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Springtails vs Mites - Let's get it on!
#1
Springtail vs Mites...

I have heard the theory that all things being equal, Springtails will 'out populate' mites. 

I kinda believe that. I really only think that Mites take over a FF Cx is when the flies are not producing for either old age or poorly made founding stock or possible environmental factors.

Mite contamination in springtail cx's happens in two ways:

1. Springtail cxs are place too close to FF cxs and the mites simply walk onto the Springtail cxs

2. Mites arrive at the Springtail cxs on an escaped FF. FFs normally 'carry' grain mites that are just hanging out on the legs or the body of the fly. Not SUCKING the blood of the fly, just crawling around or tucked onto the fly. 

The FF desires to get moisture from the Springtail CX and finds an opening and settles on the Springtail CX media. The grain Mite(s) then disembark the Fly Taxi and voila.....mite contamination. 

Any thoughts? Theories?
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#2
Luckily I haven't had a problem with mites in my springtails however the fungus gnats are quite bothersome. I was thinking that the charcoal cultures are too wet for the mites have you had them take over? Once you get them how do you get rid of them?
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#3
This leads me to question also since they are living on pure charcoal is there a food that springtails will eat and carpet mites will not?
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#4
(05-12-2020, 10:54 AM)pet_tree_gnat Wrote: This leads me to question also since they are living on pure charcoal is there a food that springtails will eat and carpet mites will not?

I Think grain mites literally want 'grain type' foodstuffs - cereal, powered foods like potatoe flakes, maybe sugar.

They say that Bakers yeast granules are almost mite proof.

Mites will live on wet charcoal. So will isopods.

Large lump 'cowboy' charcoal is easy to tear down, wash and scrub in hot water and then reuse. 

I just make sure my Springtails are far away from my FF cxs and I don't do maintenance on Springtails after I have been touching or doing anything with FF cxs.

It's a constant maintenance thing. Mites are ALWAYS present in a frog room or most hobby settings. It's usually never a huge issue unless the hobbyist is really lazy or freaks out easily. Now, Mike,  a former Moderator here, did have to totally get out of the hobby because he developed an itching allergy to grain mites.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#5
I think that allergy is actually somewhat common. I am allergic to other mites, if that happens I'll find a way!!
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#6
I've always found that old fruit fly cultures are the problem. I don't keep mine for longer then 4 blooms for melano's and 2 blooms for hydei. Any longer and they get too good of a foothold in the cultures. I keep my ff cultures on anti mite paper so that keeps them contained to the cultures. When making new cultures I don't wait until the cultures are older because by that time the mites have already multiplied and tapping flies into the new culture is just dumping in adult mites also. My springs are kept on the opposite side of the room.
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#7
Carl, I saw a pic that looks like you keep springtail cxs on the same rack as your FF. Man, you need to put a ton of distance between those two feeder. Grain mites from FF cx's will be able to easily stroll 6-8 feet from the cx cups.

Mite paper is pretty effective and so may be Diatomaceous earth, but some of the millions of mites make it across the mine fields. Some always do...
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