Small black bugs invade my tortoise enclosure


New Member
Jun 15, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Small bugs in my tortoises enclosure they came out of no where there are a lot of them too the tortoise does not seem bothered by them can someone help know what these bugs are they are very small and black and fast


Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jul 8, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
There are a couple bugs that live in substrate. The most common are springtails, but they're white.

Pill bugs, also called rolly pollys, can move in too. They are much larger, are gray, and roll up into a ball when bothered.

The third is probably what you have. They are called phorid flies, and are very similar to fruit flies, or gnats.

Having some of these insects in your enclosure is actually a good thing. The bugs eat rotting material, like food bits that fall into the substrate, and poops. They are some of nature's janitors, making places cleaner. I have springtails and phorid flies, and I don't bother them. But I do find the flies around the trash can in the kitchen...just empty it often and they are not a problem.