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Red mites

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by blgraham, Mar 14, 2007.

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  1. blgraham

    blgraham Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Good evening everyone!!!

    I have a problem that I have been searching the web for and have found confliting or confusing answers. I was hoping someone could help.

    My usually active and friendly Hermie named Walt had been shy and lethargic the last couple of days. Upon closer inspection the poor guy had greyish mites crawling all over him. At the suggestion of some web sites I have given him 3 salt water baths and the grey mites are gone (he already seems much happier). On the 2nd bath I noticed tiny tiny red mites had risen to the surface of the water too. There is no way I would have been able to see them with the naked eye so I have several questions.

    1) Are there any special ways to great rid of the red mites?

    2) My other two crabs are in a isolation chaimber of their own now, how can I tell if they have mites too, ecspecially since they are so small?

    3) What kind of mites are red ones and how are they usually introduced into the cage, there hasen't been anything new in there for awhile?

    4) And should I do anything for the crabs besides salt baths and sterilizing everything in sight?

    Thanks

    B
     
  2. msdiamonddawg

    msdiamonddawg "Third Molt In Progress"

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    Aww, the poor guy!

    I have never experienced any kind of a parasite, but I would suggest, like you say, just sterilize EVERYTHING ... boil, boil, boil and get rid of the substrate you have and basically start over. Wash out the tank with some white vinegar. I think, and I don't advocate bathing for any other reason, but if you give your other crabs a bath, I would think you would be able to see mites, if they had them. Turn them upside down in a tupperware bowl and let them flush out their shells and see what comes out. Hopefully nothing! Make sure they have nothing before putting them all back into the main tank.

    Good luck!
     
  3. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    I'm sorry about the mites, but the redones are the hardest to get rid of. Salt water baths seem not to really work on them. So far the only thing that has is the predatory mites. You buy a cannister of them, distribute them throught the tank and they eat the red mites. Once there's no mites left they die off. It's about $40 give or take to order them. Here's the link
    http://www.shopgreenmethods.com/cgi-bin/detail.cgi?id=36
     
  4. msdiamonddawg

    msdiamonddawg "Third Molt In Progress"

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    Any idea where they come from Vicki??
     
  5. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    From what Kerie said, the hermit crabs get them from being shipped with reptiles who are infested with them. They seem to be very hardy parasites and unlike the white ones, don't go away easily.
     
  6. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    Jedediah on my site made a great bug list of information. Here it is


    [​IMG]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 it’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.
    There’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 that’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 that’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
     
  7. Itsy

    Itsy "Second Molt, A Success"

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    I found this on a site i dunno but it might help get rid of them and is relativly inexpensive:

    these annoying bugs can be trapped with stale beer, cider vinegar, or red wine with a drop of soap. Here is what you should do if you get these critters in your crabitat:
    1. Pour a few ounces of one of the liquids in a small glass jar (a baby food jar was recommended)
    2. Take a sandwich bag and cut the corner of it
    3. Insert the end of the sandwich bag with the opening into the glass (do not immerse the open end) and wrap the rest of the bag around the lid of the glass
    4. Secure the bag with a rubber band
    5. Place the trap inside your crabitat so that it’s out of reach of the crabbies
    Another post i found said this:

    Comment by Purple haze
    May 9, 2006 @ 11:12 am
    I found that venis fly traps, or carnivorus plants are benificial to some teraniums. I’ve been successfully been using venis fly traps for the last year to get rid of those little critters. Having these plants in a Hermitat can be dangerous for smaller crabs, becaus the plant may close up and digest them if they are too weak to escape. My venis fly traps seem to love the humidity and heat in the aquarium, though I some times have to take them out to air out, or else the rot. well if your trap dosn’t work, and your crabs aren’t too small this might be an idea.

    I dont know if these will for sure work but i know venus fly traps are around 6$ and the baby food jar one you can find everything around the house
     
  8. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    That only works for gnats and other flying insects. It wouldn't work on mites.

