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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am continuously getting mites in my melo ff culture. I used mites spray and change it out once a month. I have my old culture with my freshly started new culture together, but the old culture is never 30 days old. I am not sure why I keep having mites. I have spent tons of money buying new culture because the culture that I make is constantly filled with mites. My culture never last longer than a couple weeks due to mites outbreak. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

I have set a whole new schedule for my cultures:
I am going to place my new fresh culture an one area beside my bed.
Once the culture is ready to feed out, move the culture, and place it in my closet.
Once the culture reach 20 days, move the culture to the kitchen closet.
Once it hit day 30 throw it out.

Is this a good schedule to keep the mites at bay?
 

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I keep my new cultures separate from my old cultures but I keep them in their designated spots and disinfect the area after I throw them out.

I also dust my flies like I would do if I were feeding but then tap them into new cultures, careful to not allow any dust in the new culture because the dust has made the mites fall off and are in the powder.

Good luck! Mites are inevitable, you just have to learn how to control them.
 

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To help keep the numbers down, I nuke the media for about 45 seconds. I also nuke the lid, the cup and the excelsior. Finally, I add boiling water/vinegar mix to the media. This helps to kill any mites that might me lurking in the media.
 

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To help keep the numbers down, I nuke the media for about 45 seconds. I also nuke the lid, the cup and the excelsior. Finally, I add boiling water/vinegar mix to the media. This helps to kill any mites that might me lurking in the media.
Why don't you just mix it up and toss the whole shebang into the microwave? That's what I do. Then you let it cool and add the final active yeast and flies.
 

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I don't nuke it all together because I don't mix. I simply pour the liquid on the media and let is soak in by itself. I started by mixing but it was too messy for my taste. I could not mix it in the 32 oz container before nuking because the container would melt from the heat. So I had to mix in a seperate container, nuke, then add to the 32oz. My way, I pour the media in the container and heat it. But not too long or it melts the container as the sugars get very hot in the microwave. 45 seconds is about right for my particular microwave. Then I heat the liquid in a pyrex measuring cup. Pour the right amount onto the media and let it soak in by itself. Let cool, add yeast and exelsior. The first week, there will be some dry patches of media, but by the end of the self life of the culture, all the media has gotten moist and barely any is left.
 

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one thing that I find helps a lot is buying a can of "prevent-o-mite" and where ever you put any fruit fly container put it on a double layer of cheesecloth sprayed heavily with the prevent o mite. Make sure you do this ahead of time and let the cheesecloth dry. Also, when you put the containers somewhere make sure not to let the containers touch. That way, if one culture has them they'll have to come into contact with the mite paper first.

Use the freshest cultures to make new ones as well. That way you'll increasingly have less and less mites in each culture. You'll almost always have a few but I find the mite spray works well in keeping populations under control.

Hope that helps.
 

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You can also purchase inexpensive mite paper made specifically for the task of preventing mites from migrating to and from cultures. It is available from some sponsors as well as biological supply companies like Carolina.

There is always going to be some level of mites in a culture so I'm not sure why you are concerned about "continous" presence unless you are having really high numbers. Mites are going to be in the cultures unless you are culturing them aseptically which means sorting the eggs/larva out and ensuring that no mites are transferred.

The whole mite thing is just to keep the mites under control so the numbers don't result in lowered productivity in the cultures.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I always get large number of mites, so much so, that the culture slowly stop producing after the first large boom. I would say my culture last just under two weeks.

I have always microwave the culture before adding flies and place them under fresh mite paper.

I think my problem is placing new cultures with old cultures. I have separated the two cultures. I will, from now on, dust the flies before placing them in the culture. Hopefully this will solve my massive mites problem.
 

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Ok I could be completely wrong about this, but, I think I read somewhere that Ed said that he uses yeast to feed his iso and spring cultures and doesn't have mite problems. Is that right, Ed?

Anyway, I've been feeding my springtails and isos yeast after, I think, reading that, and, I don't have mites, whereas previous cultures did. So, take from that what you will. Maybe Ed will confirm or tell me I'm full of it. :D

For ffs, I find that coffee filters, as the lid, keeps mites out. The only ff cultures I get with mites are the ones in the standard ff containers. Coffee filters don't help if you are starting with ffs that already have mites, though.
 

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Ok I could be completely wrong about this, but, I think I read somewhere that Ed said that he uses yeast to feed his iso and spring cultures and doesn't have mite problems. Is that right, Ed?

