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Product to kill and prevent mites

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by imported_Donna M, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Have there been any discussions on this site regarding a reptile care product called Provent-a-Mite?  (yes, that's how they spell it).  I don't know if I'm allowed to post a link or not, so I won't.  But their site says that the product is FDA and USDA approved, and is the only safe product you can apply to the inside walls & substrate of a reptile tank, and not have to rinse it off.  They say the product will kill the mites in the tank, and also prevent them from coming back.  Of course they state that it won't harm reptiles at all.

    If small reptiles aren't bothered by this product, I was wondering if anyone has tried it in their crab tank.  I got rid of the mites in my tank months ago, but now they're back.  Microscopic white dots are doing the backstroke in my crabbies' water dishes.  I hate it!
     
  2. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    the only thing i have read that people have done was bathing their crabs in their salt water.. there is a section somewhere on here about how to rid them of mites. you want to  keep them in smaller iso tanks until they were gone. cleaning out the main tank , boiling anything that can be boiled, things that can't i would just toss, woods you can soak in salt water and bake the crap out of it. you can use diluted bleach to clean the tank and rinse well! make sure wipe really well in those corners, up in the top ledges,  i would toss the substrate and get new ect.. have  you contacted the company to what they say? crabs are not reptiles, i also looked on yahoo answer thing it said not to use reptile mite remover.. you can wait to see what others say but i myself have read do not use chemicals on your crabs, other than the declhor drops for water,i have been lucky not had mites but had my fair share of heart ache with ant infestion, then i took maple wood bark and didn't get it baked long enough/ i had these fly things that over took my tank,, they live in maple wood and lay dorment at times.
    AH HA I FOUND THIS POSTED BY JELLY BEAN I COPY AND PASTED IT FOR YOU
    It is important that you do not use chemicals that could be harmful to hermit crabs in ridding their home and yours of pests.
    This includes any chemicals or formulas that are sold to kill mites.

    Hermit crabs are very sensitive to the presence of chemicals and they may suffocate if pesticides are sprayed close by or applied in the tank.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The TRUE way to get rid of an infestation of harmful mites is to tear the tank
    down, which is, throw out the substrate, boil or soak all of your decorations, dishes, plants, etc in double strength Marine Salt water.

    It's important to bathe your Hermies as well and place them in an ISO tank (isolation) while you clean and re-do their crabitat.  You can use one part  vinegar to four parts water to wipe down the inside of the empty tank.
     
  3. CrabAddict

    CrabAddict Moderator

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    Anything that will kill mites will kill your hermit crabs. Its not recommended to use any mite killer.
    Hermit crabs are in the arthropod phyllum and so are spiders, scorpions and even mites.

    If you are continuing to have problems with mites I suggest a deep clean and religious bathing of your crabs. The mites you see may not be bad mites that feed off your crabs. Instead they may be book lice. They tend to be everywhere in the tank as opposed to being on the crabs and are harmless. In fact booklice help keep your tank tidy. They tend to show up in waves here for a couple weeks, gone the next.
     
  4. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    Here's some info on bugs to go along with what CrabAddict said...


    This is long but so very informative. Guide to bugs you might find in your crabitat 1.2
    « on: May 11, 2006, 09:49:36 AM » Quote Modify Remove Split Topic 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Written by Jedidiah.

    Guide to bugs you might find in your crabitat

    Insects
    Insects have six legs and three body parts that are usually clearly visible, the head, the thorax (the breast) and the abdomen. Most of them have wings, although those might not be clearly visible, some insects can hide them in a sort of pouch on their back (like earwigs) and some insects have no wings at all. The vast majority of insects that you might find in your crabitat are beneficial, harmless or a nuisance at most. Usually you can get rid of them by doing a deep clean.
    Common insects are:

    Booklice aka Paperlice
    Very often described as walking grains of sand, booklice are tiny and usually white to grey in colour. They are often hard to get rid of, probably because they can live in the rest of the house, too and quickly return to the crabitat where they find ideal conditions. They are harmless and even beneficial because they feed on mold and fungi.
    Interesting fact: there are no male booklice, the females â??cloneâ? themselves, they are all more or less genetically identical.
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2080.html
    http://www.lisburncity.gov.uk/images/uploads/booklice.gif

