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So, I have been culturing bean beetles for a few months now. I purchased the cultures though a large vendor were all familiar with. They came in with mites and I have been unable to rid the cultures of them. They are small, white, and barely if ever move to the naked eye. But I know they do move cause they crawl up the side of the containers all over the inside. I read a thread that is now several years old, but its a possibility. It is http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/90099-something-killing-my-bean-beetles.html So.....there are not alot of froggers here in colorado, and even less that culture bean beetles. So, Since there is only one vendor who ships them legally approved, I cant see getting a clean culture as a possibility. Very frustrating as my larger frogs LOVE these. Terribilis, Tincs, etc. I'd love to hear others experience, thoughts, input, etc.
 

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I would try getting some beetles onto a handful fresh beans. After about 2 wks and when you see evidence of larvae in the beans...I would powder them heavily with diatomaceous earth. Leave them like that for a few days, and then brush them clean.

Just an idea.

Bean beetle poop looks like mites at a glance
 

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I was going to say, if they aren't moving, they could be simply bean beetle eggs or feces. However, your second photo makes me think mites.

Personally, I would take some adults out of the original culture, check them for mites (only use those without them), and maybe even dunk the beetles in water for a short time to dislodge hidden mites, before placing them in a new culture with beans from a different source. A few studies have shown that this bean beetle species (Callosobruchus maculatus) is extremely resistant to inbreeding depression, so you could safely start the new culture with a small number of adults to further limit the chances of transferring mites.

My understanding is that diatomacious earth (recommended earlier) erodes the wax layer in the exoskeleton of both mites and insects, so it would probably harm the beetles as well.
 

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If those are what I think they are, they are the most virulent mite I've ever battled, and I've seen a few over the years. Personally, I've referred to them in a few posts over the years as, "Slow Mites".

Tell me this Chris, do they appear almost totally stationary, but if you pick one out and watch him for a while, you can see that he is moving very slowly? Do they look globular, and more plump than other mites you've seen?
If so, they are persistent little buggers. I'm afraid I can't offer much advice on cleaning them out of bean beetle cultures. Make sure they don't spread to other areas! They will also love to try and infest fly, springtail, and isopod cultures, too. If you get any in other cultures, this is what I did to take care of the problem.
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/fo...clean-your-mite-contaminated-springtails.html
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/94348-3-micron-filters-why-how-where.html
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/79208-pumilo-dougs-bugs-my-new-closet.html
 

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My understanding is that diatomacious earth (recommended earlier) erodes the wax layer in the exoskeleton of both mites and insects, so it would probably harm the beetles as well.
That's why I suggested he have beetles lay eggs on a new batch of beans first. The larvae tunnel into the beans and will be safe from the DE mite treatment.



I'd bet feces unless you see them moving.

Pumilio: Oribatid mites of some sort maybe? I've seen something similar. Did your frogs eat them? My pumilio wiped they out pretty quickly. Actually, pumilio loves all mites it seems. I am almost happy now when I get a few mites in an isopod culture.
 
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I've been keeping BBs for about a year now; since I got my terribs. My original culture started with a small amount of mites but they did not cause any problems while I did not keep my cultures too long. They tend to pop, die off and pop again. If you keep them any longer that a day or two after the second time they pop they tend to get little nasty.
So remake the sooner and don't keep them too long.
 

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Pumilio: Oribatid mites of some sort maybe? I've seen something similar. Did your frogs eat them? My pumilio wiped they out pretty quickly. Actually, pumilio loves all mites it seems. I am almost happy now when I get a few mites in an isopod culture.
While I did not witness pumilio eating them, they were in several vivs for a while. They did eventually disappear on their own in frog tanks, so I'm assuming that both thumbnails, and pumilio enjoy them.
I'm of the opinion that once a mite gets into a pumilio viv, it's no longer a mite. It becomes, "pumilio candy".
 
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Let me ask a simple question. Have you opened any of the beans to see if the larvae are being attacked by the mites or if the mites are then competing with them for the bean? If they aren't normally inside the beans, then you could simply allow beetles to emerge from a small number of beans (say less than ten) in a container and then use them to start a new culture. If you then again pull beans that have had an egg attached to them you should be able to get a clean culture pretty easily.

The reason I suggested less than ten beans is because if the population is really low the beetles aren't likely to try and disperse.

Some comments

Ed
 

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Personally, I've referred to them in a few posts over the years as, "Slow Mites".
Clarification: "Slow mites" is not an official name, but is simply my own nickname for them.
 

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I've come across these nasty little buggers.... I don't know where they come from but it seems to be the beans. Using new cups and only adult beetles every rotation seems to keep them down. Never throw out old beans in the house though. That's how I found out I had them. After doing so a few days later the fridge was covered in them. That didn't sit well with the misses....i don't culture them anymore.
 

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Look around the ring of the lid. View attachment 193802
This is exactly what all my bean beetle cultures look like. The beans get changed out once a month when I harvest beetles, but I don't wash out the containers typically so whatever those specks are has built up really heavy. It hasn't appeared to affect production at all.

I'm not sure if its mite, feces or eggs but I would be very surprised if any of us cultured anything that didn't have at least some mites in it.
 

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Try moving the cultures to a dryer location if they are in a humid environment. BBs are more resilient to low humidity while mites typically are not. When you make new cultures transfer only beetles onto fresh beans. Do not transfer beans from the old culture. The only times I had mites infest BB cultures is when I left the culture going too long or transferred old beans. Dead beetles and decomposing beans increase the humidity making it favorable to mites. All I had to do is transfer some beetles to a fresh (dry) culture and the mites disappeared. This is my experience with whatever species of mite I dealt with at the time. Hopefully the ones in your cultures will react the same way. Also, I did not notice the mites affecting production, but I did not have a control for comparison. If they were affecting production it was not obvious. Good luck!
 

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One of the ways you can pull pretty much all of the beetles and detritus from a bean beetle culture is to make collection lid from some macrame mesh. See this post for a description. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/60638-bean-beetle-collection.html#post526406

I found that by doing this I had little problems with mold partially because I removed most of the things that were likely to cause problems with mold. This also allows you to start new cultures on new beans.

Some comments

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One of the ways you can pull pretty much all of the beetles and detritus from a bean beetle culture is to make collection lid from some macrame mesh. See this post for a description. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/60638-bean-beetle-collection.html#post526406

I found that by doing this I had little problems with mold partially because I removed most of the things that were likely to cause problems with mold. This also allows you to start new cultures on new beans.

Some comments

Ed
Ed, this is pretty much what I do now.
 

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Dryness and isolation (as best as possible during culture start-up) is usually the only way to control them. They may have come with cultures, or with crickets, or from any leaves, wood, or moss you collected outside.
Clarification: "Slow mites" is not an official name, but is simply my own nickname for them.
Yeah, they are usually just called grain mites. Funny thing is if you put them under a microscope they actually move very fast. They're so tiny they appear to be moving slow.
 

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Pretty sure that it's just eggs or feces or some sort of deposit. I just noticed yesterday that my 2 bean beetle cultures have the same little round deposits on the lid. I knocked a few off and it's definitely not mites. Idk if it's the eggs or the poop haha, hence on the beans the eggs look to be white.
They are for sure not moving and didn't appear until they culture started producing and they all started gathering up at the top rim.
I don't think it's anything to worry about to be honest. I'm not worried about it :p
 
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