Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Small White Round Insects in Soil (mites?)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    108

    Default Small White Round Insects in Soil (mites?)

    I just noticed lots and lots of small white round insects crawling throughout the soil in my tegu's enclosure. I recently changed all the dirt after it had been in there for a year and it was drying out. I used the same mixture as last time from the same places. 2 big bags of sphagnum peat moss from a local organic store, only one bag had a tear in it. The other was a organic bag of topsoil from lowes. I wetted the dirt a lot when I put it in there so the humidifier I had hooked up to my hygrometer would not be blasting and on so often as it was before. Anyways the humidity stay between 80 and 90%, the soil is not wet not but it is moist. I also have two plants of just normal grass inside the cage. I am trying to identify these insects to see if they are beneficial or not. I do not see any damage to Yoshi (my tegu), nor do I see any damage on the two plants. I will provide pictures asap, but I was wondering how bad this could be?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Abbotsford, BC
    Posts
    234

    Default

    I have seen these as well and I also suspected that they came in from peat (sphagnum) moss. I believe that they are a type of soil mite. I have not seen them in my tegu enclosure, but I have seen them in 2 different cockroach enclosures that I keep. They seem to pop up whenever the substrate is wet enough but they die off quickly under drier conditions. I also think they require a food source to do well (obviously), but what I mean is that if there is no food spilled into the soil they don't show up. To sum that all up more clearly, I have only ever seen them in locations where edible plant material has been spilled into peat moss that is sufficiently moist. I have seen them feed on both plant material and cockroaches, but only those roaches that were in poor condition or those that had just molted.

    I don't think they should bother your tegu. Have a look at Yoshi and see if you can see any on him, make sure to check the nostrils and eyelids, but my guess is you won't find any. You can control them by drying out the substrate and making sure food doesn't spill on it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Thank you for the information. It's nice to know someone else has some knowledge on these things, I could not figure out enough to keep myself from worrying from just the internet. I'll keep an eye on him to make sure nothing is bothering him. I do believe it was definitely the fact that the peat moss was moist and I am sure somewhere along the line I have missed some food inside of his cage. I'll probably just dry out the cage a little by leaving the humidifier off for a couple days. Or maybe I'll let them stay as long as Yoshi is fine with it. He has been burying himself in the dirt for a day or two at a time recently so I am assuming he doesn't mind. Maybe they'll even eat his dead skin or anything bad for him?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Antonio,TX
    Posts
    9,504

    Default

    Here is some information for you to check out ( if you want to ). I don't want to be rude and tell you what to do but please don't have the humidity to high. I wouldn't go over 70%. If the humidity is to high Joshi could get a upper respiratory infection.

    Mites:

    http://www.anapsid.org/mites.html

    Upper Respiratory Infection:

    http://www.anapsid.org/rti.html
    Rich is not how much you have, or where you are going, or what you are.Rich is who you have beside you.

    Our videos :

    http://www.youtube.com/user/txrepgirl

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    108

    Default

    I really hated having it that high. The only reason I have had it up more than usual was because he was having a really hard time with some shed on his tail. I was giving him daily baths and raising the humidity to help him out. He had shed twice and still had it stuck on his tail but after some weeks it came off and I left the humidity up a little high because I forgot to reprogram it down lower. I do thank you for the information, and I'm going to set his humidity down lower. I read the URI page and he is not showing any signs of that. Also I never had the humidifier running 24/7, I had it off some days and on others.

    Thank you both! You guys helped a bunch.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Abbotsford, BC
    Posts
    234

    Default

    Yes, i was going to say too that 80-90% humidity is very high, besides RI problems, there are many unwanted organisms that thrive in humid conditions (bacteria, mold, parasites). However, some of the soil bugs that also enjoy these conditions can be beneficial if they clean up some of the food bits and other soil contaminants but leave your animal alone. Springtails and isopods (pillbugs) are examples.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Antonio,TX
    Posts
    9,504

    Default

    Your welcome. That's good to hear that you don't have it on 24/7. Do you still have the bugs ?
    Rich is not how much you have, or where you are going, or what you are.Rich is who you have beside you.

    Our videos :

    http://www.youtube.com/user/txrepgirl

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    108

    Default

    I dried out the soil as best I could, but it seems I now have gnats all in my room. I cannot see many white bugs anymore but there are numerous gnats in his cage now...I do not mind the tiny little white mites or bugs but that gnats I cannot deal with. Is there anyway to rid them without getting rid of the beneficial bugs or completely changing the dirt?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Abbotsford, BC
    Posts
    234

    Default

    Describe the gnats. Do they hop or do they fly? If they hop they are not gnats, probably springtails (non-insect hexapods). If they fly they might be gnats or small fruitflies, which are annoying but won't cause any problems. Springtails are beneficial, they won't cause issues.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    108

    Default

    They fly, I think they are fruitflies as you described. Mainly because I have a colony of dubia roaches also and sometimes I feed them fruit and forget to take them out. I'm going to leave these bugs alone and hopefully there are still some beneficial ones left in the dirt even after I dried it out a little. I really don't like the gnats mainly because they fly all over my screen when I'm on the computer. I'm going to leave them alone now and hope when winter comes, and after I've gotten rid of these roaches (I don't like feeding them because of their wings which are hard to digest) then maybe the gnats will leave.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •