Over the years, there have been many vivarium owners having to deal with the issue of mites in springtail culture. Yes, it can be a pain.
It can also mean the end of life for your springtails.
If you’re ever in this situation, what are you going to do? After all, having springtails can provide many benefits for your ecosystem.
In this guide about mites in springtail culture, you will learn:
- How to remove these destructive mites that are causing harm to the springtails.
- What you’ll need.
- The process of removal.
You can navigate through this guide faster with the table of content below.
Mites In Springtail Culture
It doesn’t really take much for one’s springtail culture to get filled with mites. Mites usually hang out under the lid just waiting to be fed when they attracted to a certain springtail culture.
Did you know? 💡 Most people won’t even notice the mites until they are well established in their springtail culture.
The Supplies That You Will Need
In order to cleanse your springtail culture from any mites that might have settled in you will need a few items.
- A clean and sterile container is necessary for this process, many vivarium owners would recommend a Rubbermaid container since it seals tightly. This will help make the removal easier. –
- You will also need a pan but it must have high sides.
- A bowl preferably a standard cereal one.
- You will also need two straws that are taped end to end.
- A few paper towels
- Rubbing alcohol is another requirement.
- Finally, you need your chosen method of harvesting the springtails
Are you ready to save the springtail culture?
The Process To Saving Your Springtail’s Culture
Below is a step-by-step guide for the process into saving your springtails:
Step 1: Make sure your supplies and your tabletop are both thoroughly clean, if a few mites are found on either your supplies or table your efforts will go to waste.
After all, our goal is to save as many springtails as possible.
Step 2: You’ll need to fill about 2/3 and 3/4 of your bowl with water.
By using this preferred harvesting method, you will harvest a large portion of springtails from the culture.
Step 3: Using a paper towel wet with rubbing alcohol, clean your table once more as well as the outside of your bowl.
Tip: If any mites were transferred, make sure that they were transferred in the bowl of water only and nowhere else.
Step 4: Now you have to carefully place your bowl in the pan.
Step 5: Using your straw, gently blow (preferably at an angle) on the springtails in order to separate the clean springtails from the mites.
Blowing has to be done very gently otherwise your efforts are in vain.
Step 6: Remove the bowl from the pan and set it aside.
Step 7: Now dump the clean springtails in the new clean, sterile container and feed them 100% active yeast.
You can dispose of the dirty container now and cleanse your area with rubbing alcohol again.
Alternative Method To Saving Your Springtails
Method 1: The alternative method may be risky, however, if you are willing to take the risk you can lower the humidity a bit for a few hours.
This will not kill the springtails but will be enough to kill the mites.
Method 2: Another risky solution might be buying predatory mites, results may be different and they might even eat the springtails or their eggs. You can also put in food as bait and then take out the mites from the food clusters.
To prevent mites, you might want to consider keeping the springtail culture on Mite paper or on paper towels that are saturated with mite spray.
Keeping the container moist is very important to prevent mites, and if you notice any smell you must cut down the feeding.
Tip: Cutting down the feeding can also help kill the mites.
There are many methods of removing mites and cleansing your springtail culture from them, you must be careful when going through the process.
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