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  1. #1
    Registered User Cee Jay's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Dawn Baths, Paper Towels, Isopropyl Alcohol and Pest Strips to Start 2020...

    Happy New Year,

    Thought I'd start the near New Year off with a quick summary of what's going on with my two carpets (Variegata, Cheynei) to see if anybody would offer some advice. Going to try and make it short.

    I've had the Variegate for several months now, just shed, hasn't eaten in a couple months, but still healthy. New Cheynei is an adult as well, acquired from a local store as adults from returns or trades, whatever. Both are in 4x2x2 PVC, RHPs, LEDs, steady temps, small night drop, humidity steady at 65%. New guy ate once, then refused food, very healthy and large Jungle about 6.5 feet long and beefy.

    Found the Jungle wrapped around his dog bowl water bowl one day, a shot glass size in comparison, and noticed the probe from the VE-300 had been slightly moved, raising the hot side to around 96*. Moved it back, everybody settled down a bit. Got this nice big tub I put in there for some water if he wanted it and boy did he ever. Got in the tub, never left. Mites didn't even occur to me until about a week later. FML. Okay, don't freak out...Got him out of the tub and up on one of his platforms, took the tub (clear gray) to the bathroom and identified about 3 bugs in there. Got on on my finger and popped/killed it. Now I am in mite mode. My other carpet who is in the EXACT setup below him, never interested in his water bowl, ZERO mites in the bowl, completely normal activity, aside from eating. Blaming that on the change in season for now.

    That's the back story.

    I set up two tubs in my office, now a quarantine room by default, heat tape with thermos on the bottom keeping the shallow water at a steady 82*. Both snakes in last night for an hour with just water, then added Dawn dish soap and have been bathing them completely about every hour or so. Heads have been going underwater once during each bath to ensure coverage. Took this method from Jason's Exotic and Kevin McCurley - trust those guys, the deed is done. The plan for them tomorrow after two days of soaking is to get them out, rinse and F10 the bins and use the bins they are currently in, which have ample holes drilled for ventilation, as quarantine bins for about two weeks. Holy crap this is going to be a longer post than planned, but coffee at night does that.

    Completely vacuumed out the repti-bark from each cage, wiped everything down with disinfectant and 91% Isopropyl and put every single thing that the snakes every really used (VEs, RHPs, all decor, thermostats, bowls, etc.) inside of the enclosures. Taped up every single air vent, hole, sliding glass gap with painter's tape except one small release vent, and put these in my garage with half a pest strip inside each enclosure to sit for at least 9+ days. After that, they will be aired out extensively and moved to another room in the house that will be their new home.

    So, HERE'S THE BIG QUESTION.

    Is there anything else any of you would do in addition to this? I am looking for suggestions on any further treatments for the snakes when they are moved to bins tomorrow with only paper towels and basics for a couple weeks. Also, my job requires me to leave for 6-7 months at a time, which will leave my wife as the caretaker of these creatures. She is not a snake person, but will be feeding them and monitoring them when I'm gone. I will never use substrate again, ordered a 1,000ft roll of 50lb paper 24" that I will cut about 10 pieces of to put in the bottom of the enclosure so she only has to remove them when they do their business.

    I don't know if I should put each snake in a smaller bin with a 2x2cm piece of pest strip for about an hour each 3x, 3 days apart to ensure the mite cycles are killed...I ordered some of this blue solution the Snake Discovery girl uses as a spray to use with Dawn soap just in case.

    What I do want you all to know if you made it this far is that I found nothing severe as far as mite infestations go. The Variegata who just shed I noticed zero and even the Jungle didn't show anything under the chin, around the eye sockets, nothing visible by the cloaca, raised scales, nothing. So, hopefully caught this early.

    Any recommendations are highly valued as I look to rid these bastards forever and ensure I never quarantine only a few days if I ever get another snake in the future. Super long post, if you read it all thank you and my apologies for the excessive writing. Happy New Year!

  2. #2
    Registered User Cee Jay's Avatar
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    Re: Dawn Baths, Paper Towels, Isopropyl Alcohol and Pest Strips to Start 2020...

    And Nevermind.

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Dawn Baths, Paper Towels, Isopropyl Alcohol and Pest Strips to Start 2020...

