Ahh! Mites!!

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Ironmind91, Oct 2, 2015.

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  1. Ironmind91

    Ironmind91 Not so new Member

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    Hi everyone, I just discovered one of my pythons has mites floating in his water bowl! I'm sure there are other topics on this, but does anyone have a good way of getting rid of them? I've never had this problem before so I have no idea what to do. The male has them, but his tank is right next to my female so how do I effectively "quarantine" him so she won't get them as well? Any advice would be great, like I said I've never had this problem before so I'm kind of freaking out a bit. I've read you should soak them in a bath, but he has been soaking himself for days already (in his shed cycle) and I've been changing his water and today is the first day mites have been floating in it. Is a vet trip in order?

    has anyone used this before? Top of Descent Aircraft Insecticide
     
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  2. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    You'll have to treat the snakes and the enclosures of both animals - you will never be sure that your other snake is clear of them and you'll just end up having to do it all again a week or a month later.

    Forget the vet trip - the enclosures and the room will need treatment as well. Place the snakes in separate clean white or plain, pale coloured pillowcases, and remove from the room in which they live. Leave ALL substrate and cage furnishings in place in the enclosures, and leave them wide open. Depending on the size of the room, use the appropriate number of cockroach/flea bombs (from supermarket) to fumigate the room and everything in it. Leave it closed for at least 3-4 hours to allow penetration into all crevices and spaces. Once the room is ventilated, the residue these leave is not harmful to the snakes, but will prevent any remaining mites from developing into adults.

    Treat the snakes separately - you can either get some Orange Medic from the chemist, dilute it 2 parts water to one part OM, and swab the snakes thoroughly with this mix, taking special care to cover the area around the head, chin, eyes and labial pits (mites congregate around these areas). Leave this on the snakes. Place into fresh clean pillowcases and check in 24 hours to see if there are any live mites moving on the fabric. This is unlikely. You can also place the snakes in plastic tubs with enough water to just cover the snakes, a place a firm-fitting lid on the tub The snakes will sit in the water with just their noses showing above the water. Add a few drops of dishwashing detergent to the water to act as a wetting agent (mites drown easily on a wet snake) and leave the snakes in there overnight (at least 12 hours) in a warm place. Remove the snakes and place in pillowcases as per the previous method. Both these techniques work very well.

    Once the room is opened and ventilated, remove all substrate and cage furnishings. Replace with fresh substrate, and wash all furnishings, branches, waterbowls etc in hot soapy water, allow to dry and replace in the enclosure. If you can, use clean white butcher's paper on the floor of the enclosure for about 4 weeks, so that you can see if there are mites moving again. They will show up as pinhead-sized black dots, or a brown smear on the paper where they are squashed by the snake as it moves around.

    Seems like a workup, but if you don't effectively treat the enclosures and the area around them in the room, you'll get them back after a few weeks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  3. james066

    james066 Not so new Member

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    Hey,
    I haven't used 'top of descent aircraft insecticide' for a number of years, although I seem to remember it getting the job done. I've recently found 'mac mite insecticide' to be pretty effective on mites and ticks also.
    You should definitely do as pythoninfinite has suggested and treat all enclosures and surrounding areas!
     
  4. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    Yep, great advice.
    They show back up because of the life cycle. You'll kill the adults but the eggs that the mite has laid will hatch and there you go again, so its a bit of a process to break that cycle.
     
  5. Ironmind91

    Ironmind91 Not so new Member

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    Wow what a reply, thank you so much everyone. I didn't expect such awesome answers, really means a lot! Okay awesome I'll go to the chemist tomorrow and grab what I need. This orange medic stuff, what exactly is it? Some kind of steriliser or something? I'll ask for it tomorrow. With the washing liquid, what are the chances of one of them drinking it? Again really appreciate the help guys.
     
  6. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great advice, I used Mac Mite spray in my enclosures and area surrounding them, and used a diluted Mite spray (can't remember what it was, maybe Ivermectin) for my RSP as he was only young and TOD and the other sprays weren't recommended for youngsters. I also soaked him in water with a dash of dishwashing liquid every day.

