Recognizing snake mites
The snake mite Ophionyssus natricis , also called the blood mite, is a parasite that mainly occurs on snakes. The adult snake mite is approximately 1 mm in size and light brown in color. When the snake mite has sucked full blood, it is dark red or black in color. If you look carefully you can see the snake mite as black dots between the scales. Areas to look out for are under the chin, around the eyes and around your reptile's cloaca.
Which reptiles have snake mites?
The snake mite is mainly found on various types of snakes such as the king python, green tree python or boa constrictor. The snake mite can also occur on lizards such as the dwarf bearded dragon or collared lizard.
Other ectoparasites on reptiles
In addition to the snake mite, reptiles can also suffer from other types of parasites. Another type of red mite that is common is the reptile mite Hirstiella trombidiformes. In the picture you see the orange colored mite on an iguana. This type of mite can be controlled in the same way as the snake mite.
Image source: Dr. Stephen Divers
How old does a snake mite live?
The development from egg to adult snake mite takes 1-2 weeks. The snake mite can therefore reproduce very quickly. The adult mite survives for 40 days, even if it has not eaten. This allows the snake mite to remain in the terrarium for a long time.
How do I recognize snake mite symptoms?
Snakes will tend to bathe more in water. The snake is probably trying to cool its skin due to the irritation of the snake mite. If you look closely you can see the snake mites floating like dots in the water. They detach from the skin in water.
Irritation around snake's eyes
The snake mite can be located around the snake's eyes, causing irritation.
Snake shedding problems
The presence of the snake mite affects the general health of the snake. For example, the snake mite can cause shedding problems.
Source: Tom Greek, MS, DVM
How do I combat snake mites?
The snake mite can be effectively controlled with Taurrus predatory mites. Simply spread Taurrus over the bottom of the substrate and the predatory mites will do all the work.
The importance of a clean terrarium
To get rid of snake mites or to prevent snake mites, it is very important to clean the terrarium thoroughly. Remove or replace wooden parts of the terrarium. Snake mites lay their eggs in cracks in wood. Only when the cage is completely clean and empty can you introduce Taurrus predatory mites.
How does Taurrus work?
Taurrus predatory mites are the natural enemy of the snake mite. Taurrus actively searches for parasites and attacks them. The predatory mites can thrive in any type of terrarium.
When do predatory mites not work?
Taurrus predatory mites cannot be used in combination with snake mite killers such as insecticides or pesticides. Furthermore, agents that dry out or damage the predatory mite, such as silica powder or diatomaceous earth.
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