    Springtails
    Springtails are white, brown, green red, yellow or grey and very small, no bigger than 1/8 inch. They can hurl themselves in the air with a forklike tail they hold under their body, but they have no wings. Springtails are often found in flower pots and they need a humid atmosphere to survive, so the crabitat is ideal for them. They are beneficial because they will feed on crab poop, leftover food and other decaying material, they are excellent cleaners.
    Interesting fact: Springtails are among the oldest insect species, they have been around for at least 400 million years.
    http://www.collembola.org/
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2070.html

    Fruit flies or Drosophila
    You probably know them, these are the flies that turn up whenever a piece of fruit is left for too long. The most common species is Drosophila melanogaster, around 2 mm in size, usually red eyes and a brownish colour (other species are a bit bigger or smaller, up to 4 mm). They feed on decaying fruit and breed rapidly (two weeks between generations) and can become a nuisance in the crabitat, although they are not harmful. To get rid of them, place a glass with wine, beer or fruit juice mixed with vinegar and a drop of dish liquid next to the crabitat, the flies will drown in the liquid. Itâ??s best to stop feeding fruit for that time so that the larvae wonâ??t find any food.
    Interesting fact: Fruit flies mutate easily and you can breed really weird flies in a short time (no wings, small wings, white eyes, no eyes ect.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosophila_melanogaster

    Humpbacked Flies or Phorid Flies
    They look very much like fruit lfies, but if you take a closer look, you can see a hump. Apart from that, they can be recognized by the way they run around: very fast, always stopping after a short distance and very reluctant to fly. Humpbacked flies are the only insects that have been found in crabitats that can be harmfull to the crabs, at least I havenâ??t heard of any other. The adults and larvae can feed on almost anything including flesh, so if a crab has an open wound the larvae are able to get into the wound and eat the crab from the inside out. Some species are able to lay their eggs into healthy animals, but those are parasites of a certain species and as far as I know, no phorid fly preys on land hermit crabs specifically. To get rid of them, do a deep clean, bake or boil everything, bathe the crabs and I recommend keeping the crabs in an ISO tank thatâ??s easy to clean for six weeks to make sure there are no eggs or larvae left. Clean the ISO every week (change substrate and hiding places, boil or bake the hiding places you want to use again) and make sure the food doesnâ??t spoil.
    Interesting fact: Phorid flies have been known to survive by eating shoe polish â?? you somehow have to admire a bug thatâ??s so adaptive
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2144.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpbacked_Fly

    Fungus gnats
    Fungus gnats are small (2,5 mm), black flies. Both the adults and the larvae feed on decaying and living plant matter, the adults eat pollen, too, and they are harmless to the crabs, but can become a pest when they multiply too much. To get rid of them, you can use yellow sticky traps. Those are sticky on both sides and can be attached to the lid of the crabitat where the crabs cannot reach them.
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2114.html

    Silverfish and Firebrats
    Those are rarely found in crabitats, but I will include them anyway. Silverfish are often found in bathrooms, firebrats need a high temperature to breed and are sometimes found in bakeries and other warm places. Both look similar, 1/3 to ¾ inches long and carrot shaped without wings. Silverfish are silver in colour and really look a bit like fish. Firebrats are hairy and often have dark grey stripes on their body. Both feed on almost anything at all, including cereals, fish food ect. They are harmless and wonâ??t breed in the crabitat because itâ??s too humid and too cool for the firebrats and probably too hot for the silverfish, so they will disappear eventually. They mostly get into crabitats by chance.
    Interesting fact: Both can survive and even thrive on a steady diet of wallpaper, tissue paper or similar things. Like springtails, they have been around for a very long time.
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2108.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverfish
    http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/80/94180/400_6439636166646365.jpg

    Ants
    Ants are sometimes attracted by the food in the crabitat. To get rid of them, itâ??s best to find ut where they get in the house and seal their entrance. Applying a thick layer of vaseline around the top of the crabitat might help, but some ants can walk over that or build bridges. Small crabitats can be put on a baking tray filled with water. There is a type of poison that gets carried back to the nest and then fed to the queen and offsping, so that the whole ant colony will died out, this can be put down outside the crabitat. Many ants stay away from plants like  garlic, but since those can also harm the crabs, they shouldnâ??t be used around the crabitat. Itâ??s always useful to find out the exact species to be able to offer an attractive bait for the ants.
    Interesting fact: Ant colonies make war against each other and some ant species keep other species as slaves and are totally dependent on them. Some store food in the belly of certain workers (honeypot ants), some cut leaves and grow a fungus inside their nest that can reach an impressive size, some donâ??t have a nest at all, but build one every night out of their bodies as shelter for the queen and the eggs and many keep aphids or caterpillars or protect certain trees from mammals in exchange for food and/or shelter.
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2064.html

