Super active tortoise with newly discovered tiny white bugs, is it the bugs or the temperature?


New Member
May 3, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Saratoga Springs
Hi everyone, I'm new and I was soaking my Hermann's tortoise, and noticed little white bugs on his shell. I checked the substrate and they were in there too, after I checked a few handfuls I saw one. I came on here immediately and they sound like they are springtails but it's still causing me to panic. Whiplash has been incredibly active and he's also eating well, so while those are good things, he's been way more active than he was the first three weeks I've had him. I've read that the springtails don't usually bother them, but could that be why he's so active? Is he uncomfortable? It's also been really hot the last few days and the house hasn't been air conditioned so I've been watching his temps closely to make sure he's not too hot and maybe that's why he's so active. I have Eco Earth and Repti-Bark substrate. Also, the bugs are very tiny, white and so small, but they are not jumping like people have described, they are very "crawly".

I wanted to get a tortoise a year ago but waited and did research, I read Tom's care sheet recently and have been following TortoiseForum for the last year and I just want to make sure my guy is ok. I don't know how old he is because I got him from a pet store , and he hasn't gotten preliminary check-up yet but he's going to the reptile vet soon. Thank you, I'm really worried about him. After his soak when I saw all the bugs come off of him he's been calmer and is just basking on a piece of slate instead of running around like a madman, but maybe that's just in my head.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Feb 27, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey

Springtails are of no concern. They eat detritus and help to keep your substrate from becoming too acidic. (They only *spring* when threatened, otherwise it is a very costly way to get around, calorically speaking.) Many keepers pay good money to buy them, so you are quite lucky that your habitat is bioactive and healthy for free! Your tortoise's skin and shell are too thick to be bothered.

If you feel your tort's activity level is unnatural, post some clear photos of your enclosure and describe what types of light and heat fixtures and bulbs you are using. Escaping behavior is usually about something going wrong with the environment in general.

New Posts