Tiny white bugs

sarah w.

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
45
good evening.


I was about to feed my red foot when I noticed microscopic sized white bugs all in her bedding. I'm guessing wood mites? I use cocosoft as bedding.

What do you suggest to get rid of these bugs? Thanks!
 

Pearly

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
5,279
Location (City and/or State)
Central Texas, Austin area
I have kept this same bio substrate for a year now. At one point I brought some weeds from my garden and planted there as they started destroying all the pretty plants almost the very next day after tank cleaning/planting. Well soon after those weeds were planted I started noticing those tiny white bugs. So tiny I couldn't even see what they were. As little as punctuation mark in this iphone print. There were quite a few of them and I didn't like it. I waited for maybe a week or few days and was going to start deeper investigation. Was worried about having to replace perfectly workin selfsustaining bio-substrate that took months to establish... But nah! The native bugs of my substrate must have taken care of those little invadors or maybe the ph of the substrate was inhospitable or both... They were gone before I knew it. Those tiny bugs are not likely to hurt your tort. Give it a week or two and see what happens. Unless ... you'd be inclined to sterilize substrate by baking or freezing it. For me that was never a viable option with the volume of substrate I have. For the 40 gal tank, 4-6 inches thick... Nah! No baking for me. Just not practical for me but I know some people do it with good results. The only thing, keeping live plants just does not go with sterile substrate. And I petsonally don't like the fake plants. Some people work miracles with them I only have a "good hand" with the stuff that grows
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,291
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Those are one of the types of substrate flies. They come from the surrounding environment and they are harmless detrivores. You can just ignore them. If you really can't tolerate their presence, then you can boil, bake, freeze or replace your substrate every two weeks or so.
 

Pearly

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
5,279
Location (City and/or State)
Central Texas, Austin area
Those are one of the types of substrate flies. They come from the surrounding environment and they are harmless detrivores. You can just ignore them. If you really can't tolerate their presence, then you can boil, bake, freeze or replace your substrate every two weeks or so.
Yep! Short and sweet:)
 

Rue

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
1,256
Location (City and/or State)
Canada
Mites have 8 legs (well, unless they're immatures, then they only have 6) and one fused body part, insects have 6 legs and three distinct body parts...

If you can catch a couple and look closely you should be able to tell if it's an insect or not...that will help narrow down the ID...
 

Pearly

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
5,279
Location (City and/or State)
Central Texas, Austin area
Mites have 8 legs (well, unless they're immatures, then they only have 6) and one fused body part, insects have 6 legs and three distinct body parts...

If you can catch a couple and look closely you should be able to tell if it's an insect or not...that will help narrow down the ID...
Mine were to small for me to see any distinct body parts. I never thought of getting magnifying glass
 

von345

Active Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
134
I found the same thing!!! Yes mine jumped and they were so little and cleanish. Anyone know what they were? I was using cypress mulch and soil
 

jockma

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
639
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles County
You sound exactly like me! I joined this forum because of these nasty little things.

Long story short, you can't get rid of em unless you take out ALL the substrate, sanitize the enclosure, bake the substrate, put it back in the enclosure and hope they don't make a resurgence in 2 weeks. They're harmless, actually they're beneficial, they help clean up your enclosure by eating decaying matter.

To cut down on their numbers you need to remove any and all traces of decaying matter in the enclosure. Particles of food, poop, live plants, mulch substrate etc. Even then they may still scrape by. You can also introduce competition, like roly polys, that will eat decaying matter and allow the little white bugs (probably springtails) die out from lack of food.

I don't get them anymore. I'm using coco coir now. I had a massive amount of them using cypress mulch, less once switching to coco coir (they'd hang around the sides and top of the enclosure) and after Bean spent a few months with family friends I left his enclosure open so they would die out. They did. No survivors. Good riddance.
 

sarah w.

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
45
They're everywhere. I just need to know if they're harmful or harmless to her.

I also found a spider in her bedding too ):

They just freak me out. I've inspected her and they're not on her at all. They're just all in the bedding and in her food bowl.
 

jockma

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
639
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles County
100% harmless and 100% beneficial. They're only there because they're eating decaying things, cleaning the enclosure for you. If she has no poop, food particles or decaying substrate in her enclosure their numbers will drop.
 

jockma

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
639
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles County
They creep me out too. Just dump the substrate, sanitize the enclosure and use coco coir from now on if you really hate them like I do. I never see them now.
 

New Posts

Top