Mites in tortoise enclosure

Tortoisechickenlady

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Desperately need advice on how to treat red mites. My adult leopard tortoise lives in a wood "tortoise box" (designed just as Tom suggests) and unfortunately, my backyard chicken coop became infested with red poultry mites, and in the process of getting rid of them, they relocated to the tortoise enclosure. I am so fearful of using chemicals/pesticides and am looking for suggestions on how to kill them. I've currently moved my tort inside at night as I do not want him sleeping in the box until they are gone....

Any ideas??

BTW, I have cats so I am very against permethrin products as it's highly toxic to cats.
 

Tortoisechickenlady

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Hello!
Maybe you can try food grade diatomaceous earth. Food grade DE is safe for tortoises.
thanks! I did order a bag, but typically DE will not treat a full blown infestation.. I also purchased Miracle Care Reptile Spray for mites and am using lightly around the enclosure but it still makes me nervous to use. Ugh :(
 

Tom

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Desperately need advice on how to treat red mites. My adult leopard tortoise lives in a wood "tortoise box" (designed just as Tom suggests) and unfortunately, my backyard chicken coop became infested with red poultry mites, and in the process of getting rid of them, they relocated to the tortoise enclosure. I am so fearful of using chemicals/pesticides and am looking for suggestions on how to kill them. I've currently moved my tort inside at night as I do not want him sleeping in the box until they are gone....

Any ideas??

BTW, I have cats so I am very against permethrin products as it's highly toxic to cats.
Poultry mites will not infect a tortoise. I suspect you have some other type of insect and not a mite in your tortoise box.

What did you treat the chickens with? Its common practice among falconers to treat new acquisitions with Sevin Dust. I also use it on my chickens as needed. It has not harmed my cats or any other animals.
 

Tortoisechickenlady

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Poultry mites will not infect a tortoise. I suspect you have some other type of insect and not a mite in your tortoise box.

What did you treat the chickens with? Its common practice among falconers to treat new acquisitions with Sevin Dust. I also use it on my chickens as needed. It has not harmed my cats or any other animals.
Thanks Tom! So happy to hear you have chickens too!!! Here's a close up of the mite (they are very, very tiny..this is zoomed in).. 99% sure it's poultry mites. I used ELECTOR PSP on the chicken coop and called the manufacturer to find out of it was safe for reptiles but was told they had no information.

So I could sprinkle Sevin Dust in and around his enclosure? Not harmful to torts??
 

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Tom

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Thanks Tom! So happy to hear you have chickens too!!! Here's a close up of the mite (they are very, very tiny..this is zoomed in).. 99% sure it's poultry mites. I used ELECTOR PSP on the chicken coop and called the manufacturer to find out of it was safe for reptiles but was told they had no information.

So I could sprinkle Sevin Dust in and around his enclosure? Not harmful to torts??
I am no entomologist, but I count six legs there. You are dealing with an insect there, not a mite, as I suspected. Mites are arachnids and have eight legs. Unfortunately, I don't know what that particular insect is. You guys have huge numbers of insects down south that we don't have out here in our desert. Maybe one of our southern members will know what it is:
@dd33
@ZEROPILOT

I've never used Sevin Dust with any reptile, so I have no idea if it is safe for them or not. Google isn't much help. I know that it is safe for chickens, hawks and pigeons.
 

ZEROPILOT

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From what I can tell. It's in the Springtail family. And if it is, it's harmless.
Poultry mites are nearly microscopic. These are almost sugar ant sized.
 

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zovick

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Desperately need advice on how to treat red mites. My adult leopard tortoise lives in a wood "tortoise box" (designed just as Tom suggests) and unfortunately, my backyard chicken coop became infested with red poultry mites, and in the process of getting rid of them, they relocated to the tortoise enclosure. I am so fearful of using chemicals/pesticides and am looking for suggestions on how to kill them. I've currently moved my tort inside at night as I do not want him sleeping in the box until they are gone....

Any ideas??

BTW, I have cats so I am very against permethrin products as it's highly toxic to cats.
You could use what used to be called Shell No Pest Strips, now made by Hotshot. These you open and hang in the area you want to treat. The fumes kill the insects, roaches, etc. Not sure of the active ingredient, but I know they are safe for tortoises because I hung several of these at a time in my tortoise rooms for many years with no ill effects.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0019BK8AG/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
 

dd33

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I would probably just ignore them as well unless you see them actually feeding on the tortoise.

Are they the same bugs you saw on the chickens? The Elector would be an interesting choice for controlling them. I don't think there is any data regarding the safety of the active ingredient (Spinosad) and tortoises. I have fed lots of cactus pads that have been treated with Spinosad to tortoises without issue though.
 

