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Old 12-24-2013, 03:36 AM
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Smile Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

So it appears that I get Mites in all my Meloganster Fruit Fly Cultures but not in my Hydei Cultures so they do not produce well.

Somebody recommended this:

Try this...

Next time you start a melanogaster culture, dust 50 flies real good. Let them sit in the calcium for at least a few minutes. Roll em a round in the dust a bit. Then tap them into your new culture. Avoid getting as much dust as you can in the new culture. Doing this should rid your culture of mites.


Never heard that before but I am going to try it.

I was wondering how does this Stop the Mites though?

Do the Mites suffocate and Die in the Calcium Powder or something?

Do the rest of you guys do this tick as well?
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

I do this when I make new cultures
Basically, if mites are attached to the flies, it helps dislodge them
I let the flies crawl up and out of the dusting container into a second container where they are collected for making new cultures. The mites don't move nearly as fast, and the calcium dust seems to slow them down quite a bit.

Often when I slack on making cultures I'll have to get them from a contaminated source, and this method helps me a lot in taking mite ridden cultures from LLL and making nice clean cultures.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

I do not know if calcium suffocates the mites or it acts as diatomaceous earth, that physically kills the mites by cutting the exoskeleton and internal organs. I do like Frogparty, where the culture is very infested with mites, otherwise just a dusting before putting flies into new cans.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

Ed had came up/mention that method like 3 years ago. I don't know what it is I haven't had mite issues in my time.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

We have made up a set of jar tops,with ff mesh tops,actually utilised different sizes of mesh,as we inherited a biggish mite,that was tricky to separate from the the mels. It works really well when you have a lot of cultures,possibly the physical action of sieving helps dislodge more mites,who knows,but it's quick and easy. Oh we soured different mesh sizes by buying a very cheep set of stainless steel sieves(for the kitchen) and cut the mesh out

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

Personally, the best way to keep mites at bay is prevention. You usually won't notice a mite problem before it gets to infestation levels. Then, it is too late to avoid the hassle. I keep all of my cultures on mite 'shelf paper' purchased from NEHERP. After several months I always see a buildup of dead mites on the paper. Yet, I have never had a culture crash because of them. I dispose of old cultures prior to 28 days, the life cycle of the mite. When I have froglets that need older cultures with stunted flies I keep one or 2 cultures but I keep them away from my current cultures.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

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Originally Posted by aspidites73 View Post
Personally, the best way to keep mites at bay is prevention. You usually won't notice a mite problem before it gets to infestation levels.

Agreed. But if you have them, dusting them with calcium absolutely works.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

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Originally Posted by aspidites73 View Post
Personally, the best way to keep mites at bay is prevention. You usually won't notice a mite problem before it gets to infestation levels. Then, it is too late to avoid the hassle. I keep all of my cultures on mite 'shelf paper' purchased from NEHERP. After several months I always see a buildup of dead mites on the paper. Yet, I have never had a culture crash because of them. I dispose of old cultures prior to 28 days, the life cycle of the mite. When I have froglets that need older cultures with stunted flies I keep one or 2 cultures but I keep them away from my current cultures.
Agreed, and dusting flies heavily before starting a fresh culture, is part of prevention.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

I don't do mite paper, and since I use my Repashy cultures for 2 months avg, i do get mites

Prevention is great, but it's nice to be able to deal with a problem once arisen

I don't believe the dusting does anything except make the mites unable to cling to flies and crawl from one container to the other. They're slow to begin with, the calcium powder just gives them an increased challenge in clinging/ climbing.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

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Originally Posted by frogparty View Post
I don't believe the dusting does anything except make the mites unable to cling to flies and crawl from one container to the other. They're slow to begin with, the calcium powder just gives them an increased challenge in clinging/ climbing.
Exactly, which is why when Ed has talked about the method, he recommends harvesting more flies than you need, and only using the upper flies to culture with. If you are starting cultures with the lower flies, or worse yet, any of the vitamin powder at the bottom, you are still starting cultures with plenty of fresh, healthy mites.

