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Old 12-31-16, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

So one of our baby boas was soaking in his water dish because he's about to shed. The thing is, he's been soaking for like 3 days, which is odd. And then I saw it; black stuff in the water. So we soaked him in the bathtub and it was like a horror story! He definitely has mites. He shares a tank with a sibling and another baby close in age. They all share a room with other pythons and boas. But no one else has mites. It's not a bad case; I'm praying we caught it in time.

I have some questions though:

1) how did he get mites and no one else in the room has them?

2) upon inspection we see no mites on him, but they drop off and drown when he gets soaked. Why can't we see them?

3) our trusted pet store says to use preventamide (sp). To use it in the tank, let it dry in the tank, put white towels or paper towels down, and keep the water out for 24 hours before putting it back in. While the tank is being treated, wash them in warm water with a little bit of Dawn, and soak all wood accessories. Sage advice? Any bad experiences with this pesticide?

4) how long will it last? We have 10 snakes in a carpeted room. Will the mites live in the carpet? Do we need to treat the carpet with something?

5) can mites live on cats? We have cats. Is it like fleas where it can cross species to survive? Do I have to treat the cats?
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Old 12-31-16, 11:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

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Originally Posted by GyGbeetle View Post
He shares a tank with a sibling and another baby close in age.
I imagine that someone is going to harp on this, but now you have at least 3 animals instead of one that you need to be concerned for mites. I cannot give any example for keeping multiple snakes together, but typical you do not for other reasons.

Inspection:
Use a wet paper towel to check. Have them crawl through or rub on them. This is something mentioned here and elsewhere.

PAM/ Provent-A-Mite:
Be very careful with this. Maybe a couple months back, someone with a hognose didn't air out or rinse out (never used it yet) enough and was affected by the chemical. Many a worried post. Otherwise, it seems to be the go to here and my vet likes the stuff.

I'm sorry I cannot offer any real insight or anything from personal experience.
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Old 12-31-16, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

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Originally Posted by REM955 View Post
I imagine that someone is going to harp on this, but now you have at least 3 animals instead of one that you need to be concerned for mites. I cannot give any example for keeping multiple snakes together, but typical you do not for other reasons.
I've done so much research on housing boas together, and there are some for and some against, most are reputable herpetologists. In about a year everyone will be split, or at least housed in an enclosure that is ample sized for more than 1 big boa. Our retics are all housed separately. They don't like each other even though they were purchased in the same enclosure from the pet store. But that's a whole other post!

So yes, we have 3 that have mites. But we're going to treat everyone as if they were all infected. I have no clue where the mites came from, other than the last trade show we went to in early December, where a vendor was confirmed to have mites. We didn't buy anything, but we did cuddle some snakes and a tegu.
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Old 12-31-16, 11:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

1. Assume everything has them. A fully mature mite can travel 30 feet/hr.

2. Live mites hide deep between the scales and are in the substrate and in nooks and crannies within the cage or on cage furniture. For every 1 you see there's 10 or 15 that you don't. You can't spot the eggs and they stick to things.

3. I prefer the nix method. The search function of this forum is your friend and will give you a lot of information on different methods.

4. Mites can live in the carpet. Getting rid of mites properly will require multiple treatments no matter thr method.

5. They won't bother your cats. Snake mites are just that.

Unfortunately refuting your research, and I say this with respect but also quite bluntly, I see no reason or benefit to cohabitate neonates of this species together, only risk and complication, such as transmissable health problems like ectoparasites for example. You most likely picked up some "hitch hikers" from the show.

Last edited by Andy_G; 01-01-17 at 12:48 AM..
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Old 01-01-17, 10:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

With only three snakes you will have it comparatively easy to most. PAM works just fine and is approved for use on reptiles but I did have a problem with a very, very small hatchlings twitching until I removed then for 24 hours away from PAM. I would let the PAM dry out for 24 hours. That's probably longer than required, but after having an situation where the snakes were twitching and one could not right itself, I'd rather not take any chances. All of the available products can harm or kill your snakes if used improperly. I would recommend doubling to quadrupling whatever you expect that actual drying time to take. Do not apply PAM directly to the snake. People have successfully used many methods but NIX and PAM are the most popular methods I've seen discussed and both have worked for many people. There is also a product you can get at petco called Reptile Relief that is safe to use directly on the snake, but that product alone will not likely clear out the mites and they will keep coming back unless you treat the substrate with one of the aforementioned powerful chemicals.
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Old 01-01-17, 10:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

I thought that you treat the substrate preemptively, not in the event of an outbreak.
Paper towels for use during the outbreak was what I thought you were supposed to do.
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Old 01-01-17, 12:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

Right now it's only 3 snakes. But without knowing why only 1 tank was affected, I'm not taking any chances. We've soaked almost all the snakes, and no one else had mites fall off of them in the water, so I'm hopeful. But still very scared.

Since these guys are young (born in May), should I only use the PAM in the tanks and not a topical? The mites appear to be babies (very small, not readily engorged), so I think maybe we caught it in time? So perhaps only 1 line of treatment will be successful? I don't know. I'll ask the pet store people what their thoughts are. And will definitely treat all the tanks.

