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Old 02-01-2008, 10:32 PM   #1
Mite infested. Grrrrr

I never thought I would have to deal with mites, but here they are. My leucistic Texas rat snake appeared perfectly normal about two days ago but now he is completely covered in mites. I'm not sure how this happened so suddenly. As far as I can see, my other snakes don't have any. I put him in a bag with 5% Sevin dust and made sure he was covered in it. Poor fella looked so depressed and lethargic. Normally he's flighty, but today he was letting me rub and pick at him all over. Maybe he realized I was helping him out of his miserable condition. Doubt it.
Old 02-01-2008, 11:04 PM   #2
Personally, I've never used Sevin dust to deal with mites...It is a poison and I wouldn't trust it with my animals. I did look up methods of using Sevin dust as a mite treatment for reptiles, and it is not meant to be coated on your snake. Everything I've read says it should be lightly dusted in the enclosure. After 24 hours the snake should be rinsed off as well as the items in the enclosure.

The first step you should have done is place the infested animal in a tub with paper towels as substrate with minimal decoration after giving him a nice long soak in luke warm water.

Jay has a really nice blog article on using a product called Nix to rid a mite infestation.
Old 02-02-2008, 03:38 AM   #3
Reptile Relief rocks.

Treat the animal with RR, the enclosure with ProventAMite per the directions on the packages.

Treat the others as well. Mites are worse than cockroaches. Don't let them get any foothold.
Old 02-02-2008, 10:05 AM   #4
Sevin is an insecticide and was never intended to be put directly on your snake. I would rinse your snake in clean water and remove all traces of the insecticide and throughly clean the cage with a mild soap and water. As suggested above outfit the cage with the bare minimun accessories and use paper or paper towers for a substrate. Please use an approved mite treatement for snakes.

I have include links to a Wiki article on Sevin and an article on mite treatments and warning about such treatments. I strongly suggest reading the entire article in
Old 02-02-2008, 10:40 AM   #5
I don't want to suggest the above is the only way to treat mites it was only a suggested place to start. I have no personal experience with any mite treatment since I have never experienced mites. I am only suggesting using a tried an true mite treatment that will not harm your animal.

Here are other options.

Nix treatment.

I keep cans on Provent-a-Mite and Reptile Relief, just in case. The instructions are on the can or bottle. I personally don't believe in the once a month insecticide sprayings, suggested by Provent-a-Mite.

**** From the ads ****
Provent-a-Mite has undergone more than eight years of research and clinical testing to insure that it will effectively eradicate mites and ticks that feed on snakes and will not harm the host being treated when used as directed. Provent-a-Mite can also be used to stop future infestations. Just spray on substrate, racks, enclosure openings, etc. once a month as directed to kill any disease carrying mites or ticks before they can become a problem.

Reptile Relief is not a poison. See results immediately with fast acting Reptile Relief. Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate and undecylenic acid kill mites and ticks on contact without poisons by compromising their natural chemistry. Cleans and deodorizes wounds and irritations to promote healing. Biodegradable and pH balanced, you can safely spray it directly on your pet at three-day intervals. For use on turtles, lizards, and snakes.
Old 02-02-2008, 11:01 AM   #6
I have to agree completely with Don....Sevin dust is not meant to be applied directly to your animal....and from my understanding, only to be used inside their enclosure WITHOUT the snake in it, then thoroughly cleaned out before returning the animal. I would thoroughly rinse him off, ASAP.

I have had limited experience with mites, luckily....but have had excellent luck using Reptile Relief, and it is very safe.
Old 02-02-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
The BoidSmith
Believe me, even if you don't see them the mites are already everywhere, female laying eggs. Estimate the cubic size of your room and use a pest strip. Use Provent a mite (or Equate anti-lice) for individual cages.

Old 02-03-2008, 06:10 PM   #8
Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. I got the Sevin dust treatment idea straight out of Kathy Love's book so I didn't think any harm could come from it. I certainly didn't leave the snake covered in dust. I made sure his body was coated, then I completely bathed him after. The mites also really got to his eye so I've been putting neosporin on it daily. I must say he's looking much better. I haven't seen any signs of more mites (not to say they aren't there). I'll look into the other methods you all suggested if I come across any more mites. Thanks again!
Old 02-03-2008, 06:45 PM   #9
The BoidSmith

I'm not sure if you are aware of the cycle of the mites. The females can travel long distances from their feeding source (your snake) to lay their eggs. That's so important to not only apply the product to the enclosure but to also treat the entire room. If not it can be an endless battle and the "size" is on their size .
Old 02-04-2008, 07:04 AM   #10
The Life History of Snake Mites

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