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Old 07-06-03, 10:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry mites question

i have a pet cat will the mites on my snake get on the cat? and can they live on him? my provent-a-mite is coming ina few days.

also i was wondering. if mites are very common in the wild, what do snakes do in the wild when they get mites? will they just die because they move so much in the wild?

thanks guys
i hate mite they really piss me off.
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Old 07-06-03, 11:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,
No the mites will not live on your cat. They are host specific, living only on snakes.

In the wild, snakes have way more room to roam around. The mites don't have a chance to breed to much.
In captivity: a few mites get into your cage. The conditions are good (stable, high temp) and there is readily available lunch always 2 ft away. Nothing ever comes to kill the mites or eggs. The mites continue to multiply and settle in on the snake.
In the wild: a few mites get together in a colony. Some get wiped out by wind, some by cold or rain and others by predators or starvation. They spread out, breeding, but not in great numbers in one concentrated area. A snake picks up a couple when it's sleeping or moving, but thats it.

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Old 07-06-03, 11:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Also snakes can make it unfavourable for the mites by soaking/swiming a while. in a cage the mites just hop off and wait for the snake to come out, they can't always do this in the wild.
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Old 07-07-03, 02:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey Remsin76,

I just had a conversation about this with someone else from here, She sent me this. I had seen it before but couldn't put my hands on it. However here you go, print it out and keep it handy..just in case..

Getting rid of mites:

How to know:
There are a couple ways to check and see if your snake has mites. It is best to do it before or as soon as you purchase it, so you can attack the problem if there is one before it can hurt your snake anymore. If you thought mites didn't really hurt snakes but were just a minor annoyance, you were very wrong. A mite infestation can stress a snake out so much that it will refuse to eat, mites can transmit blood diseases from snake to snakes, and mites can dehydrate the snake. If you catch it early, though, there will likely be no harm done and your snake will okay soon!
Anyway, how to diagnose the presence of mites. If the snake is spending any amount of time soaking in his water dish, then you know something is wrong, as carpets don't soak unless there is a problem. Remove the snake from the water and inspect it. See any little black specs? Probably mites! Another way is seeing them on your hands after you handle the snake. Don't worry, they can't live on people, but kill them with a fingernail as soon as you see one! The third way is when you go looking for mites, you may notice them burrowed under a chin scale or stomach scale. You can also take a piece of paper towel, wet it a little bit, and run it down the snake's back. If you see "walking pepper" or little black specs then your snake is unfortunately being a victim to dozens to hundreds to thousands of tiny parasites.


What to use?

Now that you know your snake has mites, you can go about treating him for it. There are a number of ways, such as little sticky pads that mites are attracted to. When they walk on it, they are stuck and die there. However the fumes can kill the snakes (so use only a little piece and remove it for a few hours daily), and don't kill the eggs.
The next is Provent-A-Mite or Black Knight. Both are pesticides and both claim to kill mites and eggs effectively and without harming the animal. However if you talk to people about it, many will say one is great and the other will kill the snake. Both can be effective, but use common sense as both can kill. Follow the directions to the letter, and if you have a young snake or a snake that is already sick, then for Pete's sake don't use either of those products! Both products cost between 30 and 50 dollars.
What I have found works best, quickest and cheapest is Nix. Perhaps you remember it from you or your child's youth when there was a lice outbreak at school? Well surely a product intended to be used on children's heads is pretty safe for a snake! Nix shampoo is sold at drug stores and goes for about 11 bucks. It kills mites and eggs.


Step one - Preparation:
I think it is best to use Nix only when it's diluted. I feel safer about using it that way, and it still effective. Anyway, mix a tablespoon or so in a couple cups of warm water, in a clean spray/mister bottle. Shake it up good so it's all mixed together.

Step two - Preparing the tank:
Chuck the substrate you're currently using. Rocks or pieces of wood can be boiled to kill any mites, but I like to boil them and spray them. Remove the water dish and wash it thoroughly in dish soap. Rinse it and let it dry. You don't want to get any Nix in the water so as not to poison the snake. You can spray down the snake with the Nix solution, but I like to take the snake out and do it with my hands so I get it everywhere except in his eyes.
Now you can spray down the tank. Don't be afraid to soak it completely! Spray every nook and cranny! Spray down rocks and wood and anything else in the tank too (lift them up so you can cover them completely with the Nix solution). Also spray the surrounding area.

