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Mites in C. modoc

mites finwins camponotus modoc how to cure mites ants c. modoc brown bumps on ants

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#1 Offline FinWins - Posted January 31 2023 - 10:11 PM

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On January 27th 2023 I took out my small Camponotus modoc colony from their dark case and notice the the queen and only worker were covered in little brown bump/warts. I tried to control my fear as I brought them under my desk light for closer inspection. That was when I realized just how many were there was about 50 on the queen and around 20 on the worker!🤯

Then I noticed the larger white mites crawling around in the test tube they were about 1.5 to twice the size of the brown bump mites on the ants. I brought out the queen and the worker and used a Q tip to clean them off, (much to their displeasure) and put them in a new test tube with a piece of lemon. 
 

A Few Days Later:

The moving and cleaning of the ants had put a serious dent in the mite population. I then moved they into another new test tube.

I think that these are phoretic mites because I have yet to see and adult mite touching the ants and the young brown ones can’t move around on the ant at all because they don’t have legs. As of 1/31/23


Edited by FinWins, February 15 2023 - 11:41 AM.

I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#2 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted February 1 2023 - 8:39 AM

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As some one noob to all this i am very curious what are the common mite vectors?
How do they get in, how can we help keep them out?

I'm already on the tip about not introducing random stuff like substrate and decorations not properly sterilized or insects gathered wild.
But are there any other main in routes to be watchful on?


Thanks for any time and attention to this,
FFY

Edited by Full_Frontal_Yeti, February 1 2023 - 8:40 AM.


#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted February 1 2023 - 3:54 PM

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Basically, you just want to boil ANY feeder insect you give the colony. Dipping them for three seconds in boiling water is sufficient to kill mites and eggs. Freezing is not enough to kill mite eggs. Commercially raised feeder insects are often full of trash mites.
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Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#4 Offline FinWins - Posted February 1 2023 - 5:16 PM

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I raise my own feed insects (dubia cockroaches in a bio-active tank) so they are coming from a relatively clean place. Now, I normally keep my test tube colonies very clean by transferring them to a new test tube when ever the slightest bit of mold shows up. However this was the only colony that always decided to stack all of its dead roaches near the wet cotton which caused mold to grow faster than normal. That coupled with my busy schedule meant that the colony was living in dirtier conditions that I would’ve liked. In fact when I discovered the mites was when I brought them out to transfer them to a new T-tube. So all of the decaying roaches made the perfect place for mites to live.

 

Edit: The colony is still doing well, and I am going to move them to a new tube today.


Edited by FinWins, February 1 2023 - 5:23 PM.

I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#5 Offline FinWins - Posted February 1 2023 - 5:22 PM

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Update 2/1/23: My plan of action that I’ve already implemented is to repeatedly transfer the colony to a new test tube so that as soon as the phoretic mites hatch out on the ants I move the ants to a new test tube so that the adult mites have no time to lay new offspring on the ants. That and I am putting pieces of lemon in their test tube which seems to help as well.


I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#6 Offline T.C. - Posted February 1 2023 - 11:06 PM

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Basically, you just want to boil ANY feeder insect you give the colony. Dipping them for three seconds in boiling water is sufficient to kill mites and eggs. Freezing is not enough to kill mite eggs. Commercially raised feeder insects are often full of trash mites.

 

I took a Micro-Picture of the cricket bins at some of the local pet shops here. Every singe one had mites EXCEPT, get this.... Pet Smart.  Of all the stores, the $hittiest store, "PetSmart" had healthy crickets.  

 

Josh's Frogs is SUPERIOR for feeding insects.... and everything else they offer. 


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#7 Offline FinWins - Posted February 10 2023 - 12:02 PM

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I moved them to a new test tube today with two pieces of lemon. Also, I added some coco fiber/ reptile soil because the queen has difficulty climbing on glass and as soon as I put it in the new test tube she went from freaking out, to completely clam in a matter of seconds, so maybe Camponotus do need substrate! All of the adult mites in the previous T tube seem to have died and there is also a dent in the number of attached juvenile mites. I think the lemon is doing its job because in the old test tube a while back I saw an adult mite dying on the lemon.

As of today the colony is starting to do better. 


I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#8 Offline FinWins - Posted February 15 2023 - 11:49 AM

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I've been checking on them every other day now and today that all of phoretic mites on the queen and worker had disappeared, but there was now lots of large adult stage white mites crawling around the test tube so I decided to move the ants them to a new one. The new test tube has no dirt in it this time, but the transfer went smoothly and I have put a piece of lemon about the size of a dime in the new t-tube just to be safe. As I am writing this the colony is in its new home and I can not see a single mite on them or in the test tube.

I will post pics soon.


I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#9 Offline FinWins - Posted February 19 2023 - 10:34 AM

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As of today the colony is officially mite free, so it seems the my efforts have paid off! Yay!


I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#10 Offline Flu1d - Posted February 20 2023 - 9:07 PM

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Great read! Thank you for sharing!
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#11 Offline FinWins - Posted March 9 2023 - 9:59 AM

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The mites are back! A couple must have been holding on to the ants when I move them last time how ever I just move the ant to another new tube with fresh lemon in it. Also the mites don’t seem to have been able to repopulate like they did last time. So instead of seeing lots of white dots crawling all over the test tube I just saw a few scattered about.


I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#12 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted March 10 2023 - 11:23 AM

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I wouldn't worry too much if you can't stop them again. In my experience, the red mites are the mites you should worry about ; the white ones are usually phoretic. If the lemon doesn't work again and you still want to cure them, predatory mites of the right species may wipe them out.


Edited by AntsCali098, March 10 2023 - 11:24 AM.

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