    I got the mites back though because I forgot to repeat the procedure for some stupid reason.

    THen had to go through the whole process again. But did the repeat in the required time and no more mites.

    @pythoninfinite, do you not need to rinse the Orange Medic off?
     
  7. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Orange Medic was the standard treatment for nits in childrens hair, so i suppose it is a relatively safe insectacide. It is not very common now in chemists, but anything that kills mites or ticks on mammals seems to kill snake mites. Ivermectin spot on for dogs works. Permoxin is also popular. The problem with reptiles being a relatively small market there are very few products tested and licenced for use on reptiles in Australia, and then with the passing of time we find that there are undesirable side effects.
     
  8. Ironmind91

    Ironmind91 Not so new Member

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    Wokka is there a product you could recommend? I tried looking for Orange today but both chemists I went to didn't have it. I got some flea bombs for the house though.
     
  9. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    You can buy Peroxin on line delivered to your door. Or ivermectin pour on as used for sheep. Or various dog spot ons. Permoxin will be cheapest, from memory about $80 a litre which will treat say 1000 snakes and a whole house.
     
  10. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's the one I couldn't think of, I got Permoxin and diluted it and sprayed my rsp with it. I mac Sprayed the enclosures (without the water bowels in there) and surrounding areas.

    Places like Petstock, or some vets might have Permoxin, but online you can get 250ml for around $20, plus delivery.
    http://www.vetnpetdirect.com.au/PER...25674_a_7c2113_a_7c7895_a_7c3162#.VhCBwX2LX-s

    - - - Updated - - -



    That's the one I couldn't think of, I got Permoxin and diluted it and sprayed my rsp with it. I mac Sprayed the enclosures (without the water bowels in there) and surrounding areas.

    Places like Petstock, or some vets might have Permoxin, but online you can get 250ml for around $20, plus delivery.

    VetnPet Direct has it at that price.
     
  11. Burgo89

    Burgo89 Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity what can you do to avoid getting mites in the first place?
     
  12. Wallo

    Wallo Active Member

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    URS Mac Mite spray works a treat - very easy to use and it does work - just follow directions
    I heard Brisbane is in the middle of a mite infestation due to the above average rainfall through winter - first signs of the mite problem was approx 2-3 months ago
     
  13. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Mite infestations will have little to do with high rainfall - infestations result from contact with other infested animals or clothing or cage materials. Mites have a relatively short life-cycle, just a matter of weeks, and need contact with reptiles sometime during that period. They are not a natural part of the Ozzie bush fauna - originally from Africa I seem to recall. It may be that someone with an infested collection has been distributing a few mite-affected snakes around Brissy.

    Jamie
     
  14. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Hi Jamie, I have noticed your comment on a number of occassions that mites are not part of the Australian bush fauna. I admit i dont know if they were, but suggest they are likely to be now. Call them feral if you like. With the crossover between wild and captive animals in animal shelters and hospitals, it is likely that mites now form part of Australian wildlife. I believe getting mites in a captive collection is strongly linked to luck. I dont have any proof but suggest that one could pick up mites from the Australian wild. Its just a matter of probability. I am sure there are parts of Ozzie bush which could support mites!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  15. Ironmind91

    Ironmind91 Not so new Member

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    Thanks for the help guys, I'm going to try everything suggested and see how I go. Just on the mites, I have no clue how he got them. I haven't been in contact with any other snakes in months. The only thing I can come up with is he was sold to me with them, maybe at the egg stage? Either way, wish me luck on getting rid of them!
     
  16. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wokka,
    While I'm disagreeing with you about the mites potentially being out in the wild, if someone did get them in their collection, chances are it would have been from an infected captive animal or collection.
    I'd be interested to know how Ironmind91 thinks he might have got the mites on his snake?
     
  17. Wallo

    Wallo Active Member

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    Thanks for the info on mites - I was told this by another uneducated person which I will correct about them having little to do with precipitation
     
  18. brad2506

    brad2506 New Member

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    Hi can anyone tell me what dilution ratio they have used for permoxin? or do you just follow the directions used for dogs??
     
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