Anyway, I've been feeding my springtails and isos yeast after, I think, reading that, and, I don't have mites, whereas previous cultures did. So, take from that what you will. Maybe Ed will confirm or tell me I'm full of it. :D

For ffs, I find that coffee filters as the lid keeps mites out. The only ff cultures I get with mites are the ones in the standard ff containers. Coffee filters don't help if you are starting with ffs that already have mites, though.
I've also read that people that use yeast in springtail cultures don't have a big mite issue. Also, how do you go about using coffee fliters or paper towels as lids? The first few times I tried tons of fliers and other weird buggies got in...
 

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I've also read that people that use yeast in springtail cultures don't have a big mite issue. Also, how do you go about using coffee fliters or paper towels as lids? The first few times I tried tons of fliers and other weird buggies got in...
I use canning jars. You know, the jars with the lids that have a ring and also a center part. I remove the center part. Put the coffee filter over the opening of the jar, and, screw the ring down. Then, when the culture is spent, I wash them out and re-use them.
 

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I don't nuke it all together because I don't mix. I simply pour the liquid on the media and let is soak in by itself. I started by mixing but it was too messy for my taste. I could not mix it in the 32 oz container before nuking because the container would melt from the heat. So I had to mix in a seperate container, nuke, then add to the 32oz. My way, I pour the media in the container and heat it. But not too long or it melts the container as the sugars get very hot in the microwave. 45 seconds is about right for my particular microwave. Then I heat the liquid in a pyrex measuring cup. Pour the right amount onto the media and let it soak in by itself. Let cool, add yeast and exelsior. The first week, there will be some dry patches of media, but by the end of the self life of the culture, all the media has gotten moist and barely any is left.
We must be using different culture containers. I got most of mine from Josh's frogs and I have never melted one, even though I sometimes heat to a boil.
 

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Follow some simple steps and you'll help prevent your MITE infestation.

1) When making new cultures, make sure the culture with flies being used has NO mites.

2) Place new cultures on MITE paper or paper covered in MITE spray (make sure cultures are spaced out as to not touch one another)

3) Check the cultures regularly as to toss any cultures out that have any sign of having mites

4) Feed from the cultures regularly as dead flies in the cultures increase your chances of getting mites
 

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We must be using different culture containers. I got most of mine from Josh's frogs and I have never melted one, even though I sometimes heat to a boil.
The ones I have are autoclavable....

Ed
 

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Ok I could be completely wrong about this, but, I think I read somewhere that Ed said that he uses yeast to feed his iso and spring cultures and doesn't have mite problems. Is that right, Ed?

Anyway, I've been feeding my springtails and isos yeast after, I think, reading that, and, I don't have mites, whereas previous cultures did. So, take from that what you will. Maybe Ed will confirm or tell me I'm full of it. :D

For ffs, I find that coffee filters, as the lid, keeps mites out. The only ff cultures I get with mites are the ones in the standard ff containers. Coffee filters don't help if you are starting with ffs that already have mites, though.
Yeast doesn't matter to the mites that infest fruit fly cultures.

Ed
 

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I always get large number of mites, so much so, that the culture slowly stop producing after the first large boom. I would say my culture last just under two weeks.

I have always microwave the culture before adding flies and place them under fresh mite paper.

I think my problem is placing new cultures with old cultures. I have separated the two cultures. I will, from now on, dust the flies before placing them in the culture. Hopefully this will solve my massive mites problem.

The culture failing at two weeks may actually have nothing to do with the mites and everything to do with the genetics of your flies. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/42419-genetics-ff-culturing.html#post375153

Ed
 
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There is a teck called running the mites.

Make a new culture but with just a dab of media in the bottom to feed the flys+mites for a day.

Transfer flys to a new culture every day for 5 days. Mites stay behind wala mite free flys at the end.

Do this well away fron your infesated cultures and get rid of all your infested ones as soon as you can.
I am doing this right now with some new stock.
Keeping your new cultures away from old ones is a good thing only if you are starting with mite free flys.
 

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Running the mites doesn't always work.. this method has been around for quite awhile and isn't a guaranteed way.. The idea is loosely based on serial dilutions where with each new transfer the number of mites decreases until it is zero. So it may not actually reduce the mites, but it won't have any impact if the media is contaminated with mites.

Ed
 

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The ones I have are autoclavable....

Ed
Yeah Ed, we know. And your frogs are bigger than mine, and your flies have longer wings than mine....;)
 
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Yeah Ed, we know. And your frogs are bigger than mine, and your flies have longer wings than mine....;)
Yours should be autoclavable as well. Unless something has changed, the ones with the fabric tops can be autoclaved.

Ed
 
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