Tiny black bug invasion

Karen(pebbles)

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Woke up this morning to find hundreds of these little bugs in my torts food and water dish, I use coco fibre and orchid bark, clean out the food each day after he’s gone to sleep and put in fresh water, are they from the substrate? It was changed 3 weeks ago, do I need to change it again? And are they harmful?
 

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Lyn W

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They could have been in the substrate. I always soak my coir in boiling water to expand it and to wash the bark to make sure it's bug free. Some people bake them in the oven to do the same.
I would take it out and soak it it with boiling water to kill off any bugs to see if that helps.
 

ZenHerper

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Those are springtails: tiny terrestrial crustaceans that rode in with your purchased substrate.

They are quite beneficial, eating detritus, mold, and the like.

A new population gets crazy-overpopulated until its reproduction gets calibrated by the amount of food they can find in your enclosure. Changing out the entire substrate will start the cycle all over again (fresh eggs riding in with new substrate), so hang in there a few weeks while the population stabilizes.

You can get rid of a number of them overnight by putting some extra, shallow water plates in when you turn out the lights. For some reason springtails cannot tell they are hopping onto water they can't see to get back out of and they will drown.

Otherwise they are non-harmful, and as the top layer of your substrate dries somewhat, they will naturally move down and stay predominantly in the damp layers at the bottom of the habitat.
 

Karen(pebbles)

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They could have been in the substrate. I always soak my coir in boiling water to expand it and to wash the bark to make sure it's bug free. Some people bake them in the oven to do the same.
I would take it out and soak it it with boiling water to kill off any bugs to see if that helps.
Yeah I guessed they are from the substrate but I wondered if they were harmful to my tort, unfortunately we're in the middle of fitting a new kitchen and so it'll be a couple more weeks before I can do a deep clean in my vivarium, but Thank you for your reply Lyn
 

Karen(pebbles)

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May 14, 2021
Messages
118
Location (City and/or State)
Bristol Uk
Those are springtails: tiny terrestrial crustaceans that rode in with your purchased substrate.

They are quite beneficial, eating detritus, mold, and the like.

A new population gets crazy-overpopulated until its reproduction gets calibrated by the amount of food they can find in your enclosure. Changing out the entire substrate will start the cycle all over again (fresh eggs riding in with new substrate), so hang in there a few weeks while the population stabilizes.

You can get rid of a number of them overnight by putting some extra, shallow water plates in when you turn out the lights. For some reason springtails cannot tell they are hopping onto water they can't see to get back out of and they will drown.

Otherwise they are non-harmful, and as the top layer of your substrate dries somewhat, they will naturally move down and stay predominantly in the damp layers at the bottom of the habitat.
Brilliant, that's exactly what I wanted to hear, I kind of guessed this was the case and as long as they're no threat to my tort I'm sure I can live with it 😁, Thank you so much
 

Lyn W

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Yeah I guessed they are from the substrate but I wondered if they were harmful to my tort, unfortunately we're in the middle of fitting a new kitchen and so it'll be a couple more weeks before I can do a deep clean in my vivarium, but Thank you for your reply Lyn
I don't know if they are harmful or parasites that could affect him if eaten with his food.
They may irritate him if they get into his nooks and crannies though.
(Ignore this ZH seems to know about them!):)
 

TisMary

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They could have been in the substrate. I always soak my coir in boiling water to expand it and to wash the bark to make sure it's bug free. Some people bake them in the oven to do the same.
I would take it out and soak it it with boiling water to kill off any bugs to see if that helps.
I'm on my second day of baking dirt as I write this! 😝😕😁
 
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