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Seal up your Springtails - mites !
#1
All I have to say is....Mites are in Fruit Fly cultures. That's a given and very common.

Mites climb on and otherwise..."Ride" on Fruit Flies. Ever see a FF doin' the "itchy dance" ?

Fruit Flies loose in a room will seek to find moisture, often climbing BACK into a Vivarium (and certain froggy Doom) but sometimes they will seek to enter other enclosures..LIKE your moist Isopod or Springtail cultures.

I have (maybe had) an awesome 1.5 year old sweater box size Springtail culture that I just noticed, had attracted 12 or more FF that crawled in via the snap on lid gaps.

NOW the Springtail culture is on it's way to being declared a mite infestation and I'm pretty furious.

I'm actually going to keep the Spring culture going to see what happens - if the Mites will "win" or if some sort of balance ect will occur.

Bottom line - Seal off your cultures. Don't be worried about CO2 or lack of air. Seal em.

My 02 cents :evil:
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#2
I keep mine on paper towels that are mite sprayed. So far no mishaps. I did have large mites in my iso cultures but they eventually died off.
"He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom" LaVey
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#3
Mite paper won't be 100% effective as the FF will still be able to walk into a culture thru a small hole or opening and once inside, the mites on the Flys body will fall off into the culture.

I'd still opt for the tight seal cultures.

I've had tightly sealed springtail cultures unopened for 3-4 months without a problem. When finally opened, they were exploding with Springs.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#4
I actually close the lids on the tubs of springs and spray down the outside of the tub and lid with ProVentaMite.

Michael
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#5
Be careful with the ProVentaMite around frogs. Last time I checked, the active ingredient is 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin is a suspected carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, and published LD50's as low as 10ug/L in amphibians. There doesn't appear to be much in the way of chronic data or acute to chronic ratios, but based on known data in other taxa I suspect that the chronic levels would probably be in the ng/L range.

While pyrethroids such as permethrin are considered to be safer than many other insecticides and appears to be safe for reptile use, it does not mean that it is safe across the board. I'm not saying that problems will occur, just saying that this product is not "completely safe" as the company claims.

I agree with Phil, keeping them sealed is the easiest and safest way to avoid mite infestation. Mine go for weeks at a time without being opened.
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#6
I know I've read up on it and Ive used it for about ten years or so. I do not use it near the frogs. My bug tubs are in another room and Im 100% sure the inside of the culture isnt getting sprayed as I tested it out once and sprayed a quick shot across the corner of the inside of a tub and it killed the culture in hours. I have not found a better mite preventative.

Michael
Everyday I meet someone I dislike, are you today's pick? If you dislike me it's because somethings wrong with you!

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#7
Wow....I would think even a whiff of permethrin at 30 yards would kill a delicate tiny springtail...lol.

As paranoid and careful as I am.....I draw the line at spraying or hosing things down. I'm fairly scared of liquid or spray chemicals anywhere near my entire frog room.
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#8
I guess everyone's different. But having more than a hundred mother tubs of springs and iso's I really can't afford to risk it as I lost everything last year and it took a couple thousand in bugs to get my collection back. Lots and lots of wasted orders to a few that came in with mites.
I know sitting them on mite paper isn't full proof, neither is sealing up the tubs as they still have gaps. Having have kept dozens and dozens of herp's in the house with bags of cypress mulch Mite spray is a must for this place. Spraying around the bottoms of my tubs and spraying the lids has proven to be a plus.

Michael
Everyday I meet someone I dislike, are you today's pick? If you dislike me it's because somethings wrong with you!

Don't Be A Hybridiot!
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#9
Thanks for the heads up Phil.
As a matter of fact I just opened up my cultures tonight to feed out.
So far so good.
I would be pretty pissed if I had to trash them.

John
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#10
I like the size of a sweater box type culture box but man, I'm going to have to find one that has those lock down snaps and perhaps a gasket.

No more gaps and holes for me....
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#11
I have mine in 14x11 plastic boxs with those snap locks on either end.
Seals up pretty good.

John
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#12
I had to go and run my mouth...left a ff culture laying around too long. Found it covered in mites. Took a closer look and they where all over the outside of my spring cultures. I lightly misted them with mite spray....will check in the morning for dead springs. There was a icky yellowish dust within minutes all over the culture rack. I might pull everthing tomorrow and wipe it down with mite spray really good and the outside of cultures.
"He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom" LaVey
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#13
Another good mite control method is to locate the FF Cx's in one place of the Frog Room, far away from Isopod and Spring CXs.
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#14
I've always kept all of our cultures on mite powder. I made a tray, added mite power and then have the cultures sitting on eggcrate so they're not in direct contact with the powder. It's been working great for 2 years now.

[Image: dscf0167yv.jpg]

I do the same with springs and Iso's too.
Glenn
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#15
How about if the culture cups sat on the actual powder ? Do you think that would work too ?

I try not to have any nooks and crannies / corners anywhere near where mites can congregate.
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#16
Wow, that's an impressive culture setup Glenn
Dendrobates, Phyllobates, Rantiomeya, Epipedobates
Don
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#17
I put them on top of the eggcrate because I didn't want to risk feeding the frogs mite power. :o

I'm sure it would work, but you'd have to be careful.
Glenn
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#18
frogfreak Wrote:I put them on top of the eggcrate because I didn't want to risk feeding the frogs mite power. :o

I'm sure it would work, but you'd have to be careful.

Wow...now that you mention it, powder is out for me personally. If there's a chance it could fall into a dusting cup or a fly could somehow track it into a viv.
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#19
Philsuma Wrote:
frogfreak Wrote:I put them on top of the eggcrate because I didn't want to risk feeding the frogs mite power. :o

I'm sure it would work, but you'd have to be careful.

Wow...now that you mention it, powder is out for me personally. If there's a chance it could fall into a dusting cup or a fly could somehow track it into a viv.

I'm not concerned about the power at all. If a fly gets in the power it doesn't get out. lmao

Again, the cups are on the eggcrate. No worries here.
Glenn
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#20
Sounds like a plan.

I'm gonna go for it. Egg crate and shelves with powder underneath. I like the fact that powder also acts as a serious desiccate. Mites need moisture very badly.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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