hypoaspis mites

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hypoaspis mites

Postby slangman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:23 pm

i inherited an unwanted gift with the jamacian boas (otr yellow snakes as they are called on their permits) so i had to decide what to do about them . prob is i didnt want to use chemicals on them if i could help it so i went down the route of hypoaspis mites . These are sold over here by a company specialising in micro biology and they cost me 10pound and 3 pound postage and packaging for 10000 mites . these are normally used to control scariad fly in green houses but as they are preditory , feed also on snake mites . so i put some compost at the bottom tier of their cage and as long as the soil or compost is kept moist , these mites will thrive . I had a look in the tub of mites as it says to do so that i could difieretiate between the 2 mites and there were not a hell of a lot of them but apparertly the eggs in the vermiculite and soil mix have yet to hatch . After a couple of weeks of spraying the soil in the viv , i had a close lok and indeed there were about 5000 little mites swarming around the viv . they actually track down the snake mites and attack them . these chaps occasionally climb onto the snake and chase the snake mites off so the others can get them . Such a thrill to watch cos i hate mites . They dont feed on the host at all and when all the snake mites are gone and their is no other micro organisms to feed on , they simply starve to death over 6 weeks . The snakes even seem to know what is going on as they lie in the soil most of the time . After a month of them in the viv , i checked the snakes lastnight and not a single snake mite to be seen even in the usual spots like the eyes and under the mouth and the vent . i will continue to leave the hypoaspis in the viv until the end of their lives and theorey is all the snake mites will be hunted and killed . holding thumbs cos i do so hate snake mites . I thought about a few breeders i know who could benefit from these chaps especially those with blood pythons who have a fair bit of substrate in the vivs .
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Postby BillyBoy » Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:20 pm

Too cool! What a great way to control nasty, little snake mites.

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Postby Q Ball » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:37 pm

That sound like a great solution man. Do they also eat the eggs that the mites lay?
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Postby slangman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:48 pm

as far as i can learn from the literature on these chaps , they eat everything they can get hold of . and then they continue to lay eggs themselves which will inturn hatch and feed on anything about . so the throrey is that should any eggs from snake mites be laid in places undetected by these mites , when they hatch and go in search of the host , they get intersected by a few generations of hypoaspis . A very reputable breeder up north had a infestation of snake mites in a very latge collection . he ordered in 4 tubs (aprox 40000 mites ) and they cleared his collection in no time at all . He was the one that actually put me onto these predator mites when i asked him for some alternatives . Seems the production of the spray type frontline has been halted in the uk and thus veterinary clinics no longer stock it . i was not that keen on trying to water down the drops they use on dogs and then test it on my jamacian boas , hence the search for an alternative began . i am very pleased with the results so far .
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Postby slangman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:52 pm

the only draw back is that they are limited to postage in the uk for obvious reasons (even over here , they require you to be home to recieve them the day they are dispatched so they dont freeze to death during transportation) . i dont think they will handle any extreme cold liable to be experienced during international transportation .
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Postby Serpy » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:54 pm

Wow that sounds excellent, now whats the chances of them being available here in SA??
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Postby Long John Silver » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:50 am

Serpy wrote:Wow that sounds excellent, now whats the chances of them being available here in SA??


Call it coincidence but I had a chat with a entomologist this holiday regarding biological control in citrus boards.
Just remember Serpy, just because some biological predator works in one country does not neccesarily mean it will work in SA.
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Postby Bushviper » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:10 am

LJS snake mites are snake mites and these predatory mites will eat them here or in Europe.

At the right time of the year I am sure they could make an international trip. The problem is to keep them alive when you dont have mites. Even though I seem to be pretty good at it I dont want to have to breed snake mites.
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Postby Long John Silver » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:17 am

Fair enough BV, but hypoaspis mites might eat other stuff as well in SA that might not occur in Europe.
Murphy's law in Herping: "If the snake is within range, so are you"
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Postby Bushviper » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:29 am

LJS now I am with you. The possibility of them finding other hosts/prey does exist and could be a threat.
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Postby slangman » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:41 pm

as far as i can tell from the notes that accompany the package , they occur naturally in america and feed predominantly on scarrid fly and their larvea . but i supose they could attack indigineous micro organisms in sa as it is warm enough there for them to survive out of the vivs where over here , the winter would certainly kill off any escapees into the wild .
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Re: hypoaspis mites

Postby StriderWolf » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:24 pm

Sorry I was wondering where you got the mites from did you get them shiped over from the uk?
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Re: hypoaspis mites

Postby Snakesitter » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:07 pm

I know people who swear by that treatment in the US. Personally, while I've never had a mite issue, I really like the idea of a biological solution rather than a chemical one. Well done!!!
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