Mites inside superworm colony

Discussion in 'Other Animals and Invertebrate' started by Khronoz, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. Khronoz

    Khronoz Not so new Member

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    Forgot to check my colony for 2 weeks and when i checked today i saw thousands of these mites on the walls and lid.

    Chucked out all the oat bran and hosed the container so i guess i have to restart the colony next week. I already have a few superworms pupating so thats not too much of an issue but its a shame had to chuck it out.

    Any idea what these mites are specifically, if they are harmful, any tips to prevent them or jus any info at all?[​IMG]

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  2. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    You won't quickly eliminate all of them, at least without killing your superworms. If you just try to wash the tub and start again doing the same thing, you'll miss a few and quickly be back to square one very quickly. They aren't exactly harmful, but they're annoying and they'll multiply quickly and eat all your oat bran etc. The way to deal with them is to change the conditions so that they're not favourable to the mites, the mites will very quickly reduce in number so that you'll barely notice them, and after a while they'll disappear completely unless you have a reserve colony or source of continual reintroduction, but as long as you're keeping the conditions correct, you won't have any problem with these mites. I call them citrus mites because of the smell they make when you squash them.

    Fortunately, the ideal conditions for your superworms are hostile for these mites, so by making things bad for the mites you'll make conditions better for your superworms. I see you're using a Quadrant tub, it looks like you don't have any ventilation in the lid. These mites thrive in high humidity and low air flow. Superworms can't climb Quadrant tubs, so either leave the lid off, which in itself should solve the problem (lower humidity and more air flow) or use generous ventilation. If you still have trouble, put the superworm tub on a warm surface (I use the top of a snake cage) which will dry it out and keep the insects nice and warm which will make them grow faster too, and make sure you always leave a water source (I offer small pieces of carrot once or twice per week). Even if you have a huge infestation, it will vanish almost literally overnight with the right conditions. The dry conditions will help prevent minor fungus/mould issues which will improve the health of your colony and you'll get better hatch rates with your eggs.
     
  3. Khronoz

    Khronoz Not so new Member

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    Ah yeah i reckon it was the lack of ventilation. The tub does have fly mesh on the lid but it was kept inside a cabinet to keep it dark for them. Definitely keeping the lid tho as the beetles are strangely good at climbing.

    Where do u reckon they come from? Im suspecting they come from the oats so next time im going to microwave it beforehand to kill any potential eggs

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  4. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    I've never found them to need to be kept dark.

    As I said, you won't eliminate every single one of them, any I've never found eradication through eliminating them then keeping them out to be successful. If you have the right conditions you'll never see one, even though they will find their way in from time to time. If you have the wrong conditions, you'll have issues as soon as a couple of mites find their way in, and currently, you're certain to have a few of them here, there and everywhere. With no exaggeration, when I first had those things I had colonies of various things swarming with them to the point that you could literally scoop up a significant quantity of pure mites, they were that dense. But, you can get a colony that extreme and put it in the right conditions and the next day they'll virtually all be gone, and within 2-3 days you won't be able to find a single one. The key is to keep conditions correct, and you'll never have an issue. They can come in from a range of sources, they're just a generalist, free living mite.
     

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