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  1. #1
    Registered User Gocntry's Avatar
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    Vet found 1 mite Now what??

    Just got back from the vet with Bitey, they do a "tape test?" for mites Vet said she was surprised but she found 1 mite.

    I'm assuming there has to be more than one, even if they didn't find any

    So I'm tearing apart her tank now, cleaning it out with Chlorhexidine, cleaning the plastic plants, she has reptile basics hides and a glass water dish

    so all those are easy to clean. Vet said she could have given her a shot of Ivermectin. That last for 14 days and kills the mites

    as they get blood. I passed on that, injection didn't sound good for only 1 mite?? Maybe the wrong call??

    She also suggested frontline spray as a once a week treatment, for snake and cage, I've seen Natural Chemistry mite spray.

    Just would like a few suggestions on what to use. I'm just trying to keep this under control before it gets out of control.

    Have a appt set up next month to recheck her, and I'm going to get Bean an appt too to get her checked out being the store had them co-habituated when

    I got them.

    Ugh never saw this coming.....

  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    So sorry, just finding one mite means there are more, plus eggs. A tape test was only on a small part of the snake & they hide well on snakes too, under chin scales+.

    Remove plastic plants & anything non-essential where they can hide or leave eggs. (hides & water bowl are essential, keep on white paper towels)

    I'd have passed on Ivermectin shot too...far as I know, it's pretty harsh on their little bodies, for what is an external issue. Not saying you don't have to be careful
    if using PAM or other stuff though... I've read posts about Frontline here- seems to be a fairly safe alternative, but never had to try it- OR PAM (Provent-A-Mite, NOT
    the cooking spray!) but be careful to follow exact directions for whatever you use. Never tried Natural Chemistry either, btw. Happily it's been a few decades since I
    dealt with mites, all I ever used was the "No Pest" strip (tiny piece & brief exposure) method, and a slightly soapy bath to drown all the mites I could.
    Many friends in low places...

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  4. #3
    Registered User Gocntry's Avatar
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    Re: Vet found 1 mite Now what??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    So sorry, just finding one mite means there are more, plus eggs. A tape test was only on a small part of the snake & they hide well on snakes too, under chin scales+.

    Remove plastic plants & anything non-essential where they can hide or leave eggs. (hides & water bowl are essential, keep on white paper towels)

    I'd have passed on Ivermectin shot too...far as I know, it's pretty harsh on their little bodies, for what is an external issue. Not saying you don't have to be careful
    if using PAM or other stuff though... I've read posts about Frontline here- seems to be a fairly safe alternative, but never had to try it- OR PAM (Provent-A-Mite, NOT
    the cooking spray!) but be careful to follow exact directions for whatever you use. Never tried Natural Chemistry either, btw. Happily it's been a few decades since I
    dealt with mites, all I ever used was the "No Pest" strip (tiny piece & brief exposure) method, and a slightly soapy bath to drown all the mites I could.
    Yeah I passed in the shot, because that might kill the mites after they are attached, but does Nothing for eggs or non attached mites.

    Tank is cleaned, plastic plants removed, on white paper towels, with clear glass water dish, and 2 reptile basics hides.

    How is the "no pest strip" used ?? Can you fill me in on that one?

  5. #4
    Registered User Gocntry's Avatar
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    Re: Vet found 1 mite Now what??

    Found This........ Thanks Bcr229!! Lots of good info there!!


    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229
    The product names in my writeup are pretty specific to the US but if you search for the active ingredients you can probably find them in your country.

    Also bear in mind that the 90-day quarantine clock resets to the last day you find a mite on your snake.

    Treating mites: I wrote this up after my second battle with the little so-and-so's. While other treatments, such as ivermectin injections and wiping the snakes with Frontline, do exist, I have not tried them so I've not included them in my own writeup. You can find out about Frontline at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwCA...&feature=share
    Mite Eradication 101:

    *** Permethrin ***

    Permethrin comes in many forms - Provent-A-Mite (PAM), NIX/RID head lice treatment, Permethrin-10 from a livestock supply store, etc. Once mixed with water its half life is 30 days if kept out of direct sunlight.

    PAM has several advantages. It has been tested for use with reptiles, and it comes ready to use. The disadvantages are that it's expensive and most reptile stores don't have it in stock, so you have to wait for it to be shipped to you if you don't have any on hand. Meanwhile the mites are busy feeding and breeding.

