Mites? Pyramiding?

haylee345

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I've been dealing with soil mites for a couple months now, but those are light tan and collect under old food. In a few weeks I'm moving across the country and will be switching out all substrate, baking rocks/decoration, and baking new substrate before adding it in. What types of cleaning product should I use on the plastic covered walls and floor? Vinegar and water?

I saw a new type of mite on Abigail today. It's dark green and looks a bit like a spider. Picture posted. Should I deal with this immediately? Is it something to worry about? How do I kill the few mites on her?

Also, she isn't horribly pyramided but it's been getting worse lately. She doesn't use any humid hide I make her, preferring to wedge in a corner or under wet sphagnum moss. Humidity stays at 75%-80%, but soaking has grown to about a biweekly thing because life has recently gotten more busy. How do I get her to use a humid hide? (I know moss in the pic is dry-I'm about to soak it as soon as Abigail is done with her soak). She wouldn't even use the two different sized flower pots on their sides. Maybe it's because of the mites?

She's about 7 months, 4in, and 6oz. She's always been a steady gainer, but a few weeks ago she weighed 6.5oz. She used to wander around her enclosure more too, but now she mostly hides in her corner. She still eats well and is active during our outdoor time. image.jpeg image.jpeg
 

Nmcgowan

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As far as the cleaner thing: I use a product called Maxima. I got it from my exotic vet and it is safe for all reptiles. I can't seem to find it anywhere online so you may have to do some digging in order to get it where you are.
 

wellington

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Hot water and dawn dish soap should be good enough and rinse well with hot water. Dawn dish soap is what they use on animals caught in oil spills. I didn't see any pic of the green bug. Be sure to double check at tort level temps and humidity. Also be sure there is a cover on the enclosure to keep humidity in. The one hide looks a little small, maybe that's why she's not using it
 

haylee345

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Lol an aphid! Ok, I'm a very relieved idiot. I had a bigger hid that she didn't like either. I read somewhere that they like to be snug, so I tried getting a smaller one. Maybe I'll just keep trying different sizes. She's stubborn though. Thanks for the replies everyone.
 

J.P.

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position your hides in corners, they prefer that over hides placed at the center of enclosures. i don't know why, but this has always worked for mine. once they get used to a particular hide, then you can place it wherever you want.
 

Tom

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I agree the green bug is a harmless aphid. Your other bugs are not mites. They are a species of "substrate fly". Possibly Phorid flies. They are harmless detrivores. Even less harmful than the harmless aphid. You don't need to do anything about them and the pesticide used to kill them is actually dangerous, while the bugs are not. They come from the environment and the only way to keep them at bay is to boil, bake or replace your substrate every two weeks or so. Personally, I just ignore them.

To prevent further pyramiding, you need to find the time to soak daily, spray the shell several times a day, and put the tortoise in the humid hide after lights out every night.

About the lack of activity:
What are you feeding?
What are your four temperatures?
What heating and lighting equipment are you using? UV? What type?
 

haylee345

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Daily I give her a big handful of mustard greens/turnip greens/spring mix/occasional kale, bok choy, or whatever is not too expensive. Now that it's spring my planted food is finally growing in, so I'll be able to reduce the grocery store greens. She gets moistened zoomed grassland pellets mixed with chopped grass a couple times a week, and I take her out to graze on tortoisesupply's grassland seed mix a few times a week. The grazing has is usually 30 min-1 hr 2-3 times a week in shady afternoon light, but weather is consistently warm now and life has calmed, so she'll be out more.

Her indoor enclosure has a zoomed fluorescent tube UVA/UVB light that is likely losing effectiveness since I bought it in November, but I think that'd ok since I take her out regularly. I'll replace in next fall probably when it gets too cold to graze again.

Her favorite corner is 82, basking spots are 94 under her 24hr CHE and 98 under her daytime basking lamp, both on dimmers so I control the temps. She tends to be more active when it's in the 85 range I've found. I don't like lowering her CHE temp too much because it's on one side of her enclosure and has to make the other side warm enough at night when the basking lamp is off.

Do the bugs typically swarm food after it's been in an hour, and are in a writhing mass underneath the leaves? I caught a bunch of pill bugs in December to try to control the population but I'm not sure how effective they've been. I do see baby pill bugs crawling around, so they're breeding.
 

haylee345

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I did notice only a few days ago that underneath her CHE was 104. I lowered it immediately, and she had mostly been staying on the cooler side. I neglected to check for a couple weeks, and I guess as outdoor temps rose, her enclosure temp also rose.

I checked my records, and she weighed:
Jan 27- 5.1oz
Feb 12- 5.5oz
March 15- 6.5oz
April 28- 6.0oz

Video of her eating grass outside today. It's still not her favorite, but she's learning.
"https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https://www.facebook.com/haylee.newton.3/posts/1148992635131402&width=500"
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Where you moving to? Just trying to see who you'll be close to.
 

haylee345

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Texas, between Austin and San Antonio. Pretty excited to get there.

Also, she's perked up now that her enclosure is cooler. Poor little thing. She hates being too hot.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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You'll be close , well sorta, to some great guys......
 

DutchieAmanda

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She doesn't use any humid hide I make her, preferring to wedge in a corner or under wet sphagnum moss. Humidity stays at 75%-80%, but soaking has grown to about a biweekly thing because life has recently gotten more busy. How do I get her to use a humid hide? (I know moss in the pic is dry-I'm about to soak it as soon as Abigail is done with her soak). She wouldn't even use the two different sized flower pots on their sides. Maybe it's because of the mites?

View attachment 171734 View attachment 171735

She's probably not using her hide because she can't find it. It's camouflaged! ;)

Cute tort!
 
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