    Earwigs
    Earwigs are brown/black insects that reach about ½ inch as adults (this goes for Forficula auricularia, the Common or European Earwig, the species usually found in the US and Europe). They have wings, but those are hidden in a â??rucksackâ?? on their back, actually thatâ??s their forwings, like beetles have. They have pinchers (forceps) on their behind and those can be used for folding and unfolding the wings, mating and in self-defence, the pinch is not painful, though.
    They are attracted to the high humidity inside the crabitat and feed on vegetables, fruits and rotting leaves, so they are completely harmless to the crabs. A deep clean will get rid of them.
    Interesting fact: Earwigs probably got their name because people believe that they will climb into your ear and sleep their or eat into your hand, depending on the urban legend â?? they do no such thing of course. You can *** them by looking at the forceps: females have a straight, males a rounded pair. The females care for their eggs, cleaning them, gathering them up when the nest is disturbed ect., this is very rare with insects.
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2068.html

    Solitary bees
    Solitary bees are bees that do not live in a hive, they build a small nest for one or a small number of eggs, provide food (pollen or paralysed insects) and then seal the nest. They don't care for their offspring like honey bees do. Some build nests in the ground, others use beetle tunnels or hollow stalks, for example elder. They are rarely found in crabitats (actually, just once to my knowledge until now) and probably like the warmth. The bee in the picture, a leafcutting bee, is using a piece of Choya to prepare her nest â?? thanks to OIF_VET from the HCA for letting me use his picture:
    http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/80/94180/1024_6230383232653061.jpg
    another leafcutting bee:
    http://www.gardensafari.net/pics/wespen/overige_bijen/osmia_niveata_hs2_2978.jpg
    Interesting fact: Solitary bees are harmless, not aggressive at all, fascinating to watch and can be attracted to gardens and even balconies by offering them places to build their nest. Hereâ??s a good website that shows how to build homes for solitary bees: http://www.insectpix.net/

    There are more insects that can be found in your crabitat, especially small flies and other tiny insects living in the soil, but those are the species that people have found very often and that were positively identified. If you find something else, try to take a picture of make a drawing so that the bug can be identified.

    Arachnids
    Arachnids are such bugs as spiders, scorpions, mites and other bugs related to spiders. They have two body parts, the thorax and the abdomen, no wings or antenna and eight legs.

    Mites
    There are thousands of species of mites and itâ??s extremely hard to identify them. They come in all colours (white, grey, black, brown, bright red ect.) and many sizes. Only comparatively few species are harmful for the crabs. The rule of thumb is: if you find them in the food dish or the rest of the crabitat, they are probably harmless. If you find them on the crab, especially on the joints, the abdomen or the mouthparts, they are predatory and harmfull. A deep clean will get rid of the harmless mites, for the predatory ones you will need to bathe the crabs in salt water or you might even need to pick off the mites because they have claws on their legs to hold onto their prey.
    Thereâ??s a certain species of mites that are often found in insects breeding containers, for example when breeding roaches or fruit flies. They feed on vegetables and fruits and are harmless, but their population can literally explode in a few days and then they are a real pest. They look like walking grains of sand, white to yellow and are about 1 mm long, I call them food mites because thatâ??s where they often appear in the crabitat. A deep clean will get rid of them, too.

