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Maybe I just didn't notice these things for the longest time because they are SO small. In the pictures all the little specs are what I am talking about. Are they mites? Good or bad? FF offspring?

Thanks

 

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I'm a bug guy, not a frog guy, so I'm curious why everybody considers the mites so dangerous? They don't harm the flies to any significant degree, unsightly as they are! Do mites harm frogs or infest vivariums by vector of fruit fly cultures?
 

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I'm a bug guy, not a frog guy, so I'm curious why everybody considers the mites so dangerous? They don't harm the flies to any significant degree, unsightly as they are! Do mites harm frogs or infest vivariums by vector of fruit fly cultures?
Actually, yes they do harm the flies to a significant degree. Some mites are parasitic on the larvae. Even the detritus mites cause a problem as with each succesive culture made from the last, the mites get worse and worse and your culture produces way less fruit flies.
They don't hurt the frogs, in fact many smaller frogs seem to relish them. But they will cause huge problems in fruit fly production if left unchecked.
 

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I have not noticed an appreciable degree of harm to my home made cultures when mites appear. Perhaps it is because so many flies remain. I have always thought the mites fed on the media, not the larvae.

What percentage of mites infesting fruit fly cultures are of a species that predates on larvae? How often does that really happen? How do you know which witch is which witch?

Also, I understand the concept of cultures becoming worse through subsequent seeding of new cultures with mite-infested stock, but I've not experienced this as a worsening problem. Despite infestation of mites, I don't have problems creating apparently mite-free cultures from previously infested ones.

It's not my intent to be confrontational, but I am interested to learn what is known on this subject. I do not sell fruit flies, but I do sell a few items that feed on them and am thus concerned to know more.

Despite raising them for many years, I've thankfully had few mite problems. Though I will say that I have purchased a few cultures over the years from others and they have been riddled with mites after a few weeks (while most are not).

I do think the concerns here are valid and that it's quite possible that my experiences are outside the norm. I've just not had much trouble with low-producing cultures or mites, over the ten or so years I've been raising fruit flies for my mantises, etc.

It is relieving to read that they don't harm frogs and that frogs might actually benefit from them.

I still maintain that the main issue with mites is that they are unsightly, but only because that has been my experience.
 

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Mites are everywhere, even if you don't have an infested culture. A tight fitting lid is important. In my prior post, I did neglect to mention that in a perfect world, anything that is competing with the fruit flies for media is a nuisance.
 

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There are no fruitfly cultures that are mite-less.

You can however, sift the fruitflies before setting up a new culture.
Using self rising baking powder works best, since it immobilizes the mites.
They will let go off the fruitflies.

If you use a mesh, small enough for the fruitflies to stay in there and big enough to let the mites fall trough.
It takes a lot longer for the mites to appear in you're new culture.

Another thing to mention is, don't use to much of the culturing media and throw in some larvaes from the start.
This will also show a significant drop in mites taking over a culture.

However... i do use mites as a feeder insect, my frogs love them, especially the slow moving ones.
 

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What is Benzyl Benzoate and how does it work? It doesn't have a negative effect on the flies? I would assume that what kills mites would probably kill flies and vice versa? More importantly, is there any impact on the frogs that have been fed items exposed to Benzyl Benzoate? ie would it be poisonous to frogs if ingested? Anyone else out there use C6H5CH2O2CC6H5 (Benzyl Benzoate) with any success?

I saw in this thread how it is used, but nobody actually puts this stuff in their cultrures right? just to make mite paper

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/wanted/57073-anti-mite-liquid.html
 

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I have heard from several people that a lot of the media that you buy from the shops has either this or something similar in it. If used in excess it will kill or slow down growth of the flies however in very small quantities it will just keep the mites in check. When I lived in another state that was more humid and in an old house that was infested dust, (and with dirty hippy roomates:) I had massive issues with mites. Due to the fact that the town I was in was a 4 hour drive from any pet store that could get flies I had to work up a recipe for media with the benzoate in it however I haven't used it in years and don't remember how much I mixed the dilluted solution in although it was something like a drop of 5-7% benzoate to a cup of media if I remember correctly.
 
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