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DrAmy
DrAmy, Reptile Veterinarian
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 266
Experience:  9yrs experience
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Best way to eradicate mites from a reptile collection

Customer Question

Best way to eradicate mites from a reptile collection
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

The best way to get rid of the mites is to strip down the habitat and throw out anything that can be washed with a bleach water solution. Wash every thing else with a 50/50 bleach water solution and rise well.

 

The animals need to be soaked is a tea colored solution of Betadine and water. This will help get rid of the mites.

 

The bedding should be replaced with newspaper or paper towels.

 

There is a product called Provent-a-Mite which needs to be used cautiously used: http://www.pro-products.com/

 

This is a link for instructions on getting rid of mites: http://www.anapsid.org/mites.html

 

Joan

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You haven't told me anything that i already didn't know. i told you I was using Pro vent a mite. This makes no sense at all, The best way to get rid of the mites is to strip down the habitat and throw out anything that can be washed with a bleach water solution. Wash every thing else with a 50/50 bleach water solution and rise well.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.

Hello,

I will opt out and allow someone else to assist you. I am having some internet issues and let another expert assist you.

Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

Since Joan is having problems with her internet connection, I'll try to help you. Provent-a-mite alone isn't going to get rid of the mites. I suspect you're looking for an easy way that will be certain to get every mite. Unfortunately, there isn't such a method. Getting rid of mites takes hard work and diligence. If your collection is large, there is no denying it will be difficult.

I'll give you a summary of what you'll have to do and a link that gives you all the step-by-step details. The reptiles will have to be removed from their cage. You'll need to give them a bath in a Betadine solution (tea-colored, as stated above), then put them somewhere safe while you deal with the cage. Everything will have to be taken out of the cage. The link I'll give you tells you exactly how to get rid of mites on everything from the heating pad to the water bowl. You'll have to use some sort of toxic chemical (like bleach water) in the cage, unless you live somewhere that still has outside temperatures in the 80's or above, where you can use heat to kill the mites. If you have that option, the details are given on the link, which I'll give you again in a moment. After using bleach water or another chemical, the cages have to be thoroughly aired to make them safe for the reptiles once more. The room where your reptiles live will also need to be cleaned well because mites wander all over. Even if you get rid of all of them on the animals and in the cages, there are some just waiting to move back in. A thorough vacuuming, along with laundering curtains, will decrease the chances of this happening. Here again is where you can read exactly how to do all of this:

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

I know this sounds pretty overwhelming, but there is no easy way, and if the mite infestation gets heavy enough, the nasty little things can even kill your reptiles.

If you have further questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. Good luck in eliminating the mites.

Anna
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Told me the same thing as the other individual except that provent a mite won't get rid of the mites.
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
The reason you were told the same thing is that this IS the best method to get rid of mites. There is no easy method, and I suspect that is what you're hoping to find. Of course, I can understand why you would like one, but no one can give you something that doesn't exist.

I'll opt out of your question, as well.

Anna
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  DrAmy replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question.

What kind of reptiles do you have?

Thanks,
Dr. Amy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have snakes, geckos, and a bearded dragon.
Expert:  DrAmy replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. The cattle dewormer ivermectin (1% concentration) can be used to treat mites in snakes and bearded dragons. You can take 0.5 milliliter (ml) and dilute it with one liter of water. This can then be sprayed on the reptiles once a week for 3-5 weeks. No one knows how long the solution is stable, so you may want to make up a new batch every week. The ivermectin may be available at a local farm and feed type store without a prescription. Otherwise you would need a veterinarian to write a prescription, which they can't do legally without an exam.

You can still use the ProVent- a- Mite on the cage surface and substrate is also very highly effective for the environment. Remove the snake and bearded dragon from their cages to treat the cage and then wait for the cage to dry completely before putting the snake back. Repeat in 2 and 4 weeks.

Geckos don't normally get mites. If your geckos are in separate cages and don't have any problems, don't treat them. Let me know what kind of skin lesions they have and I can help you with them specifically. Geckos absorb things through their skin better than snakes and bearded dragons, so there is a greater chance of toxicity. Also, ivermectin is toxic to indigo snakes.

I will post this as my answer, but feel free to ask if you have any more questions. I am here to help.

Thanks!
Dr. Amy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What about using Nix?
Expert:  DrAmy replied 2 years ago.
You could use Nix. Many reptile breeders use it for mites. You can dilute Nix (1% permethrin) and use it for treatment of the reptiles and the enclosures. The dilution is one 59 ml bottle into 4 liters of water. This results in a 0.015% solution. The treatment protocol is to spray the snakes and bearded dragon out of the cage with this solution, and spray the enclosure. Then return the snake to the enclosure. Spray weekly for 4 weeks, rinsing the reptiles with a water spray after 1/2 hour. Clean all cages, dishes, etc.
This protocol is usually safe and effective.

I also found out that ivermectin 1% is over the counter (ie. you don't need a prescription). It is available online from several pet pharmacies. Search for Ivomec if you are still considering this option.

I hope this additional information has been helpful!
Expert:  DrAmy replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,

I hadn't heard back from you and just wanted to see if you had any further questions. The topical medications that I have recommended can work, but do potentially have side effects such as lethargy, anorexia, neurological signs. As I mentioned earlier, these treatment protocols are usually safe. However, there is always a risk with any medical treatment. If you have questions regarding dilution, etc, please ask me or consult with a local reptile vet.

Best wishes,
Dr. Amy
DrAmy, Reptile Veterinarian
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 266
Experience: 9yrs experience
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