Tortoisechickenlady

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From what I can tell. It's in the Springtail family. And if it is, it's harmless.
Poultry mites are nearly microscopic. These are almost sugar ant sized.

The pic I posted originally was super zoomed in. These are super tiny. :( But if you don't think they are a threat to my tortoise, that is great news. I still would like to find something to rid them from my yard. Thank you for your help!
 

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Tortoisechickenlady

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You could use what used to be called Shell No Pest Strips, now made by Hotshot. These you open and hang in the area you want to treat. The fumes kill the insects, roaches, etc. Not sure of the active ingredient, but I know they are safe for tortoises because I hung several of these at a time in my tortoise rooms for many years with no ill effects.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0019BK8AG/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
Thank you! Never heard of this. I appreciate your suggestion!!!
 

Tortoisechickenlady

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I would probably just ignore them as well unless you see them actually feeding on the tortoise.

Are they the same bugs you saw on the chickens? The Elector would be an interesting choice for controlling them. I don't think there is any data regarding the safety of the active ingredient (Spinosad) and tortoises. I have fed lots of cactus pads that have been treated with Spinosad to tortoises without issue though.
I have not seen any mites on the chickens themselves, but I have 2 loosing feathers and have seen the mites in the coop (tell tale sign of red poultry mites). I like Elector b.c Spinosad is a relatively "safe"chemical to use. I'd love to be able to spray down the tortoise house with it as well, but I am just too nervous to risk it.
 

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The pic I posted originally was super zoomed in. These are super tiny. :( But if you don't think they are a threat to my tortoise, that is great news. I still would like to find something to rid them from my yard. Thank you for your help!
Please don't let my 5 minutes on the internet looking at 6 legged Florida insects be the end of it.
Hopefully someone can shed more light.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have not seen any mites on the chickens themselves, but I have 2 loosing feathers and have seen the mites in the coop (tell tale sign of red poultry mites). I like Elector b.c Spinosad is a relatively "safe"chemical to use. I'd love to be able to spray down the tortoise house with it as well, but I am just too nervous to risk it.
Are the tortoises ever out of their enclosure?
I treat my entire yard for FIRE ANTS. Different insect. Same idea. Because my Redfoot stay in their dedicated areas.
I wouldn't hesitate treating areas that your tortoises won't be in.
 

jaizei

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The pic I posted originally was super zoomed in. These are super tiny. :( But if you don't think they are a threat to my tortoise, that is great news. I still would like to find something to rid them from my yard. Thank you for your help!

idk if its a poultry mite, but the first picture did look like a mite of some sort
 

Yvonne G

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I have not seen any mites on the chickens themselves, but I have 2 loosing feathers and have seen the mites in the coop (tell tale sign of red poultry mites). I like Elector b.c Spinosad is a relatively "safe"chemical to use. I'd love to be able to spray down the tortoise house with it as well, but I am just too nervous to risk it.
When I had birds and chickens, and got a mite infestation, like Tom, I used Seven dust. I put a bit of the powder in a brown paper bag, then added one bird/chicken, closed the bag and gently shook the bag.
 

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When I had birds and chickens, and got a mite infestation, like Tom, I used Seven dust. I put a bit of the powder in a brown paper bag, then added one bird/chicken, closed the bag and gently shook the bag.
That's an interesting way to apply it. We just sprinkle it on the bird and rub it in to the feathers to get the product to the body with rubber gloved hands.

I treat my entire yard for FIRE ANTS.
What chemical do you treat with?
 

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That's an interesting way to apply it. We just sprinkle it on the bird and rub it in to the feathers to get the product to the body with rubber gloved hands.


What chemical do you treat with?
Usually AMDRO FIRE ANT granules.
But last month I used another brand that was cheaper. I forget the name. But it's for maintenance now since the actual FIRE ANTS are long gone.
I treat once or twice a year.
 

Tom

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Usually AMDRO FIRE ANT granules.
But last month I used another brand that was cheaper. I forget the name. But it's for maintenance now since the actual FIRE ANTS are long gone.
I treat once or twice a year.
Here in our dry climate, I pour the Amdro granules right into/onto their entrance hole and in clearing their entrance they carry it all down into their colony. Is that how you do it, or do you follow the label and scatter it?

Thanks for sharing this info. I'm always looking to improve on methods.
 

dd33

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Advion fire ant bait works way better than Amdro for us but the ground has to be dry. I have a bunch of 2 foot square 2x4 rings with hardware cloth on top laying around to put over the top of the mounds to make sure the tortoises don’t see the bait and try to eat it. The ants usually take it all into the nest quickly though.
In an emergency where we can’t wait 24 hours for the mound to die we will do a permethrin drench
 

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