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i found really little bugs in my enclosure

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by heyprettyrave, Aug 20, 2010.

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  1. heyprettyrave

    heyprettyrave New Member

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    today i was digging around and say these really really little bugs in my redfoots enclosure, i wouldnt have seen them if my face wasnt right in the dirt, but i wasnt sure if i should be concerned or not?
  2. Kristina

    Kristina New Member

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    Probably springtails or silverfish. I wouldn't worry too much.
  3. heyprettyrave

    heyprettyrave New Member

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    just as long as they're nothing to worry about
  4. j156ghs

    j156ghs Member

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    I have seen the same very small insects in my tort's habitat. They often are found scurrying among rocks and once I found about a half dozen under the tort's half-eaten food pile. That concerned me. Other than that, he seems fine but as in related posts, I can see how it might bother him if these things are crawling on him, especially if they get into skin folds. A tort can't scratch or lick its hindquarters. I put a small spider in the enclosure but got worried about toxicity if he bit the tort.

    I'm now using a pygmy chameleon who seems content to live in the plants and the more humid, less bright area the tort doesn't use often; so they cohabitate well. I see the pygmy patrolling the ground in the early morning light, and he likes to eat the bugs. Once he spots them, the pygmy can get into areas where the bugs hide because he shoots out his tongue after them. I did keep the chameleon in quarantine for six weeks before placing him in with the tortoise. Better safe, than sorry. Mind you, I don't know if this a good idea, keeping the two species together, so let me know if anyone has had a negative experience. I do closely monitor the situation, as I'm home most days. At the first sign of a change for the worse in either's condition, I'd remove the chameleon.
  5. matt41gb

    matt41gb New Member

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    Mites can be a problem. They can be red, orange, gray, or black. They are very hard to get rid of.

    -Matt
  6. Madkins007

    Madkins007 Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    If these are tiny, greyish, and really fast or can hop, they are springtails or something similar and are absolutely NOT a problem. Mites, as Matt suggested, are a different story.
  7. SILVERSTAR

    SILVERSTAR New Member

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    I personally would NOT mix the two species,if it did take a turn for the worst it would be to llate by then,they can spread pathogens back and forth and the mites assist that process,ive raised toads and frogs and had bad mite problems in the past....spot clean often and keep up on the enclosure by changing substrate often.
  8. jrholls

    jrholls Member

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    I've found that repti-bark (Fir bark) has lots of mites in it. Had to stop using it.
  9. j156ghs

    j156ghs Member

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    I had read about so many other tiny bugs on this list but not mites (that I recall). Is there a way to ID them as mites, and how are they a problem -- I mean, as a nuisance, a health threat, etc.? How would I rid a habitat of them? Mites remind me of the type I have seen around bird's nests and feeders, the blood-sucking kind. Don't need that.
  10. Ruby's Mom

    Ruby's Mom New Member

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    So can cats and dogs but we still keep them together.

    As long as the tort doesn't try to eat the chameleon they will be perfectly fine. House Geckos are also a good choice. I don't see a problem with tree frogs either. I don't see anyone separating them in the wild....
  11. j156ghs

    j156ghs Member

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    They are a sort of transculent or opaque white, I guess you might say a bit gray. Do these sound like springtails. Also, I live in Colorado, so what might be the most likely species given my location. I planted a few outdoor greens before a frost. Prior to that, I didn't notice any or they were so few in number that I didn't notice them.
  12. Madkins007

    Madkins007 Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Springtails live everywhere and are active in cold weather- hence the name snow fleas. Some article suggested it may be one of the most common species on Earth by sheer numbers- thousands can be found in a small bit of dirt.

    They like the moist habitats, and may be breeding in there. They are harmless enough that it is not worth working to kill them, although pillbugs and worms eat their young.
  13. Balboa

    Balboa New Member

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    Springtails are actually really beneficial from what I read on them a while back. A primary part of their diet appears to be mold spores, which are a real hazard that can likely pop up in a "tropical" enclosure, and is the reason everyone went to "open" enclosures a few years back.

    Now that we've realized open enclosures really don't work for tropical species, we're back to dealing with mold.

    I think that's the beauty of the bio-active substrate that I tried thanks to Mark's suggestion. With my enclosure loaded with all kinds of creepy crawlies just like in nature, things are kept in more of a balance. (though as I mentioned in another thread today, aphids wiped out some of my plants).
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