    NIX/RID is cheaper than PAM and is readily available at WalMart, CVS, and other drug stores. It is also easy to dilute: mix one two ounce (59 ml) bottle of the cream rinse with one gallon of water.

    At a dollar per ounce Permethrin-10 is the cheapest of the three options; one eight ounce bottle will make 240 gallons of solution, as only 6 milliliters of it are needed per gallon of water to make an effective mite spray. The upside is that if you have a lot of snakes to treat this will do it very economically. The downside is that it's all too easy to make too strong of a permethrin solution which can seriously injure or kill your snakes.

    No matter which product you use, it must be used correctly. I've never applied any permethrin product directly onto my snakes as it's not needed for mite treatment, and permethrin poisoning in a snake can cause irreversible neurological damage or death.

    Permethrin use: spray the enclosure, paper substrate, and hides with the diluted solution or PAM. DO NOT SPRAY THE WATER BOWL. Allow everything to dry completely before returning your snake to its home. Also keep a supply of treated and dried newspaper or paper towels and treated hides available so that when a snake makes a mess, you replace the soiled paper and hides with treated ones. Treat the enclosure every two to three weeks.

    *** Natural Chemistry Reptile Spray ***

    Reptile Spray kills mites on contact while wet, once it dries it loses its effectiveness pretty quickly. Reptile Spray is a solution of salts rather than an insecticide; it kills mites by dehydrating them. I don't spray the snakes as more ends up on the floor than on the snake. Instead, I spray a white paper towel with it and wipe it on the snake. That way you get even coverage on the snake, you can work it into the area under their chin really well as that's a favorite hiding place for mites, you don't stress out your snake, and you can look for mites on the paper towel to see how quickly they're being eradicated. Apply twice a week. Note - this stuff hurts like hell in an open wound.

    *** Hot Shot No-Pest Strips ***

    Some people take a Hot Shot No-Pest strip, cut it into pieces, put each piece into a small sealed container, poke some holes in the container, and put each container into the snake's enclosure. I've used the No-Pest strip but I just hang it in the snake room and close the door. Either way is effective, especially if you have a major outbreak.

    If you do use it, remove the water bowls as the insecticide is strongly attracted to water and you don't want the snake drinking it. After 24 hours remove the strip (or pieces), put them into an airtight container for future use, air out the room, and put the water bowls back. Repeat treatment weekly.

    Important! If you also keep tarantulas, feeder roaches/dubias, crickets, etc. do not use the No-Pest Strip as it can kill them too!!!!

    *** Mild Dish Soap ***

    One or two drops of mild dish detergent in your snake's bath water will break the surface tension and prevent mites from floating in the water so they drown. No more than that is needed, your snake should not look like it is taking a bubble bath.

    *** Heat ***

    Don't laugh, but a temperature of 135*F for five seconds will kill mites and the eggs. I purchased a heat gun used for stripping paint that can be set to blow hot air from 180*F through 1200*F. Using the heat gun and a temperature gun I heated the surfaces and crevices of my racks and enclosures to kill off any mite eggs that may have been laid outside the tubs. Don't get your enclosure surfaces and joined/glued areas too hot or you can damage them.

    Mite treatment should continue for 30 days after you stop finding mites on your snake, as an egg can take that long to hatch.

    *** FINAL NOTE ***

    Effective quarantine means that you treat every new arrival as if it has mites, and new snakes are kept as far away from your established collection as possible for at least 90 days. At the very least new critters should never be in the same room with your established collection.

    I treat the quarantine enclosure, hides, and paper substrate with permethrin a day or so before the new snake arrives, and I wipe it with a paper towel soaked in Reptile Spray as part of my inspection process when it comes out of the shipping box. If it has mites I will know it within a day or two at most. This also goes for snakes from "trusted" sources, my first mite outbreak ever came from someone I trusted.

  6. #5
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Since both of your snakes came from the same source I would treat both as having mites.

