Zac919

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Sep 22, 2020
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Washington
So recently I've noticed some tiny bugs crawling around in my red footed tortoise cage. I've checked my Tortoise's entire body thoroughly a few times and have never seen any on him except for an occasional one or two crawling on his shell. Other than that they usually are around his water dish and sometimes food. I've also cleaned his cage out twice since I've noticed them and it doesn't seem to help getting rid of them. Is this a problem and if it is, how do I get rid of them?
 
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KarenSoCal

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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
There are 2 or 3 main bugs that invade our enclosures. The first is the springtails. They are tiny, and I mean very tiny, white bugs.

The 2nd is pill bugs, or roly polys. These are gray in color and have what looks like armor on their backs, like an armadillo. When disturbed, they roll up into a tight ball until the threat goes away.

The 3rd is phorid flies. They fly, but when on the ground and disturbed, they often run fast instead of flying. They look a lot like fruit flies.

Unless you are totally grossed out by them, it's best to just leave them alone. They will live in the substrate and eat old food scraps, poop, and urine residue. They are nature's cleanup crew.

To get rid of them, you would have to throw it out or bake your substrate in the oven to kill them and any eggs. Then thoroughly clean the inside of the cage, and put substrate back in.

The problem is that they will come right back. They live in your house, waiting for something to appear that they would like. If you've ever left the trash can in the kitchen fill up and not get emptied fast enough, suddenly there will be a cloud of tiny flying critters. Where do they come from? They are just there.

I have springtails, but I also have a tiny beetle type bug. I'm not sure what they are, but they leave me alone and I return the favor.

None of these will bother your tortoise other than maybe tickle when they run across him.
 

ZEROPILOT

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South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
There are 2 or 3 main bugs that invade our enclosures. The first is the springtails. They are tiny, and I mean very tiny, white bugs.

The 2nd is pill bugs, or roly polys. These are gray in color and have what looks like armor on their backs, like an armadillo. When disturbed, they roll up into a tight ball until the threat goes away.

The 3rd is phorid flies. They fly, but when on the ground and disturbed, they often run fast instead of flying. They look a lot like fruit flies.

Unless you are totally grossed out by them, it's best to just leave them alone. They will live in the substrate and eat old food scraps, poop, and urine residue. They are nature's cleanup crew.

To get rid of them, you would have to throw it out or bake your substrate in the oven to kill them and any eggs. Then thoroughly clean the inside of the cage, and put substrate back in.

The problem is that they will come right back. They live in your house, waiting for something to appear that they would like. If you've ever left the trash can in the kitchen fill up and not get emptied fast enough, suddenly there will be a cloud of tiny flying critters. Where do they come from? They are just there.

I have springtails, but I also have a tiny beetle type bug. I'm not sure what they are, but they leave me alone and I return the favor.

None of these will bother your tortoise other than maybe tickle when they run across him.
If they don't bother you, they're probably not bothering your tortoise, either.
Most of these tiny bugs are a type of clean up crew. More beneficial than harmful.
 
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