Step three - The snake:
Now for the snake. If you sprayed him while he was in the tank, it's still a good idea to take him out and put Nix on him with your hands in case you missed a spot. If you didn't spray him in the tank, well then you really need to cover him with your hands. Hopefully your snake is tolerant of handling, and you can gently rub him down with your hands. Spray your hands generously with the Nix solution and rub down the snake, carefully putting some on all over his head with a finger. When you're done the snake should be sopping wet all over (except his eyes and in his mouth of course).

Step four - Putting it all back:
By the time you're finished soaking the snake, the tank and tank furniture should be relatively dry. Put new paper towel on the bottom of the tank, replace all the rocks and hide boxes etc and put the snake back. When everything is one hundred percent dry you can put the clean water dish filled with fresh water back in the tank.

Step five - Doing it all again!:
It's easy to miss a couple mites, and if you did then the infestation will just grow again. To prevent this, repeat the entire process in a week to ten days later. Then two weeks after that. You should have more than enough Nix to last that long. After doing it three times, you really should have killed at the mites and eggs and you're now happy and unstressed with a comfortable, healthy, mite-free snake!

Last edited by jwsporty; 07-07-03 at 02:55 AM..
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Old 07-07-03, 06:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a Prehensile tailed skink that had snake mites GALORE when I got her.
I did not want to use any chemilcal means to treat the mites, so I used the "old fashioned method". I soaked her in a warm bath on a daily basis, and when she was done in there, I coated her body and head (very carefully avoiding her eyes!) with vegetable oil. I rubbed it one her in the direction of growth of her scales...then rubbed it against the growth of her scales, thus forcing some underneath. I did this daily for about a week....and each day washed out her enclosure with HOT soapy water....then rinsed well, and dried it out with papertowels.
I used an old towel as her substrate, so I could toss that into a hot water wash as well, to kill any stray mites.
Her hide was made out of cardboard...again...disposable.
DILEGENCE is the key...no matter what method you choose!
But I have no complaints with the method I used...and would use it again IF I ever need to.
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Old 07-07-03, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Another thing that helps keep parasites down in the wild is the UV from the sun.
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Old 07-07-03, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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jwsporty I wrote that its great to see people are using it!
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Old 07-08-03, 12:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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haha I was about to say that Zoe. I was talking to him the other night and couldnt remember which member I got it from It was very helpful when I had my break out, thats for sure! so I copied it to a word document and forgot to put your name on it. Sorry o>

One thing though about this quote
Quote:
They are host specific, living only on snakes.
I swear my snake got them from the mice
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Old 07-08-03, 12:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thats no problem! I wrote them so people could help their snakes, I don't care about recognision. I might get a little irritated if someone claimed to have written it, but I have no problem with it being copied, printed, posted etc etc without my name on it.

I really doubt that... mites don't live on mammals (not the snake kinds, anyway). Maybe you got them from where you got the mice?

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Old 07-08-03, 12:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well I wouldnt doubt it since I bought them from the ever popular PetWoes
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Old 07-08-03, 12:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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thats a possibility then... walk out with a few on your clothes then go feed your snakes :\
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Old 07-08-03, 03:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have seen three types of mites that could be distinguished with the naked eye, black, brown, and red. I have only seen the red appear on collected North American specimens, and I have seen the brown and black on imports from everywhere. It was always my understanding that mites were able to thrive well inside the ears of rabbits. I used to feed my burms live and I had to seven dust them about 3 times a year. In 2000 I moved to frozen rabbits and have not had mites since. Zoe, do you think that is only coincidence?
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Old 07-08-03, 10:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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SCReptiles - yeah, I do, because I've read up on mites and as far as I have found they are host specific. Of horse, I could be wrong - and will keep this in mind for the future.

Thanks for the info!

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Old 07-09-03, 06:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey Zoe,

I knew there was a reason I joined this site...recognition duly given..

Unknownclown: The Nix is now in arsenal of snake goodies..


Jim
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Old 07-10-03, 01:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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so since the mites are only on reptiles, whats this i hear about feeding live will cause mites?

also, i am using provent-a-mite now. how long do i ahve to use it till there are positively no mites left?? i sprayed down the whole tank and the lid of the tank.

if the porvent-a-mite is workgin will i soon see a lot of deat little mites on the paper towel substrate?

also another question, maybe this is stupid but why doesnt the sheed get rid of mites since they are living ont he skin? assumintg that i remove the snake immediately after shed so the mites dont get back on him.
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