Howdy folks! This is my first time to make a post here, so hopefully I’m doing it right. I was just going through my small Ball Python collection and noticed that they seem to have unfortunately picked up wood mites. From my understanding they’re not necessarily harmful to a snake in the same way that a snake mite is, but I would like to get rid of them nonetheless. The only new thing I’ve introduced in 2 months is a new brand of coconut husk bedding that seems to have some bark in it as well. (About 8-10 days ago) I would assume they came in on that since I’m diligent about cleaning and upkeep.
What’s the best way to deal with them? I have some other packages of coconut husk bedding (Reptichip) in the same room. Is it safe to assume it’s also been infected, if they’re in the same room? The new brand was (I believe) Flukers. I was trying to tide them over till my rack arrived and save the reptichip for the new tubs. Regretting it quite a lot now. Thanks in advance.
Edit to add. They’re not attached to the snakes. They’re clustered in small areas, but quickly scamper away if they see movement.
I had an infestation of wood/moss/grain mites. Never could decide what they were but not snake mites. THey may be harmless but they kept outcompeting my springtail culture attempts. I lowered their numbers drastically by scooping EVERYTHING out and sterilizing it, then mixing bio booster back in to reestablish good bacteria, and putting everything back in layers with springtails in it.
I still don’t have many springtails but I have got fewer mites.
If you’re not doing bioactive, this will all be easier to do, just baking everything at 180F for an hour or so. I used a big basting pan to do a whole pile of substrate at once and it took me a couple pan loads to bake everything.
From now on, anything that comes in gets the bake treatment. I used to just freeze things, but that doesn’t kill mite eggs.
I agree with @athleticshoelace about the baking. You can also order predatory mites (various species). If the conditions are right, they should keep them in check.
Oh this is a huge blessing, thank you!!! I will make sure to do that. Humidity is a major issue where I live, so I haven’t done bioactive (yet, but plan to for geckos) so baking is definitely a great option. I am just beyond relieved that they’re not parasitic.
I appreciate it so much! I’ll get on it right away.
Oh, that’s very good to know. I’ll see about looking into both options. I used to catch my own wild caught snakes, (colubrids) and hope to again (just gotta renew my permit), so having predatory mites for quarantine would be phenomenal.
I used to use the predatory mites when I kept hermit crabs on coco fiber, and found that they do make a big difference, so long as there is sufficient moisture in the substrate (nothing crazy, but not totally dry- I bet they’d do very well near a humid hide/area or water bowl for a lot of reptiles). There are also quite a few different species of predatory mites, but I admit I don’t know which one would be most appropriate.