What is This Little Bug in my Enclosure?

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Lilsmurf15

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Hey there!!! I have had my 3 toed box turtle for 18 years and I have never had a bug issue until recently. Does anyone know what these are?? Thanks!!

IMG 0091
 

Yvonne G

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Wow! How on earth did you manage that picture? If they're what I think they are, they're pretty tiny little critters. I think it's springtail. They thrive under the food and water bowl, eat leftover food and detritus and are not harmful to the turtle. But don't take my word for it. Wait to here from others. I've never actually seen a springtail up that close.
 

Lilsmurf15

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Wow! How on earth did you manage that picture? If they're what I think they are, they're pretty tiny little critters. I think it's springtail. They thrive under the food and water bowl, eat leftover food and detritus and are not harmful to the turtle. But don't take my word for it. Wait to here from others. I've never actually seen a springtail up that close.
I have been trying to get a picture for a while, I just got really lucky this time and was able to zoom in on my iPhone . Thank you for your reply, I was hoping they weren't something harmful.
 

TammyJ

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Hello and welcome! Glad they are harmless, apparently.
 

waretrop

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A agree with what the little bugs are. Just clean them out and don't let moisture or food build up too much under the dishes....They really like moist areas....and are easy to get rid of...
 
L

LasTortugasNinja

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I realize I'm resurrecting an old thread, but it's Easter weekend, so it's all good. ;)

For those wondering, Springtails are a beneficial symbiote for most reptiles and amphibians along with isopods. They thrive in warm, humid environments and heartily break down chunks of food and waste particles you don't always see during cleanups. They are really popular for the latest fad of "biofiltering" pens and terrariums. I have a monitor lizard who has a thriving colony of these. He likes to watch them scurry around but never tries to lick them up. They are a good supplemental food source for terrestrial or arboreal amphibians such as smaller treefrogs or poison arrow frogs.

They are prolific breeders, so if you find yourself swamped by them, collect them in a plastic cup, keep them warm and moist, and sell them locally to other reptile owners interested in starting a colony. If you want to rid yourself of them completely, good luck. They seem to have a way of re-appearing. A good vinegar soak for all the enclosure furniture and complete replacement of soil will kill off the critters.
 

SasquatchTortoise

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Springtails are generally not harmful, except to a few that are parasitic to humans (and these are almost never heard of). They are really underappreciated. They clean the enclosure, mind their own business, and basically won't do anything. Some fun facts: they are not insects, and are not really related to any other arthropod. They live everywhere, from deserts to the deepest caves and freshwater habitats. In New Zealand and Japan, some of these can glow in the dark, called biolumenescence. many are actually quite colorful, some are red, some are camo, some are white, some are yellow and black, anyways you get the point. They are called springtails because they have an organ which allows them to jump long distances, like a spring.
 

Leothetort*2021

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WOW. I'm so glad someone else having this problem. I have done everything to get rid of them. Clean up after meals, wipe things clean on surface, changed food bowl etc. CLEANED out entire chamber with vinegar, water and wiped /air dried, and replaced with new orchard bark. YES i put new bark out in the freezing temps to kill off any bugs and STILL bugs returned. Grrrr. LOL..so for now I just keep cleaning, replaced with a new flat rock for food and basking area and glad to know they are beneficial in small amounts.
 

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