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  8. #6
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    Ive used PAM recently. just have to be careful, but should be ok. I switched to paper towels when I noticed I had the problem. Bathed the snake in warm water with some dawn dish soap, the blue kind, for 2.5 hours the first day, then 2 hours the next day. The water drowns them, and the dawn dish soap helps make it to where they can't stick. Just want enough water to fully submerge the snake, but allow it to keep its head above water easily. Used enough dawn to make a little suds, but not like dishwater suds, and didn't add dawn until after the tub had the amount of water I wanted in it. then after words I let the snake swim through plain water a little just to rinse off. Completely cleaned the cage and everything both times. keep the cage at a bare minimum. Plastic hides, which are easy to clean, water bowl. When I applied the PAM, I laid out enough paper towel to cover the cage in my basement, far away from my cage. Sprayed the paper towel down (only takes a little bit) and let it sit in my basement for 12-16 hours. Made sure that the paper towel was dry and had no smell to it. Then put it in the cage. As I cleaned the cage I soaked the hides, and the water bowl in hot water with dawn dish soap, then rinsed in hot water, then soaked in hot water, then ran them through the dishwasher. I always waited to put the water dish back in at least an hour after putting the PAM treated paper towel in. I did this every 2 weeks, 3x so total of 6 weeks. Only mites I have seen are dead ones, and pretty sure after the first 2 treatments they were gone. I continued to feed as normal on the PAM treated paper towel. She splashed water on the PAM treated paper towel as well and all is well. Just make sure you DONT APPLY TO THE SNAKE.

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  10. #7
    Registered User Gocntry's Avatar
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    Re: Vet found 1 mite Now what??

    Question about her Accurite Temp/humidity gauge... It has slots for the air to go thru, could mites go it there and lay eggs??

    The one I have is an all in one gauge that just sites in the tank, no probes with it.

    What should I do with it? Heat it up with a hairdryer? Put it in the garage for the cold, and leave it out there for 30 days to make sure everything is dead?

    All the other plastic plants ect are getting washed in soap and hot water. But don't think I can through the temp gauge in there.
    Last edited by Gocntry; 10-22-2019 at 03:35 PM.

  11. #8
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    As far as the No-Pest strip method, it's probably better to use the more current methods. FYI, my use differed a little from the explanation above, in part of bcr229's post.

    I used one piece of a Shell* No-Pest-Strip, less than 1" square, suspended in a small "cage" made of 1/4 hardware "cloth" (to prevent contact by the snake) & suspended
    in the cage from middle of the top. (used in glass tanks w/ screen tops) *Shell was the original brand, same as "Hot Shot" as far as I can tell. First remove water bowls.

    I covered most of the screen top, leaving 2 open areas, one over the UTH (where warm air will rise up & out) & one over cool end (where room air was drawn in).
    This was done for about 12 hours the first time. Then repeated for about 8 hours only, after waiting about 5 to 7 days between treatments. All mites gone after that,
    and importantly, no ill effects to the snake. I've been fortunate, only ever had 2 snakes that arrived (separately from different sources) that had mites in many years of
    keeping.
    Many friends in low places...

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  13. #9
    Registered User Gocntry's Avatar
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    Re: Vet found 1 mite Now what??

    Well both tanks cleaned out, (Bean's / Bitey's) Washed everything, basic hides, glass water dish, white paper towel for substrate. I think Bitey's mad at me now

    Both snakes got a 30 minute soak with the couple drops dish soap
    Bitey didn't like that, went to the bathroom on my daughter as she was putting her away .

    Bean HATED the bath, she just went to the bathroom in the water, had to change it then put her back in. She didn't like the water at All

    Didn't see any mites floating in there, Ordered some spray frontline like they used in the video linked by bcr229

    Hopefully I get this under control before I have a real problem on my hands....

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  15. #10
    Registered User Gocntry's Avatar
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    Re: Vet found 1 mite Now what??

    Got the Frontline spray in yesterday from Amazon, followed the simple directions in the video bcr229 posted.

    Bitey was NOT thrilled about the application BUT she didn't bite me so it was all good.

    Bean will get her application tonite after work, being I had just fed her Wednesday night I didn't want to disturb her and cause an issue

    Being I'm getting old and small things are harder to see (mites), I also have a 20x led lighted magnifier coming today so I can look the snakes

    over, to see if I see any mites.

    I'm just looking for little bugs that will be in between the scales correct? Do they get big like a tick when they

    have been attached to the snake a long time?

    I haven't seen any bugs in their water bowls, will check the paper towels tonite, I'm going to change the paper towels out every 3 days.

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