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  1. #1
    Registered User sp0420's Avatar
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    Coconut substrate opinions please

    So about a year ago maybe a little more I switched substrate from different brands of coconut husk to paper towel. I was getting an insane amount of fungus gnats in my snake room. The snakes don't mind and I don't mind but they ended up in other areas of my house. The sinks and refrigerator. I tried pro coco and reptichip just whatever was available at the time. So I don't know if it was a specific brand that brought them or what.

    Anyway now that the amount of animals in my collection is growing every year and I can't keep up with the paper as much as I'd like to I am going to switch back to a coconut husk.

    Does anyone have a brand that they haven't had an issue with? Or do you have this issue and have a solution? Or am I doomed to gnats?

    I have put down cups with dish soap and apple cider vinegar to catch them in the soap and drown them but that only slightly helped. Too paranoid to put any kind of fly strips anywhere near the snakes.

  2. #2
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    You could try adding springtails. I've had fungus gnats multiple times and springtails always fixed them. Just be sure to have a springtail culture so you can add the most springtails at once in the beginning (which I've found will prevent fungus gnats from breeding).
    I've also seen the Katchy Indoor Insect Trap often used and I recently got one (and found it to be extremely useful).

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  4. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Coconut substrate opinions please

    Quote Originally Posted by sp0420 View Post
    ...Does anyone have a brand that they haven't had an issue with? Or do you have this issue and have a solution? Or am I doomed to gnats? ...
    Why not use those sticky fly traps that are just sticky stuff- nothing toxic. Read the fine print, I just did a quick search & found some (@ Walmart), but didn't read all the competing brands. Just one that's specifically for fruit flies & fungus gnats, indoor or outdoor use. I think it's not about the brand of substrate you use, but just being unlucky with pests waiting for your hospitality. And some nice moist substrate...
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  6. #4
    Registered User sp0420's Avatar
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    Re: Coconut substrate opinions please

    I'm just paranoid to use anything sticky. I used masking tape for a long time to mark things like locks weights dates etc on tubs and learned the hard way snakes and sticky do not mix. Snakes fine but only took two seconds to catch a small tab of the tape and it was all over.

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  8. #5
    Grabbin life by the Balls Snow Balls's Avatar
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    Re: Coconut substrate opinions please

    Cocoblox all day!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not" -Kurt Cobain

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  10. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Coconut substrate opinions please

    Quote Originally Posted by sp0420 View Post
    I'm just paranoid to use anything sticky. I used masking tape for a long time to mark things like locks weights dates etc on tubs and learned the hard way snakes and sticky do not mix. Snakes fine but only took two seconds to catch a small tab of the tape and it was all over.
    Oh no, you misunderstood me, NOT to use it IN the enclosure, but nearby, just outside. It never occurred to me that you'd think I meant to use it inside...sorry.

    You can lure gnats away with a fruit peel or something, next to the sticky trap, OUTSIDE the enclosure, maybe next to the vent.

    Or if you think they're coming from inside the bagged product, just open it ahead of time, like in the garage with the sticky trap above the open bag for a while.

    I agree with you, NO sticky stuff in any enclosure with the snakes, ever, lol.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 11-23-2021 at 07:38 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  12. #7
    Registered User Bleh's Avatar
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    Fake grass is what I have always used.

    Easy to spot mess on, easy to clean and quick to change within the enclosures when spares are cut to size.

    I have cleaned mine in the washing machine, but it can make bit of a mess of the machine so now opt for a shower head on the bath or even a pressure wash outside.

    Inexpensive to replace when it eventually wears thin as well!
    I'll probably forget by the time you've read this...

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  14. #8
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Cocoblox have worked very well for me. No fungus gnats, no wood mites. Very, very rarely get mold, and only if they make a huge mess from soaking and spilling tons of water and I didn't catch it fast enough to pull some of the wet chunks out to dry under better ventilation.

    I do however get fungus gnats in my bedroom from my houseplants on occasion and apple cider vinegar with a drop of dawn in a jar seems to work pretty well.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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  16. #9
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Coconut substrate opinions please

    Quote Originally Posted by Bleh View Post
    Fake grass is what I have always used.

    Easy to spot mess on, easy to clean and quick to change within the enclosures when spares are cut to size.

    I have cleaned mine in the washing machine, but it can make bit of a mess of the machine so now opt for a shower head on the bath or even a pressure wash outside.

    Inexpensive to replace when it eventually wears thin as well!
    I use indoor-outdoor carpet for some snakes the same way- the kind without backing- sold in hardware/home improvement stores, usually sold by the foot, from big 12' wide rolls- not expensive, comes in nice colors, doesn't shed like "fake grass" does, & lasts pretty much forever without fading. Cuts to fit easily, as you said it's nice to have spares. Since it's re-usable, it's a very "green" option, & saves money, and doesn't need disposal- just washed. You might want to consider? I hand-wash mine in my laundry sink, after I scrape off the feces/urates into my flower garden (you could also use the bathtub, etc.) & a few shakes removes most of the rinse water- it can be re-used damp for added humidity. Snakes love having such good traction also.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  18. #10
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Re: Coconut substrate opinions please

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I use indoor-outdoor carpet for some snakes the same way- the kind without backing- sold in hardware/home improvement stores, usually sold by the foot, from big 12' wide rolls- not expensive, comes in nice colors, doesn't shed like "fake grass" does, & lasts pretty much forever without fading. Cuts to fit easily, as you said it's nice to have spares. Since it's re-usable, it's a very "green" option, & saves money, and doesn't need disposal- just washed. You might want to consider? I hand-wash mine in my laundry sink, after I scrape off the feces/urates into my flower garden (you could also use the bathtub, etc.) & a few shakes removes most of the rinse water- it can be re-used damp for added humidity. Snakes love having such good traction also.
    That's a great idea!

    I use the vast majority of my cocoblox in the yard after it's had enough in the enclosure, the only part that really gets thrown out is the bits when spot cleaning. I wouldn't use them on food crops, but they work great for holding moisture into shrubs and whatnot. I'm sure with the right type of compost heap they could be used in the garden but I tend to be too forgetful to turn at the exact right time to get the perfect heat to kill everything and so I don't. I'm sure wild animals "go" in the garden but it's not going to be quite as concentrated as my substrate.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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