Mites from my hermit crabs? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question Can Crested geckos get mites fromhermit crabs?

My daughter has been taking really good care of her 2 hermit crabs and her crested gecko. Night before last while feeding the pets she noticed something weird in her hermit crab tank but didn't say anything. Last night she came into my room crying because there were "bugs all over it". I googled and figured out it was mites. I ran out and got some new substrate and stuff to sanitize the tank with and moved them into a little portable tank thing after giving them quick baths.

There are mites in her lizard's tank but I don't think they are bothering him. I got reptile mite spray that says it is safe, but they were still more today. They are all over his food and water bowls. Do I need to remove him from his tank and do the same process as I am with the crabs or will they pretty much leave him alone??

I really don't know much about what to do for either problem, except for what I have found in posts on different forums. I read that hermit crab mites can't hurt lizards but the girl at petco said there really aren't different types of mites, they will all mess with whatever pet.

So there are several half questions in this post, really any advice would be much appreciated.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 09:41 PM
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Do you have any pictures of what they look like? Are you keeping your crestie on a coco fiber-type substrate? There are some little bugs that appear gross an mite-like that are actually beneficial to have in your vivs, like springtails.



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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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I will see if I can get a pic without waking the kids up. They are really tiny little bacillus shaped white things...super tiny. Had to stare for a while to see them, but there were like a million when I did. The ones in the food bowl seem even smaller and more round but I figured they might be larvae or something? Anyway we use cage carpet in his tank. I have coco fiber stuff for the hermies and their tank was right next to the lizard's if that makes any difference.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 10:15 PM
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Are the mites white?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 11:53 PM
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Do they look like this? Because these are springtails. They break down poop, rotting leaves, ect in your viv, which may be why they are going after the food. They don't really bother the animals. They tend to appear in warm, humid environments, like your hermit crab tank.The mites that are harmful to reptiles are the nasty little red ones. Springtails will actually clean your tank, and many people use them in live planted set ups for geckos... I bought some to put in my viv!



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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 12:04 PM
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Ugh. The Petco employee was clueless, but that should really come as no surprise. There are somewhere around 50,000 different kinds of mites. And they do tend to be rather specific in the type of animals they parasitize. A lizard mite is not going to be interested in a hermit crab, and vice versa. A reptile mite is generally not going to be interested in a mammal, etc. Many Petco stores just have so many constant problems with mites due to poor conditions that to them it probably just seems like one continuous infection. I can't even walk through their animal displays anymore, because I end up giving the section employee an earful when they're probably not entirely to blame - the company itself is.

Be careful with those mite sprays. They claim they are safe, but can still be harmful to your pet. Especially if it gets into their drinking water - and crested geckos are likely to be licking the condensation off the sides of the cage, obviously a place that you might spray. I would definitely not use it anywhere near your hermit crab.

Assuming they're not just springtails like Jess said, the best way to get rid of mites is to clean, clean, clean. Generally, eggs and larvae are not living on the animal itself, but in the substrate, so being fastidious about cleaning can break their life-cycle... but that means everything: Replacing substrate and thoroughly sanitizing any sticks, rocks, water bowls, etc. At least a couple times a week until they are gone. If you can see mites on your pets, rinsing them off with dechlorinated water can be helpful. Obviously, a hermit crab can be rather difficult to clean off.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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I can't see the picture, but at this point even if they are beneficial, I find them annoying in their numbers. They are still in the gecko enclosure but still not bothering him, just his food. I will have to go out and get another temporary enclosure for him so I can clean his really well. The hermies appear clean, but I am going to be extra cautious before putting them back in their tank, which is still empty to make sure I get rid of all of them. I saw on some site that some recommend baking substrate at a low temp before use..should I do that this time? Is there a better substrate than the carpet thing I have for the crestie? I did realize I should get him a different cage from browsing on here...any other suggestions for keeping him healthy/happy? My daughter loves him/her...it has a girl name but I have no clue what it is to be honest.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 02:23 AM
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I also don't see the picture. I had hermit crabs that got mites. I think the mites came from the Eco Earth bedding.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 01:16 PM
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Mites are unwelcome hitchhikers. If you go into a pet store that has an infestation, you could end up bringing some home with you and not even realize it. Especially if you happen to buy supplies, like bedding substrate or other porous caging materials there. They could have eggs and/or larvae hiding in them.

For each of the cages that I use carpeting in, I cut two identical pieces. So I always have a clean one in the cage, and have the second one, after I scrub it down, I let it soak in a bucket with some chlorhexidine and dish detergent for a couple days. Then I can just swap them out when the one in the cage gets messy.

I've heard that many people recommend baking mulch or eco-earth type substrates, even sticks and rocks, but I've never done it myself. With my luck, I'd probably just start a fire in my oven.

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