    Interesting fact: Some mites feed on pollen and hitch rides with hummingbirds, racing up the beak and then down again into a new flower. Others hitch rides with flying insects to reach new plants and some not only hitch a ride, but also suck the haemolymph (insect blood) on the insect thatâ??s carrying them. Many species change their dietary habits depending on their age.
    Click on the links at the bottom to see pictures of mites hitching rides with insects:
    http://www.arthropods.de/arachnida/acari/trombidiidae/trombidiumHolosericeum01.htm
    Other mite pictures:
    http://www.uwex.edu/ces/wihort/Phenology/images/Two-spotted%20Spider%20Mite.jpg
    http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/hfrr/TURF/winter%20grain%20mite%20close%20up.jpg
    http://res2.agr.gc.ca/winnipeg/storage/pages/ihmt_e.htm
    http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/acari/images/broad/d.jpg
    http://www.giantmicrobes.com/critters/dustmite.html

    Food mites pictures (just to give you an idea, they were too tiny to get a good close-up)
    http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/80/94180/1024_3562343131613237.jpg
    http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/80/94180/1024_6461623165633436.jpg


    Bookscorpion or Pseudoscorpions
    A rare guest in crabitats that sometimes comes with moss or leaf litter is the bookscorpion. They look like tiny (1-4 mm) scorpions, but have no tail and are absolutely harmless unless you are a springtail or a fruit fly.
    Interesting fact: One species, Chelifer cancroides, does live in books and this species gave the whole order its name.
    They dance with each other during mating and they build a small nest from grains of sand, moss and silk. The females produce a nourishing substance for their babies, so in a sense they nurse their babies.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoscorpion
    http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/80/94180/400_6138373130336363.jpg
    http://foto.arcor-online.net/palb/alben/80/94180/1024_6238333362663764.jpg


    Other bugs you might find
    Woodlice
    Woodlice, also called pillbugs, sowbugs or rolypolys, are the only crustaceans that live permanently on land without any contact to water. They need a humid atmosphere to breathe, thatâ??s why they are sometimes found in crabitats. Woodlice are harmless and feed on decaying plant matter. They are often used as tank cleaners with reptiles, phasmids and other animals.
    http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/7649/wlice.htm
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2072.html

    Millipedes and Centipedes
    Both belong to the Subphylum Myrapodia (this means â??numerous feetâ?) of the Phyllum Arthropoda (â??joint-leggedâ?), which insects, arachnids and crustaceans belong to, too. Millipedes (â??with a thousand feetâ?) have two legs on either side per body segment, centipedes (â??with a hundred feetâ?) only one. They sometimes turn up in crabitats and come from moss, leaf litter or with live plants. Millipedes are vegetarians that feed on decaying plant matter, centipedes are predators. The centipedes you might find in your crabitat are very small and are no danger to the crabs.
    Interesting fact: Millipede males of some species can breed only after every second molt.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centipedes
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millipede

    Bugs that help getting rid of other bugs

    You can purchase predatory mites or insects that will feed on some bugs in your crabitat and then die when they find no more prey. This is a efficient and absolutely crab-safe method to get rid of bugs, without stressing the crabs by doing deep cleans ect.
    Hereâ??s one website that offers such bugs:
    http://www.simplyhydroponics.com/hired_bugs.htm

    Some crabbers have used the predatory mite Hypoaspsis miles. Itâ??s very effective because it will eat anything that is the right size and not just one or two species of other mites. Hypoaspsis miles will probably stay even after all mites are eaten because they can feed on algae and plant matter when thereâ??s no prey around. That way, another infestation with unwanted guests is prevented.
    http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/mbcn/kyf302.html
     
     
  5. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Thank you all for your replies.  And Jellybean, what great info about bugs!  I don't know what these things are in my tank, (mites, I guess), but I don't see any on the crabs or in the food dish, thank goodness.  Where I DO see them is in the fresh water dish and on the moist coconut husk I use as substrate.

    In the fresh water dish, they look like white grains of sand.  Most are floating on the water surface, and they're so small, you can't tell with the naked eye that they're moving. Also, they're smart!  If you move the dish, they stop moving for at least 20 seconds. So if you move the dish to better light to get a look with a magnifying glass, you can be easily fooled. But keep watching, and you'll see all these legs starting to move!  So gross. It makes me wonder how many people have these things in their water dishes and don't know they are living things!

    And I just did a deep clean to get rid of these things a few months ago.  Guess I'll be doing another one.  Ugh!