    Also it's been mentioned about having the venus fly traps in the tanks, and determined it would be added stress to the crabs should they walk across the plant(which they would) and it close on them. This was discussed over at csj, so take a look there for more info on it.
     
  9. Itsy

    Itsy "Second Molt, A Success"

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    i was just trying to make some suggestions i was hoping to help but i guess i just would have made things worse :(
     
  10. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    Hi Itsy,

    It is the thought that counts, you were trying to help.

    I have thought of using the Venus fly trap plants before, but I wanted to suspend them in the tank, out of reach of the crabs. Of course they would also be out of reach of the mites in this case.

    Jason
     
  11. Itsy

    Itsy "Second Molt, A Success"

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    its only bad if you have smaller crabs that the plant could smother otherwise its supposed to be completly safe for them. I researched and a venus fly trap would work because the pollen sweet stuff attracts the bugs to climb up into the mouth of the plant and off of the crabs.
     
  12. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    Here's the thing, it will attract bugs for sure. It will not attract the mites as the mites thrive on the blood from the crabs. They are not going to leave their food source. If you have gnats in the tank, sure.

    Where did you research this?
     
  13. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    Here's some info

    a warm, humid environment is not ideal for them. There is a misconception that they are a tropical plant, and they are not. They will become floppy and susceptible to mold and will weaken and die without experiencing the seasons (bright sun in the summer, frost in the fall and winter).
    However, the sticky fluids on those plants are not only there to trap insects, but they also contain digestive enzymes. I think those would be harmful for the crabs. It might feel like a burning or an itchiness to them. They also need sufficient light (FLOURESCENT) because it takes a lot of energy for them to produce dew.
    Also, carnivorous plants are good at catching bugs, but cannot be relied on as "exterminators."
    They are like herbs (but I see that there are some herbs on Julia Crab's NO list). It's just that sundews and butterworts, when they're sticky, might be irritating to get on their little exoskeletons.
    They are able to create and secrete their own digestive fluids which aid in the break down of the insects and small animals for which they consume.
    These plants are not found in Hermit Crabs natural habitat so they likely would not have had a chance to build up an immunity to them.

    I also called Julia Crab, spoke with her and she does not reccomend putting them in the tank. Nor will they eat the mites.
     
  14. nancy

    nancy "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    My husband discovered mites when he was changing out the night mix for the day mix yesterday. They are black and easily seen. They are not on the only crab that is still up, Moose. Since these do not seem to be harmful, can I wait until my two molters resurface to do a deep clean. Also, is there anyway to treat the food dish so that they are less likely to infest the food?
     
  15. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    From what I read on Jedediahs info, if the mites are found in the food dish, they possibly aren't harmful to the crabs.
     
  16. nancy

    nancy "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    I've come to the conclusion that thet may be helpful. It's possible that they go after and clean up all the food that my sloppy eaters much. I really don't like the site of them, though.:)
     
  17. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    I don't blame you, I couldn't do bugs in the tank. I know some that keep certain bugs in there..
     
  18. nancy

    nancy "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    The tank is a 20 long. As soon as Bulldog comes up from his moult that tank will become Frankie's (red=eared slider) new home. The straws will be move to a 40 gallon, as soon as Fireball and Firecracker get up from their moults. The PP's will then be transferred to the 29g. This is going to be real tough. I can see it now!
     
  19. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    I used to have multiple tanks, it was tough.
     
  20. Clazy4Clabs

    Clazy4Clabs Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I rescued a small crab from a beach store, there were also iguanas and turtle present. I gave him a bath (bottled water) geez he was dirty. I never get crabs from beach stores (it was stinky) so I considered him a rescue. I was about to introduce him to my regular bunch when I saw I a tiny red-brown bug on him. I could see it on him with the naked eye. I crushed it like a flea then bathed him again and put him in Iso for about two weeks. I havent seen any bugs since. Should I still be concerned about getting mites now that he is in the main tank? I havent seen any and I clean the tank, empty shells, etc every 2 weeks.:eek:
     
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