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Paranoia with feeder insects

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  • Paranoia with feeder insects

    I hope the title isn’t misleading, I just want to ask a major question when it comes to owning/breeding feeder insects.

    I’d like to some day get a leopard gecko, therefore I’ll need to start breeding feeders.
    However researching it more, it seems grain mite infestations are a pretty common occurrence.

    To put it short, I really, REALLY don’t want to have to deal with these mites. Is it unavoidable? I thought they only come when it’s dark and humid, but when I was asking a crested breeder I know, they said they can show up at anytime.

    I would likely have to keep the feeders in my bedroom (where my animals are) and the possibility of grain mites taking over really grosses me out. I’m not even grossed out/scared of the feeders themselves, but just seeing videos and images online of these mite infestations scares me. I know they aren’t dangerous but it doesn’t change the gross/paranoia factor. Especially if it gets out of hand and takes over my bedroom *bleh!*

    The breeder said to just keep mealworms/super worms on actual insect bedding made for them instead of the regular oats or whatnot, if im scared about mites. Does this even make a difference though? Isn’t the “insect bedding” just ground up grains and stuff?

    I’ve heard of people keeping their worms on dry coco fiber because they were also paranoid of mites, but apparently this is controversial and not usually recommended for some reason. I guess because they won’t have a constant food source, but if you’re throwing lots of vegetables or grains in everyday or so I don’t exactly see the problem? Seems less risky than keeping the entire bedding grains.

    Am I being too paranoid? How common are grain mite infestations? It’s just something I’d really rather not deal with. If they are in fact common then I might just not get a leopard in the end. I think they’re cute and a cool animal I’d love to have one but since they require full time insect feedings, which can pose a risk of mites then I’d rather just stick to my crested gecko and fish lol.

  • #2
    I would get grain mites on occasion (less often than yearly), not only in the mealworms when I was breeding them, but also in the crickets I was keeping (I was buying 3000 crickets every 2 weeks). I never had an issue with mites all over the house or even in the kitchen. The worst it was, the mites were crawling around the top of the tank where I was keeping the feeders. I was usually able to get rid of them by frequent washing of the enclosure cover with very hot water and wiping down the top of the enclosure with hot water as well Here's an article I wrote about it:
    https://geckotime.com/how-i-got-rid-of-grain-mites/

    Aliza

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    • #3
      Originally posted by acpart View Post
      I would get grain mites on occasion (less often than yearly), not only in the mealworms when I was breeding them, but also in the crickets I was keeping (I was buying 3000 crickets every 2 weeks). I never had an issue with mites all over the house or even in the kitchen. The worst it was, the mites were crawling around the top of the tank where I was keeping the feeders. I was usually able to get rid of them by frequent washing of the enclosure cover with very hot water and wiping down the top of the enclosure with hot water as well Here's an article I wrote about it:
      https://geckotime.com/how-i-got-rid-of-grain-mites/

      Aliza
      Ohh I see. So basically when caught early they are hardly a threat? I think I’ve read somewhere too that the reason they start moving throughout the room and to other rooms is because they ran out of food and are looking elsewhere for it. I suppose with regular checking of the feeder insects then this shouldn’t become a problem.

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      • #4
        It's never been a significant problem for me.

        Aliza

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