslist. I’ll never reuse anyone elses substrate again after that. Did you take it back to the store? Is it a well known pet chain? I’d throw it out or get a refund.
Do you know what kind of mites they are? If they are not “snake mites” they probably are harmless to your reptiles, minus being unsightly.
I have had it happen one time before from Cyprus
Whenever I buy substrate from Amazon I throw it in the freezer for 24 hours just in case but I’ve never gotten mites. I have heard of it happening from different people though hence the freezing.
@ag2357 it’s a well know store in upstate NY. Not a chain. I didn’t take it back or anything because I do not know for sure the mites came from the substrate. After finding the mites I tossed all of my substrate. I keep it all under the rack where I first noticed the infestation so I figured better safe than sorry. That was before someone told me it could have come from the substrate.
@rdurha1 I am assuming they are snake mites. I am inexperienced in dealing with mites so I don’t know how to tell the difference. My kingsnake got it the worst and I noticed them all under the scales on his belly. Treating them as snake mites presently and seeing good results.
@jhfun thanks for sharing.
@speff thank you. Looks like I’ll be doing the same from here on out. The whole outbreak was pretty weird. I was talking to my wife about it earlier today and we can’t pin point exactly what caused it or where it started. I’ve learned some stuff through the entire experience though that will for sure make me a better more experienced keeper. Silver linings, right?
Perfect attitude for that experience!
I have heard of mites being in substrate too, but it’s hard to say if that’s a chance occurrence or a problem that seems to keep popping up lately. It’s also hard to say it’s the substrate. So many people go into reptile stores, the mites could have transferred from any given person. Reptile shows are also notorious for an encounter with mites, that’s why when I go to a show or pet store, I go straight down to the laundry room and wash my clothes. Then hop in the shower and clean off. Precautions I’ve learned to do in this hobby just to be on the safe side.
I also bake all my substrate in the oven at 200 degrees for 3 hours, that will kill just about every kind of bug.
I have heard of people getting mites from store bought substrate. That said, they were all “the cousin of my girlfriend’s college roommate’s uncle’s step-brother’s wife’s kid from her third marriage” kind of stories.
I personally have had outbreaks of wood mites from every block of ReptiChip I ever purchased (which is why I no longer use the stuff) and I could easily see them also being found in aspen and cypress. And since I am fairly confident that most hobbyists are not well versed on how to tell the difference so my guess is that a lot of the stories about mites from substrate are probably not as accurate as people might think
If they are under the scales then they are most likely parasitic. That being said I have also gotten wood mites from compressed coco substrate. Never seen them on my animals, but they seem to gather around the water line on the water bowls. I agree best to treat and get rid of them.
After 1 mite outbreak in my collection I took to baking my substrate no matter where it comes from before I use it NO MATTER HOW CLEAN IT LOOKS.