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Old 11-04-2013, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Household mites v hedgehog mites

I just had an explosion (nasty, crawling, horror) of mites in my mealworm farm. I took them out immediately and Steri-Fabbed the area around that had mites (unfortunately, right next to my hedgehog cage, in the middle of my living room).

My question: these aren't the same sort of mites that bug hedgehogs, right? I assume they're not, they were tiny and white and sort of looked like (from what I can tell, they were so tiny) the sorts of mites you see crawling under flower pots.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What you are likely seeing are grain/cereal mites. A different species. They will infest the mealworm colony, cat food, or any other food/grain related source though.

Sounds like your mealworm colony had a humidity/heat issue. It always hurts to have to destroy a colony for mites. The last time I had one the colony had been fed organically for 6 years. That one really hurt.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, that's a relief, thank you for replying. I put the bag of silkworms and the canister of cat food that was nearby in the freezer for the day, but if they reappear it's no biggie to toss them. Phew! I figured there are probably a thousand different types of mites to deal with, but I just didn't want poor Bertie to deal with getting the itchies.

I had had this colony for about a year (and you're right, I was definitely having humidity issues), and it definitely stunk to have to toss them, since the ones I grew at home were so much bigger and healthier-looking than the ones in the stores here. Sigh. I can't imagine having to toss a 6-year-old one, though, that sucks!
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used to order mine online a lot. I always found the ones directly from the grower to be the best. Order 1000. Then you can feed your hedgehog and start a new colony at the same time... at least that is how I restarted.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Do you have a supplier you like? I might do that. I don't think the ones that I can get at the store here are iffy, but they're just kinda skinny.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I haven't ordered any for a while but I used to use several:

http://www.nyworms.com/mealworms.htm
http://www.flukerfarms.com/
http://www.grubco.com/

You'll likely spend about $25 for 1000. Shipping is often more than the worms, but I always found the worms were always nice and plump.

You mentioned silkworms above. Are you getting those locally? I've always wanted to try some, but never have wanted to order them without knowing if my quilled ones would actually eat them. I keep thinking about them as I have a toothless hedgehog that loves bugs. She can eat mealworm pupae, but unless the worms have freshly shed their skins, she cannot gum them.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you!

I actually use the dried mealworms, so I don't think your toothless hedgie (bless her heart!) could eat them. I just bought a bag to try, since they're apparently a bit less fatty than mealworms, and my guy loves bugs, too. Sometimes he likes them, sometimes he doesn't. I always break them up a little because I worry (probably needlessly) about him choking.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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By mealworms up there, I meant dried silkworms.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My little friend almost choked on his first silkworm. He loved it, but I found it too stressful to deal with again!

I've found silkworms live in the usual array of reptile/aquarium petshops, but I also found a local weaver's guild had them.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Have you considered butterworms, Kalandra? They might be difficult to find as well, but they're another soft-bodied worm. They look like bigger, yellow waxworms, but they're lower in fat (and higher in calcium, if I remember right). I got them once to try from Preuss Pets (not sure if they still have them) & Lily liked them a lot.
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