Mites!

Everyone in this house is sick…including the snakes!

I live with a lot of other animals. You heard about the 3 other iguanas and them the bearded dragon that just passed. But we also have a mud turtle, a sulcata tortoise, a corn snake, an eastern garter snake, a California blue garter snake, a ball python snake, a red tail boa snake, and 2 pesky dogs. I also have mom, dad, and a little brother…but don’t tell them I think of them as my pets!

We found a mite on the boa snake this weekend. Mites are like fleas for reptiles. They are super tiny, black bugs that feed on the blood of the reptile. For reptiles in the wild, it is not likely to kill them because they can move from place to place keeping the mite population under control. But for reptiles in captivity, they have stay in the same cage all the time where the mites are laying eggs and new ones are hatching all the time. Mites are actually easier to see on a snake than other reptiles because of the way their scales lay.

Mites are best fought if you find them early. Checking your reptiles often is a good way to catch them. A snake that stays in his water bowl too much may have mites. It is their way of trying to get rid of them. Mites are highly contagious in a household. They will travel on humans but are not likely to bite them, they prefer reptiles. For snakes, you look around their heads and belly scales for signs of mites. For lizards, you look around their heads, armpits, and dewlaps. Mites like softer skin areas where they can hide.

Dad had to soak each of the snakes in water and a bit of blue Dawn detergent. Then they needed to soak in clean water. Then sprayed with mite spray. The cages all had to be emptied of everything they use, the cages cleaned with mite spray, and then newspaper used for bedding. The boa is also now in quarantine in another room for a while.

So far none of the iguanas have been scratching or feeling anything crawling on them. Mom has been inspecting us often and soaking us even longer in our daily baths. I hate snakes to begin with but this makes me not like them even more!

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Posted in Iguana Care
One comment on “Mites!
  1. kjmtco says:

    Shamus, you are so lucky to get a bath every day!

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