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Mites in enclosure?

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by thecrawlingchaos, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. thecrawlingchaos

    thecrawlingchaos New Member

    Aug 14, 2011
    In the last 2 days I've noticed dozens if not hundreds of tiny, light-brown bugs crawling on the bottom of my leopard tortoise's water dish. I'm using cypress mulch as a substrate. It's the zoomed brand, not hardware store stuff.

    I've inspected my other animals and cages and have found nothing. My green tree python was at the vet less than a week ago and got a clean bill of health. My Egyptian uro also looks fine.

    As for the tortoise, I see no bugs on him. Not one. Either they aren't there or they are hidden in places I can't see. No bugs on my hands after handling him, either and no bugs in his bathing tub after a soak.

    I'm thinking that this isn't mites. They don't look like any mite I've ever seen, and the rest of my collection seems OK. My question is whether or not there's something else common that appears in this manner. The tortoise has been outside quite a bit lately, so maybe he's bringing in some little bugs with him? IDK. Any info or help is appreciated.
  2. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2011
    Apple Valley, California
    Springtails are annoying little buggers...but seem to not bother the torts...
  3. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Southern California
    Harmless detrivores. They are present in the environment. Tough to eliminate without a lot of effort and expense.
  4. TurtleTortoise

    TurtleTortoise Member

    Jul 15, 2011
    On the bright side if you forget to clean up something or leave lettuce in there they'll clean it up for ya eventually :p
  5. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE

    Oct 1, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    Do you still have these in your enclosure? I'd be curious to hear an update. I found this thread as I was searching for "mites".

    I have a huge infestation of them in one of my chambers right now. They don't bother the torts but when you sit still looking at the dirt for a few seconds, you notice these little guys are everywhere!! I've seen them around the dishes before but now they are all over.

    I haven't figured out what they are BUT I know what they aren't.

    They are not springtails or "snow fleas". Those guys are snow white and jump around like fleas.
    They are not clover mites because there is no red stain left behind when I smoosh them.
    They aren't black like a predator mite

    I've been leaning towards the spider mite but a few factors rule them out. I have no live plants and no webbing. Spider mites hang out under live plant leaves and make webbing. Also, I read that spider mites like it dry and my chamber is always 80%+ humidity.

    They are like you describe "tiny, light-brown bugs crawling" .

    I have about 2 dozen pill bugs in there in hopes to control their population.

    I would really like to know what we have even if they are harmless.
  6. Saleama

    Saleama Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2013
    Irving Texas
    I use to get these as well. I changed the water and a few minutes later they are all over it. I just kept an eye on it and after a few days never saw them again. Now I have a HUGE fruit fly infestation and those things NEVER go away!
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