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Are predatory mites legit?


23 replies to this topic

#1 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 18 2020 - 5:32 PM

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I have a pretty bad grain mite outbreak in my 2,000+ Crematogaster colony’s outworld. They’re crawling out onto my ant shelves and getting into other colonies now. I would like to know if predatory mites actually work and what species I should try to order? Most I see online are for spider mite control. This. Really. Sucks.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#2 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 18 2020 - 5:55 PM

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I use Hypoaspis miles (now Stratiolaelaps scimitus in captivity?). I've had parasitic mites on multiple colonies get crushed by a few Hypoaspis. I used to have thousands of springtails in my vivarium - Hypoaspis do not allow that. I now have thousands of Hypopaspis. I recommend getting these, although they need damp soil to lay their eggs. Their life cycle takes about 2 weeks. They're effective at killing off pretty much anything, as long as they can reproduce for a bit.

 

If you have a vivarium/springtail culture, keep Hypoaspis away from these at all costs.


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#3 Offline Domagoj - Posted July 19 2020 - 2:20 AM

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I now have thousands of Hypopaspis. I recommend getting these, although they need damp soil to lay their eggs. 

 

 

Do they take over the role of cleaners, or are they purely predatory?

If latter, what do they eat once they eradicate the parasites?



#4 Offline FSTP - Posted July 19 2020 - 2:50 AM

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I now have thousands of Hypopaspis. I recommend getting these, although they need damp soil to lay their eggs. 

 

If latter, what do they eat once they eradicate the parasites?

 

 

They slowly die off.
 


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#5 Offline Boog - Posted July 19 2020 - 6:48 AM

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I came across mentions of root aphids as a possibility of suspected mite infestations, they thrive in soil and are just as annoying too. Quarantine the outworld and sanitize it but if it’s out the container then this problem might be more than a mite problem. Are they setting up shop in the ant nests?
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#6 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 19 2020 - 7:16 AM

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I ordered some Hypoaspis miles mites for $19 on Amazon. I’ll try to clean the outworld, but that is going to be a nightmare with the thousands of ants in there. There are no plants or roots of any kind and very low humidity, so zero chance of root aphids.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#7 Offline ponerinecat - Posted July 19 2020 - 7:32 AM

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I sometimes find wild hypoaspis sites here.



#8 Offline FSTP - Posted July 19 2020 - 7:35 AM

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what brand did you get?



#9 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 19 2020 - 8:37 AM

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The brand is Nature’s Good Guys.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#10 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted July 19 2020 - 7:11 PM

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Please keep us updated. I had to dump one tiny colony out of their mini-hearth due to mites, probably a "harmless" grain mite that had infested my fruit fly cultures (I froze them after rescuing a few larvae), and I found some crawling around in a dirt box whose colony failed (possibly arrived with the springtails I added).

While my isopod bins have tons of mites, having them with ants totally totally sucks. I have often thought about Stratiolaelaps but yes, I've also heard horror stories of them destroying springtail populations (and surviving long-term afterward), and there is a paper that says they try to eat bee brood, so I've been cautious. Nonetheless, what you describe sounds like a nightmare that requires this particular sledgehammer.


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#11 Offline Temperateants - Posted July 20 2020 - 6:39 AM

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I second this, one of my mealworm cultures had these harmless but annoying mites, that ate the apple cores I gave the mealworms, so I had to clean up the entire setup. Now I just have these weird insects? They are tiny, gray, and have longish antennae for their size. So far, they haven't caused any problems, but they are annoying.


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#12 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 23 2020 - 6:11 PM

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Update-
My order of Hypoaspis miles mites arrived from Nature’s Good Guys today. The mites were packaged in a pepper shaker tube filled with substrate. I scooped out a bunch of this substrate with the mites in it into a dish and put that into the outworld. I pray this works! I think the quantity of mites has even ruined the fluon by giving the ants little dusty footholds, or else they’re annoyed and more eager to escape. What a nightmare.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#13 Offline ponerinecat - Posted July 23 2020 - 6:44 PM

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lol, gets rid of the mites and the ants



#14 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 24 2020 - 3:35 AM

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lol, gets rid of the mites and the ants

What the heck? Can you explain this comment? How is it LOL if I lose my favorite colony?

Edited by ANTdrew, July 24 2020 - 3:45 AM.

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#15 Offline ponerinecat - Posted July 24 2020 - 7:30 AM

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Simply meant that if it does happen, it's quite ironic.



#16 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 24 2020 - 8:24 AM

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It would be tragic, not ironic. For me, at least.
I emailed the company for their advice. I hate everything right now.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#17 Offline Croux - Posted July 24 2020 - 9:08 AM

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I read what may be chalked up to a bit of an "old wives tale", but can you provide your colony a slice of lemon or a similarly strong citrus fruit? I've read of species gathering the liquid and using the citric acid to remove mites.

#18 Offline FSTP - Posted July 24 2020 - 9:14 AM

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I read what may be chalked up to a bit of an "old wives tale", but can you provide your colony a slice of lemon or a similarly strong citrus fruit? I've read of species gathering the liquid and using the citric acid to remove mites.

 

 

I don't think there is any real evidence this actually works. Its a myth I think that was started in A/C circles he initially did it with one of his colonies that had mites, claimed it worked for a while then ended up having to get hypoaspis mites to fix the problem. 


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#19 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 24 2020 - 9:17 AM

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Yeah, that sounds like crap to me. I’m not wasting my time or lemons on that.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#20 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 31 2020 - 5:07 PM

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Update:
It’s been one week since I introduced the predatory mites. I haven’t see any real change in the grain mite numbers, but at least they aren’t getting worse. No harm has come to the ants in any way.
Does anyone know how far these roam in search of prey? Anthony? I put an open jar of their soil on my ant shelves hoping they’ll roam and pick off any mites in other colonies.
In a week or two, I hope to set up a whole new sterile outworld for my colony as phase two of my mite mitigation.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25





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