Mites?

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kjakola

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Hello,

My name is Kaitlyn and I'm new to tortoises — I just got my little guy, a baby Hermann's named Charlie, yesterday. He's been great so far, super active and munching away on an assortment of plants, but there is one thing that's got me concerned.

This morning when I woke up and checked on him, I noticed two bugs around him. Both were very, very small red bugs moving rather quickly. One was on his head and the other was in some nearby substrate. He was rubbing at the one on his head, trying to scratch it off.

I contacted the person I purchased him from and he told me that he's never had a problem with mites, but that I should bake all my substrate just in case to kill off anything that might be living in there. I've done that, and I have him in a separate temporary enclosure while I clean the rest of his tortoise table, but I was hoping someone could possibly give me a better idea of what, exactly, mites look like. I've read a lot about them this afternoon, but no one seems to describe their physical appearance in detail. Also, if it is mites, is there anything I should do to get rid of them other than clean the substrate/furniture and give the tortoise a soak in some water?

Any help would be appreciated,
Kaitlyn
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Kaitlyn:

First of all, Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

May we know where you are?

There are different types of mite, but you have described the kind I used to find on my canary's cage cover in the a.m. when I removed it from the cage...little red dots.

I've never had a mite problem, so I really don't know how to get rid of them. We used to spray mite spray on the bird. I don't know if you can use a miticide on tortoises or not. They absorb some toxins through their skin, so that might not be such a good idea.

Give your tortoise a good soak, in warm water that comes up a bit high so that he has to hold up his head in order to breathe. Don't leave him alone in water that deep. Hopefully this will flush away any mites that may be on his skin.

Keep reading this thread, as I'm sure there are other members who will be able to help you with this problem.
 
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