Possible Sand Mites?

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Possible Sand Mites?

Postby FrozenIceCubes » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:49 pm

Hello, I just got a bearded dragon from a pet store yesterday and I am still learning how to provide the best care. Their name is Dorito and I believe that they are about 2 weeks old. It's still too early for me to tell their exact gender but I have been referring to them as he. Anyways, about 2 hours ago I thought I noticed a very, and I mean VERRY small, tan bug running down my hand while I was holding him. However, I shook it off thinking that it was just a stray piece of sand and that my eyes were just playing tricks on me as I had just gotten home from a long shift at work. Then just about 20 minutes when I went to check on Dorito I noticed one of these very small tan bugs on his face. He didn't seem to be irritated by it but it is still concerning to me. He is currently in a 10-gallon tank (I have plans to purchase the 40-gallon bearded dragon kit by zoo med next Friday) and has the desert blend ground english walnut shells from the brand Zilla as his bedding. I'm wondering if many I just so happened to get a bag that was contaminated with these little bugs?
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Re: Possible Sand Mites?

Postby Reptilelady » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:49 am

Hello and Welcome!
Please get rid of the Zilla Bedding ASAP. It is extremely bad for them and can cause a lot of issues. Take a look at this bearded dragon caresheet https://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/caresheet/

I am pretty sure the bugs are coming from that Zilla Bedding. The best thing you can do is remove the bedding right away, disinfect the entire enclosure, put in tiles or newspaper and give your beardie a nice clean bath with Reptisafe. Keep an eye out if you still see these bugs.
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Re: Possible Sand Mites?

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:04 am

Please do not buy the "kit" your going to be purchasing a lot of junk you will not need --- it is better to buy everything separate - you can look at getting a tank from FB marketplace or craigslist - look for a tank w/ front doors - also the kit comes w/ a 13 watt UVB COIL that is a death coil - you need a Reptisun 10.0 TUBE either a T 5 or a T 8 w a/ fixture w/ reflector I recommend a 24 " fixture --- NO COILS - NO COLORED BULBS AND NO SAND---- babies are clumsy and eat and lick everything --- sand causes impaction -- you can use paper towels or newspaper for now - or you can get some textured NON adhesive shelf liner from your local home improvement store it is cheap and easy to clean w/ vinegar/ water 50/50 in a spray bottle --- if you need more info please ask questions
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Re: Possible Sand Mites?

Postby ComicBookMama » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:10 am

+1 to both prior posts; loose substrate really isn't the best for baby beardies (or any beardies, really) and you'll find paper towels or newsprint much easier to keep clean and change out until you decide what hard substrate to use (shelf liner, tile, etc.)

Also reinforcing that the "complete kits" are just a moneymaking scheme... lots of the stuff in it is not necessary, or is the worst possible quality (see KarrieRee's comments on the coil UV bulb... ugh). When I got set up for my beardie, I used the "Newbies: What to Buy"
https://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/newbies-guide-what-to-buy/care sheet and was set up beautifully. Use that as your shopping list. It will save you money and stress. :D
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