    Treat with Provent A Mite if you can get some. Be sure not to stop any mite treatments less than 30 days after beginning treatments because eggs can take up to a month to hatch and then the cycle will begin again


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Dawn Baths, Paper Towels, Isopropyl Alcohol and Pest Strips to Start 2020...

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...Mite+treatment

    Bcr makes a comment in this thread that is very informative and includes a link to a video.
    No need to be salty about a lack of responses when you post in the middle of the holiday season either. A simple search for “mite treatment” pulls up a lengthy list of posts on the topic. Hope you can get everything sorted out


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  7. #5
    bcr229's Avatar
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    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.

    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 NOTES ***

    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 the snake with a paper towel soaked in Reptile Spray as part of my inspection process when it comes out of the shipping box. If the snake 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.

    Finally, a mite egg can take up to 30 days to hatch. So, suppose you treat for a week or so and you think the mites are gone, but there are a few eggs left. You stop treating. The eggs hatch a few weeks later, the mites grow up, and the females lay eggs. After six to eight weeks those eggs are hatching and you notice a full-blown infestation. So, if you think you "keep getting mites", you're not: you failed to eradicate the original infestation. Mite treatments should continue for 30 days after you stop finding them.

  8. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to bcr229 For This Useful Post:

    aurum (01-02-2020),Cee Jay (01-02-2020),Craiga 01453 (01-02-2020),jmcrook (01-01-2020)

  9. #6
    Registered User Cee Jay's Avatar
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    Re: Dawn Baths, Paper Towels, Isopropyl Alcohol and Pest Strips to Start 2020...

    Thanks for the responses and apologies for being impatient; I was definitely panicking. I soaked them with Dawn for three days and didn't really notice anything in the water when I drained it into a separate clear container when I removed them. I ordered Ivermectin and mixed that down with 6 drops of Dawn in a spray bottle and gave them a wipe down with that. They are now in bins with hides only on paper towels that stay moistened as much as possible with said spray.

    Does anybody think there is ANY possibility that what was disrupting the Jungle (because the Variegata showed zero signs of infection/stress) could have been wood mites from the new ReptiBark I introduced? I've been wracking my mind thinking that if my Jungle felt like he had to soak so bad I should or would have likely seen some indication of mites under his chin or something. What I did notice in maybe 2-3 spots on his underside were a couple mildly red swollen spots under the scales, which I remember reading could happen if something was removed that was attached.

    Both enclosures and decos went through their Pest Strip bombing and I plan on reintroducing the strips again tomorrow for the 3rd day cycle stuff. Could it maybe have been something besides mites? Perhaps another irritant from the substrate? They'll be on paper from now on, so that piece of the equation will be removed, which should greatly help narrow it down. Under their chins, inside their mouths, around the eyes, cloaca...everything from what I see looks very clean.

    Thanks SO MUCH all who chimed in; the information passed along here is very useful.

    CJ

  10. #7
    Registered User Cee Jay's Avatar
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    Re: Dawn Baths, Paper Towels, Isopropyl Alcohol and Pest Strips to Start 2020...

    Wanted to add this:

    This is the best article I found and has me really leaning toward continued treatment with Dichlorvo strips at the prescribed size. Not sure if the post before this contained info from it. It's older now and I know there must be people opposed to the chemical for several reasons, but I feel if used for a month at regular intervals with quarantine of every new introduction after that, there shouldn't be much cause for concern. Thoughts?

    http://www.smuggled.com/MitTre1.htm

    CJ

  11. #8
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    Just make sure you treat every snake you have as if they have them. If one has them, they probably all do or will.

  12. #9
    Registered User Cee Jay's Avatar
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    I just have my two carpets and they are both being treated.

  13. #10
    Registered User Cee Jay's Avatar
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    Haven't seen one mite on the snakes or the paper towels in the bins they are in yet. Questioning the effectiveness of the Ivermectin spray once every week and only having it on the paper towels. Anybody else have experience with this method? I mean, the fact that I haven't seen a sign of any dead mites has me wondering if it was a miscalculation or something. Would anybody remove the pest strips from the enclosure and reintroduce them yet and continue to treat inside the enclosure, or how long should I wait for that.

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