As for the paper towels, we have white towels where you can easily see mites. We have quite a bit of these. Is it just the issue with seeing the mites die that you're supposed to use paper towels?
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Old 01-01-17, 01:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

That, and the disposability.
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Old 01-01-17, 01:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

I like Nix I've had to only treat once so far for mites and since then I've treated all new additions for mites and had no problems since. I also treat everything myself, clothes, car, carpet, shoes, and anything else I bought for mites after shows or a pet store.

Only the three have visual mites since that's where they started. Younger mites are not visible to the eye and mites travel very far in a short amount of time. If you have snakes in other rooms treat those too, plus mites can hitchhike on you or the cats. Mites can live awhile without eating so if you aren't treating the ground and around the cages even your clothes and anywhere you might have taken them they can come back months later to bother you again. Takes months to confirm if you are actually mite free once again.

Paper towels make it easier to check for them and treat. You can't treat all aspen or chips or dirt but you can soak a paper towel easily enough with the mite treatment. No where for mites to hide from the treatment in the cage. If you have big snakes it will be more difficult to treat since the mites can really get under the scales to hide.

Interesting article I found awhile ago on mites and their lifecycle.
The Life History of Snake Mites | Vida Preciosa International, Inc.
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Old 01-01-17, 02:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

That's a good article. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 01-01-17, 03:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

The store was very helpful and we have a clear path. We were told to use JurassiMite instead of Nix because of their age. As long as we can keep the mites out of the tanks, we've removed their source of food and hatchlings will only last up to a month without a food source, so treating all the tanks as if it's infected seems to be the way to go. We have one snake in quarantine that can't be treated until the vet gives us the green light, so I hope these mites don't travel too far.

Thanks for all the advice and the great article. I really appreciate this forum, and glad I came across it. Hope everyone has a great rest of their day
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Old 01-02-17, 11:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

Hope the treatment works for you. I've never used Jurassic Mite before so I can't speak to the effectiveness of it. I know that the Nix treatment works wonders and is safe. I use it on all my snakes from hatchlings to adults with no issues.
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Old 01-02-17, 11:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

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Originally Posted by SWDK View Post
Hope the treatment works for you. I've never used Jurassic Mite before so I can't speak to the effectiveness of it. I know that the Nix treatment works wonders and is safe. I use it on all my snakes from hatchlings to adults with no issues.
How soon after you begin treatment do you start to see results? We did all the tanks last night with the PAM stuff, gave everyone a bubble bath in Dawn, put the JurassiMite stuff on them, and put them on top of paper towels once the tanks had aired out for a little over 4 hours. That was late yesterday. Looked into the known infected tanks, and I'm not really seeing copious amounts of dead black things, like I would've expected. So we applied a second treatment of JurassiMite to th snakes we know are infected, and I'm still not seeing a whole lot of black things popping off their bodies and fleeing into their doom of a PAM barrier.

Now I've had a flea infestation once while I was a cat rescuer. I put that flea spray on the cat with fleas, and it was literally like rats fleaing from a sinking ship. I would've expected to see the same thing with snake mites. Is this a bad assumption to have?
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Old 01-02-17, 12:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

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Originally Posted by GyGbeetle View Post
How soon after you begin treatment do you start to see results? We did all the tanks last night with the PAM stuff, gave everyone a bubble bath in Dawn, put the JurassiMite stuff on them, and put them on top of paper towels once the tanks had aired out for a little over 4 hours. That was late yesterday. Looked into the known infected tanks, and I'm not really seeing copious amounts of dead black things, like I would've expected. So we applied a second treatment of JurassiMite to th snakes we know are infected, and I'm still not seeing a whole lot of black things popping off their bodies and fleeing into their doom of a PAM barrier.

Now I've had a flea infestation once while I was a cat rescuer. I put that flea spray on the cat with fleas, and it was literally like rats fleaing from a sinking ship. I would've expected to see the same thing with snake mites. Is this a bad assumption to have?
With the Nix I saw a lot dead mites the next day. I would estimate there was about 40-50 dead ones. I continues to decreasing numbers of dead mites over a 2 week period.

I spray the enclosure and snakes with the Nix. I repeat the Nix applications every 3-4 days. I'll be doing that for a 3 month period just to be extra sure I've killed them off.

My retic is the only snake in my collection that's had mites since 2012. I was fortunate my recent mite issue didn't spread beyond the retic.
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Old 01-02-17, 10:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Mites!!!! OMG we have mites!!!

We didn't apply any treatment to the paper towels before putting down paper towels, but we treated the entire enclosure with PAM and sprayed them with the JurassiMite. I think I'm just going to go with Nix and purchase some tomorrow. Because there was not a lot of black things on the paper towels today. We have them soaking and did another inspection and I think the mites are getting better at hiding because we aren't seeing a lot of mites under the scales as we did yesterday or the day before.

I think I need to take some herp courses and some reptile vet med courses. I feel so ignorant with all of this. It's so stressful!!!! We checked another 2 boas that we thought had mites yesterday and we don't see anything on them either. I don't know. I do know that I'll be treating these enclosures every 3 months from now on, when all these mites are dead, because I do NOT want to go through this again. All I need is for my human kids to get lice to top off the last 30 days
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