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Klabelle

    Klabelle "Second Molt In Progress"

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    Good luck getting rid of them, I bought some hypoaspis miles to get rid of mine. I just swapped tanks so usually for me, they appear a month after a deepclean because it's hard to notice them. They also don't like salt water. I wish you large amounts of luck getting rid of them, it cost me about $150 between all the deep cleans and the mites. Im not sure if mine are all gone yet, they always seem to come back. Was an 8mo. battle ><
     
  7. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    A thing to remember is Mites are blood-suckers, but Book-Lice/Paper-Lice aren't and usually can be found in or around the water and food dishes.
    Mites attach themselve to the crabs for feeding.

    If you have any wood decorations or any moss, you may want to replace the moss and clean and dry the wood.
    Some soak the wood in double strength Marine Salt Water (use twice as much salt as you do for the drinking water) and then let it dry completely for several days (don't rince).

    Some boil their decorations in the double strength Marine Salt Water for about 5-15 minutes and dry them in the oven on a low setting (don't go over 250*) until dry.

    Make sure your decorations won't melt in the boiling water and keep a watch on them in the oven so they don't melt or catch fire.

    Some use a microwave to dry things out after soaking, but I don't anymore.
    The last time I did I was drying out a coco-hut and when I turned around and looked I had a "tiki torch" thing going on in there!!

    You can also remove the top layer of your substrate, about an inch or two if you have recently done a deep clean and replace it with fresh.

    Keep your water dishes and food dishes clean and pick up any food that has been drug around the tank.

    Sigh...you may never totally get rid of them but hopefully you'll be able to keep them from becoming an infestation.  :huggies:
     
  8. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    "Tiki torch"!!  So funny!!  Though you may not have thought it was so funny at the time.  And the last time I did a deep clean I forgot to bake a large branch I've had in the tank forever.  So maybe that's why the mites came back.

    Katz, I'm sorry to hear that you have the same mite problem.  And yes, replacing substrate is not cheap!!  I'm quite financially challenged, so I'm not enjoying this at all.  I thought about the hypoaspis miles, but it scares me to dump MORE critters into my tank.  And now you're telling me that it didn't solve the problem anyway, so I'm eliminating that idea.  Thanks.

    I don't know if the mites are coming from a nearby houseplant or not, so I got rid of the plant.  I can't figure out how the mites can travel from a houseplant to a crab tank, unless they're both sitting on the same surface.  But I guess they could!?!?  Everything I read says to move the plants away, so it's gone now.

    Thank you guys for all your support.  I wish all of you a mite-free crabitat! 

    Donna M.
     
  9. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    Hang in there Donna...it gets better------honest!  :chuckle:
     
  10. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Thanks for your support, Jellybean.  You know how frustrating it is.  I shall persevere!  :yes2:
     
  11. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    i do wish someone would come up with a organic all in one bug killer that doesn't hurt crabs cause i still have those darn little gnats in my tank! i took my crabs out yesterday and even took the sweeper hose and swooped over the top but not touching the sand and going over my plants and things to get any thing, i hung a tom cat sticky bug catcher up by the light with duct tape again where they can't reach [ yes they can't reach, my crabs are big and clunky and nothing to climb on around there] and there were 3 on it in about an hour, this morning there are still 3...so we will see but i have been battleing this foe a long time i have done a complete change out cleaning 2 times for other reasons recently, just can't do it again
     
  12. Klabelle

    Klabelle "Second Molt In Progress"

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    The mites can come from anywhere in the house and travel to the tank. My mites finally resurfaced. I went away for the weekend mite-free and now they're crawling everywhere. I'll let you know if I find something that can kill them, I'm financially challeneged too. In fact, I moved out of my moms and quit my job monday just to move to my bfs parents and now I gotta find a new job. I'm gonna get more hypoaspis, I do like them in the tank since they eat leftover plant matter and bugs that enter the tank.
     
  13. mom_of_3

    mom_of_3 (Micro Crab)

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    There is another forum that I am on and one of the members ordered a mite that gets rid of the bad ones and doesn't hurt the hermies.... here is  a link to where they were talking about it...

    http://landhermitcrabs.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/365100321/m/6204010418

    it also says what they are called. Hope this works right.
     
  14. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    you have to be a member if to view if I am correct, cause it is asking you sign in when you click on that link.
     
  15. mom_of_3

    mom_of_3 (Micro Crab)

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    Sorry,
    the mights are called Hypoaspis mites and according to the person who ordered them for their crabitat they eat the harmful mites but don't mess with the hermit crabs and then i guess die off or something after all the other mites are gone.
     

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