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  1. #1
    Registered User Kingdomall's Avatar
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    Need help identifying things in coconut coir

    Hello! I bought a bag of coconut coir from home depot and added it to my snake's enclosure, only to notice these small, round, bright brown balls in the substrate. my immediate thought was some kind of insect eggs.
    I took the first one I found and I popped it with my fingers to test if it was a piece of strange dirt or something. The closest thing I was able to find that looked like these were rhinoceros beetle eggs, which those beetles are a pest with coconut husk so that's my hypothesis.
    additional info: they are varying sizes and the biggest one I saw so far was about half the size of a pea. They definitely aren't eggs for knats or mites, as I assume those are microscopic.
    please let me know what you think they may be ASAP! I really wanna know if they are safe or not.

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Not seeing them, & wouldn't be sure what they are even if I did see them, but it occurs to me that Home Depot is selling this in the garden department, right? So it's not intended for pet use- & may well be some sort of insect eggs that you don't want in your snake's enclosure -but which might be fine in your garden. I think I'd return the stuff, & buy what's intended for pet use.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  3. #3
    Registered User Spicey's Avatar
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    Fertilizer, maybe?
    Always in Transition

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  4. #4
    Registered User Kingdomall's Avatar
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    Re: Need help identifying things in coconut coir

    yeah, thinking it's either beetle eggs or osmocote. they are shockingly similar.
    the bag claims that it's 100% coconut coir, though there are pieces of perlite in it so I wouldn't put it past them that some osmocote accidentally got in there.
    thankfully, I believe osmocote is animal free. natural plant based fertilizer. I think it's still safe to use.
    will call the store though, to be sure.

  5. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    So if it's osmocote, I wouldn't want my snake laying on it, fyi.

    https://www.plantedtank.net/threads/...eoples.122085/

    & http://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-r...s-osmocote.pdf

    excerpt from Oregon link above:

    HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION Health Effects Acute This product has low toxicity but if ingested in large amounts may cause the effects listed below.

    Swallowed Ingestion of large amounts of product can cause severe gastro-intestinal irritations. Eye Direct contact with uncoated fertilizer may irritate eyes.

    Skin Direct contact with uncoated fertilizer may irritate skin. Inhaled Inhalation of dust may irritate nose, throat and lungs although product coating makes this

    unlikely. Chronic Ammonium nitrate is allergen. Prolonged or repeated direct contact with fertilizer may irritate eyes and skin. Inhalation of dust may irritate

    nose, throat and lungs. Prolonged exposure may cause weakness, depression, headache, mental impairment, anemia, methemoglobinemia and kidney injury.

    Ingestion of product can cause severe gastrointestinal irritation, muscular weakness and blue-tinged skin (cyanosis).Infants and children are especially at risk

    for cyanosis. Ingestion of large amounts may result in death.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It's not as if your snake will eat much of it, but the humidity is going to dissolve the coating, making it so your snake comes in contact with it- snakes can
    absorb things thru their skin, just as we can.

    Again, products intended for garden use may not necessarily be considered safe for pets. You're taking risks with your pets when you use products for which they aren't intended. Risk are much higher for captive snakes (or other pets), because they have a very small area (compared to wild snakes) in which to move around- they have repeated exposure & cannot leave. They also have trouble communicating their discomfort, & their body size means tiny exposures pose a much bigger risk than they do to large creatures like ourselves.

    Also, you mentioned that these "small, round, bright brown balls in the substrate" are varying sizes, so that makes them far less likely to be insect eggs, IMO, & much more likely to be chemical (man-made) in origin.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-14-2021 at 01:07 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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