How to avoid bugs when planting grass in enclosure?

baileypete

New Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2020
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22
Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
Hi! I've been wanting to plant grass in my enclosure again for Vic, my baby leopard tortoise. He loved having it in his enclosure before, however, after awhile of having it, there were very small bugs flying around the grass, and also flying around Vic and crawling on him. I took the grass out and soon after had to change the substrate all together because there were still bugs crawling in the substrate and in his food and water dishes. I thought maybe there were eggs in the seeds I bought? I got them from Tortoise Town, which I know now isn't the best place to get anything from really.. Anyways, could it be that? Or something else? And if it is just the seeds, where is a good place to get seeds from?

Thanks! :)
 

Maro2Bear

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Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Greetings.

are you talking about your indoor enclosure or your outdoor enclosure? I’m guessing your indoor one. Small “bugs” flying about an enclosure is pretty common. Some are gnats, some might be fruit flies, other, non-flying but often noticed are sprintails. All of these little creatures are very common in our tort’s substrates. The enclosures are warm, moist & have lots of tasty food morsels. Perfect environment.

Sooooo, I’m guessing your seeds were fine. There are many ways to mitigate the little bugs. Sticky yellow fly traps, cleaning up food & tort waste. Maybe a few venus fly traps strategically placed can help. So will a few handfuls of pillbugs (rolly pollys) that help clean up food/waste morsels.

Good luck
 

baileypete

New Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2020
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
Greetings.

are you talking about your indoor enclosure or your outdoor enclosure? I’m guessing your indoor one. Small “bugs” flying about an enclosure is pretty common. Some are gnats, some might be fruit flies, other, non-flying but often noticed are sprintails. All of these little creatures are very common in our tort’s substrates. The enclosures are warm, moist & have lots of tasty food morsels. Perfect environment.

Sooooo, I’m guessing your seeds were fine. There are many ways to mitigate the little bugs. Sticky yellow fly traps, cleaning up food & tort waste. Maybe a few venus fly traps strategically placed can help. So will a few handfuls of pillbugs (rolly pollys) that help clean up food/waste morsels.

Good luck
Thanks! And yes, it's my indoor enclosure
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,503
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi! I've been wanting to plant grass in my enclosure again for Vic, my baby leopard tortoise. He loved having it in his enclosure before, however, after awhile of having it, there were very small bugs flying around the grass, and also flying around Vic and crawling on him. I took the grass out and soon after had to change the substrate all together because there were still bugs crawling in the substrate and in his food and water dishes. I thought maybe there were eggs in the seeds I bought? I got them from Tortoise Town, which I know now isn't the best place to get anything from really.. Anyways, could it be that? Or something else? And if it is just the seeds, where is a good place to get seeds from?

Thanks! :)
What you had was probably phorid flies. They are harmless detrivores that clean up messes and prevent fungal, mold, and bacterial growth in our enclosures. They come from the surrounding environment and colonize our tortoise enclosures because its a perfect environment for them. You didn't introduce them. They were already around, and they introduced themselves into the ideal environment you made for them.

They usually have a population explosion at first and then settle down into more manageable numbers. I just ignore them. They cause no harm and are beneficial.
 

baileypete

New Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2020
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Minnesota
What you had was probably phorid flies. They are harmless detrivores that clean up messes and prevent fungal, mold, and bacterial growth in our enclosures. They come from the surrounding environment and colonize our tortoise enclosures because its a perfect environment for them. You didn't introduce them. They were already around, and they introduced themselves into the ideal environment you made for them.

They usually have a population explosion at first and then settle down into more manageable numbers. I just ignore them. They cause no harm and are beneficial.
I had never seen bugs in there before I planted grass in the enclosure. Why did they get so bad when there was grass in there? And almost completely went away when I got rid of it?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,503
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I had never seen bugs in there before I planted grass in the enclosure. Why did they get so bad when there was grass in there? And almost completely went away when I got rid of it?
Something about the grass made it much more hospitable for them. Humidity? The dampness of the soil?
 
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