Edit: I can see how your method would work too, I was just trying to explain why the powder works.
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Last edited by Pumilo; 12-24-2013 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

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Originally Posted by frogparty View Post
I don't believe the dusting does anything except make the mites unable to cling to flies and crawl from one container to the other.
You don't believe it, but I can tell you that it definitely works based on my experience. I purchased a culture and it had mites. Once I dusted them for the new culture and then used diatomaceous earth as a preventive, they were gone.
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

Diatomaceous earth absolutely kills.... Millions of tiny shards of glass!

If calcium does anything else beyond mechanical action, maybe it suffocates by clogging their book lungs, or whatever mites have. I know it's not spiracles
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frogparty View Post
Diatomaceous earth absolutely kills.... Millions of tiny shards of glass!

If calcium does anything else beyond mechanical action, maybe it suffocates by clogging their book lungs, or whatever mites have. I know it's not spiracles
I wonder if it would be better to layer the bottom of plastic tubs with diatomaceous earth rather than mite paper. I have two plastic tubs that hold my cultures. I never use an entire roll of mite paper when I change it. I don't think I can store the leftovers because it will lose its effectiveness too after a couple months.

If the cultures are nestled down into a layer of diatomaceous earth maybe that would work better?
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

It works well. I have a shallow aluminum tray in which the diatomaceous earth sits in. Then I have another shallow tray that sits in that. On that smaller tray are my cultures. This way there is a moat of diatomaceous earth that surrounds the cultures but its not in direct contact. It will never wear out or lose effectiveness.
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

ecichlid: Am I correct that each culture is in its own tray? I have a similar setup but I use petri dishes to prop the cultures off the DE in the tub everyone is sitting in. This prevents outside mites from getting to the cultures...it also prevents mites from one culture crawling to another.
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dendrobait View Post
ecichlid: Am I correct that each culture is in its own tray? I have a similar setup but I use petri dishes to prop the cultures off the DE in the tub everyone is sitting in. This prevents outside mites from getting to the cultures...it also prevents mites from one culture crawling to another.

Mine are not, but certainly there is no reason why isolating each particular culture would not work well. That being said, there is no reason why you would need to isolate one culture that did not have a mite issue from another one that also didn't. Not a bad precautionary measure though.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

When I first started, I used mite paper and you could see the dead mites, they look like dust. If you're having a mite issue I would use the dusting method and the paper.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

I got mite blade and mite off and mite paper I do anything possible to get rid of them

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Old 01-07-2014, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aspidites73 View Post
I dispose of old cultures prior to 28 days, the life cycle of the mite.
Josh's Frogs also recommends this. So is it true that if you never keep a culture longer than 4 weeks you'll never get to culture-crashing infestation levels?
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

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Josh's Frogs also recommends this. So is it true that if you never keep a culture longer than 4 weeks you'll never get to culture-crashing infestation levels?
Sort of. Sometimes crashes due to mites just happens. Josh's Idea is to start the cultures before that mites take off in the container. Flies have a much faster life cycle than mites.

For melanogaster I use cultures that are no older than an week to two weeks to start. Anything over two weeks in age will have to many mites.

I have not tried the dusting method, but I like the idea.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:04 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

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Originally Posted by BrianWI View Post
I would bet making your own mite paper with Fipronil spray (Frontline) would work well and last quite awhile. I have used about every mite killing compound there is and Fipronil works best.
This is from another thread. Does anyone else make mite paper this way? Seems expensive compared to the what people are talking about as far as other options (a .5 L bottle is over $50). Anyone have any first hand experience with this? Thanks.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

what about using Jurassi. Mite from Joshs frogs? It says that you can spray directly on animals. . So with that being said could you spray on the ff culture?
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:48 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

I line my trays with a paper towel that is sprayed with Ultra Care. It is a Mite and Lice bird spray. Each time I make new cultures I replace the paper towels. It has worked for me.

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Old 02-06-2014, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

another really good way when dusting flies when starting a new culture is get a small piece of window screen and allow the flies to crawl up it. then put the flies into your new culture.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Mites - Dusting Fruit Fly Culture to Stop Mites?

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Originally Posted by addicted View Post
what about using Jurassi. Mite from Joshs frogs? It says that you can spray directly on animals. . So with that being said could you spray on the ff culture?
I think think might kill the FFs, as the description on the site says "do this AWAY from fruit flies, other insects, or your pets". More importantly, even if it doesn't, don't be confused -- this product is a type of poison. That's how it kills the mites. You don't want that stuff near (or in) your frogs.
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