I think I have mites, and I'm not sure what to do - Reptile Forums

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Old 30-07-2018, 07:13 PM
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Default I think I have mites, and I'm not sure what to do

I got my ball python, Pi, late May I believe. I have a vivarium that is the equivalent of a 40 gallon breeder tank in floor space, and it is naturalistic/bioactive, but I don't know how well that is going.

I have this dish of clean water in there for her, dechlorinated and everything obviously, but recently I've been seeing these white bugs in the water. I thought they were springtails, but they seem to have drowned and died in the water, and they look fuzzy, almost like flakes of dry skin.

I just cleaned out the water last night and put a rock in the dish so that if they were springtails, they could get to the rock and jump out. This morning I looked in the cage, but they weren't jumping out. They seem to have stuck to the rock and died.

This puzzled me and so I looked closer, and realized the plants in the surrounding area also had these white little bugs on them, except some (very few of the white/grey ones) were alive. I took a leaf off one plant and turned it over, and there are reddish brown bugs along with some white bugs and also brownish black specks, which I assume are eggs. I can try my best to get a picture if it would help.

I initially thought these could be spider mites, but I'm not sure. I'm not getting any helpful results on Google. I don't think they are necessarily snake mites because they aren't those black round things and I haven't seen anything on Pi, but I will check her again.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Pi is my first snake and she is my baby and I'm absolutely heartbroken that something could happen to this enclosure that I worked on for months to be perfect for her.
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Old 30-07-2018, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poofthecat View Post
I got my ball python, Pi, late May I believe. I have a vivarium that is the equivalent of a 40 gallon breeder tank in floor space, and it is naturalistic/bioactive, but I don't know how well that is going.

I have this dish of clean water in there for her, dechlorinated and everything obviously, but recently I've been seeing these white bugs in the water. I thought they were springtails, but they seem to have drowned and died in the water, and they look fuzzy, almost like flakes of dry skin.

I just cleaned out the water last night and put a rock in the dish so that if they were springtails, they could get to the rock and jump out. This morning I looked in the cage, but they weren't jumping out. They seem to have stuck to the rock and died.

This puzzled me and so I looked closer, and realized the plants in the surrounding area also had these white little bugs on them, except some (very few of the white/grey ones) were alive. I took a leaf off one plant and turned it over, and there are reddish brown bugs along with some white bugs and also brownish black specks, which I assume are eggs. I can try my best to get a picture if it would help.

I initially thought these could be spider mites, but I'm not sure. I'm not getting any helpful results on Google. I don't think they are necessarily snake mites because they aren't those black round things and I haven't seen anything on Pi, but I will check her again.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Pi is my first snake and she is my baby and I'm absolutely heartbroken that something could happen to this enclosure that I worked on for months to be perfect for her.
Sorry, couldn't figure out how to edit a post, but just as I was reading this over, one somehow got on my computer (really not sure how, but I am sitting right next to the enclosure) and it was green, if that helps.
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Old 30-07-2018, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poofthecat View Post
Sorry, couldn't figure out how to edit a post, but just as I was reading this over, one somehow got on my computer (really not sure how, but I am sitting right next to the enclosure) and it was green, if that helps.
I don't think you have mites. They would be on the snake itself, especially on its head and neck. Snake mites are dome shaped and are black, brown or dark red, and about the size of a pinhead.
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Old 30-07-2018, 07:49 PM
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from the description, they sound like Mealy Bugs. Have a google and see if that helps.
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Old 30-07-2018, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilkinss77 View Post
I don't think you have mites. They would be on the snake itself, especially on its head and neck. Snake mites are dome shaped and are black, brown or dark red, and about the size of a pinhead.
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Originally Posted by Tarron View Post
from the description, they sound like Mealy Bugs. Have a google and see if that helps.
They definitely aren't snake mites, as Pi is perfectly fine and happy and there is nothing on her at all. They also definitely aren't mealy bugs, but thank you for the suggestion. I thought they were spider mites, but upon closer inspection of a living white bug and a living brown one (which both look the same, just different colours), they don't look like spider mites, and maybe not mites at all?

I was digging around the cage, removing some plants that were dying, and I have some more information that could help.

They seem to stay at the surface. The only places I've seen them are at the left of the cage on the plants or in the water (mostly dead in the water). They come in white and shades of brown from red to greenish tints- I'm wondering if that possibly could be their food, as well as a bright reddish orange. Their bodies are kind of shaped like arrow-heads and they have two little black eyes, barely visible but I could just make them out. It's really hard to see, but I think they only have six legs and two antennae, which, if I'm correct with mites being arachnids with eight legs, would point to them not being mites.

It may also be worth mentioning that I have also encountered fruit flies (as well as larva) in my cage, which haven't so much been a problem as much as annoying.
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Old 30-07-2018, 08:18 PM
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Sounds like mealy bug to me too,not mites


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Old 30-07-2018, 09:32 PM
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Any pictures of the enclosure and offenders ?
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:21 PM
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Sounds like it might be aphids, they come in all different sizes and colours (Not just the common greenfly/blackfly)

Pretty sure aphids have 6 legs and love plants, have you noticed a horrible sticky substance on or around the plants?

Also, your opening post says you dechlorinate the snakes water. If it's drinking tap water you do that to, don't bother, just give the snake the tap water
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:57 PM
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are you sure they arenít just springtails? the backbone of any bioactive viv
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:21 PM
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Welcome


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