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Mites!.... maybe...?

Ok so I've had my bearded dragon for 2+ years and hese in an enclosure with substrate and a plant. I love his enclosure and him and I've always been a bit mite paranoid, so I always wash my hands or sanitize before touching him.

Now at one point I had a hypoaspis mite scare but found them to not be harmful, eventually they died off. But this did afford me the opportunity to research mites, find out what they look like and in general how they move.

When I got dubia roaches I was always in a constant fight with grain mites, and lost a huge colony, eventually I after my move, I got a new roach colony, I moved into an rv and it's nice, but not ultra roomy enough to have a bunch of bins everywhere to do a bunch of cleaning. At some point I noticed what I thought was mites in the roach bins, so I banished them forever outside. And then I sprayed provent a mite in the area I kept them

Fast forward a week and I noticed a bug on my buddy and. Squished it. I gave him a thorough look over and didn't see any others.

Fast forward 2 weeks and now I saw another one! And looked him over and saw 4 more running around his folds. So my first thought is mites, but I'm looking at mite pictures online and... they don't look the same. They don't look red or black, they look brown to tan and they aren't really bulbous from what I can tell.

From what I can tell i can see a few around the enclosure if I look really close, but only because I can see them moving partials of substrate. They are more elongated like springtails, and they don't seem to jump when blown on like springtails, however they are fast!

Now rewind a few years back I remember see a bug like this on my bussy and killed it but never say them again except occasionally on the substrate...

Now back to present day... my busy seems pretty normal, hese not thin, still head bobs jumps around his enclosure, but me? im so tired. I just moved and now I'm having to start 2 new businesses... im literally running on fumes and I don't think I have it in me to do a full decontamination. I'm considering predatory mites, but im wondering if they could be anything else. Could they be baby gnats? Baby fruit flies? Anywaything? I did notice someone on the boards mentions if they are tan or brown they could be scavengers.... any thoughts?

Just looking at him I'd never be able to tell he has mites. I only saw them at night when it gets cool, and I moved to a micro climate where it's hot during the day but really cold at night., when I had Buffalo beetles sometimes they would lodg themselves between his legs during the night. Could these be scavengers just trying to get out of the drop in temperature?

Also another thing, when moving I had to put the substrate Ina. Bag and to my knowledge all the springtails and Buffalo beetles died, so my preventative methods were disabled and haven't gotten around to getting springtails again.
 

CooperDragon

Moderator
Staff member
Can you post some photos of what you're seeing? It's possible they are fruit flies. Those tend to dart around quite a bit though, and won't burrow (or harm your dragon). It might be worth setting up a fruit fly trap nearby (mix apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap in a jar) and see what it collects. I'm fighting an infestation in my colony at the moment as well and the traps work well to reduce them (combined with not leaving food in the enclosure).

Grain mites are a pain too. I haven't had to deal with them in a long time, but the only thing I found to help was to reduce the ambient humidity down below about 40% which seemed to kill them all off.

If you can post some photos of what you're seeing crawling around your dragon's scales, it would be helpful for identification.
 

Crisisalive

Member
Original Poster
Sorry it took so long to reply.... im trying to figure out how to get a picture posted. But in the meantime, I know I can kill them with just a tap of the finger. So I have the picture. They don't seem very visible often during the day. What I did though is Ordered some predatory mites, but even though I ordered 12 k I only saw.... 1 as in a single adult.... so .... I dunno If thats enough to work. I know when I had white mites before your supposed to reduce the humidity. This time since I put the whitish one in I have to increase the humidity so..... we will have to see... I dunno I thought there would be more visible ones.... so far I've only seen 1 brown mite in the last 2 days....
 

CooperDragon

Moderator
Staff member
You can upload photos here https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ then post them to your thread using the XIMG button when you reply.

In this case, I think the video is more helpful. I can see them moving around, but I'm not sure what they are. Do you see them fly at all? They look about the size of a fruit fly. I'd be curious to see if you put a cider vinegar trap nearby if you'd catch anything.

If they are mites, then perhaps some soaks in a diluted betadine bath would help. That would likely only get rid of the ones on the skin though, so a solution would be needed to clean them from the rest of the enclosure.
 
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