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Any one ever had this problem with there FF cultures? If so what was your solution to it .... I placed my cultures in topper- ware and poured water in to make a moat to avoid it from occurring again. This was after I threw out all my old FF cultures.
 

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When you say mite infestation, did you just see some mites in the culture or did you have the cultures crash because of the mites.. (this is a common topic).

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/61708-mites-culture.html

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/41575-culturing-fruitflies.html

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beginner-discussion/46434-mites-cultures.html

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/food-feeding/44025-do-my-cultures-have-mites.html


And there are a lot more if you want to read them.. just use the search function..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. The culture's crashed they even started taking over the rack where I keep my cultures at. Apologies, should of used the search lol lack of sleep has me fazing
 

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I line the shelf I store my FF cultures and supplies with anti-mite paper, and I freeze the plastic canisters and lids for 24 hours before I use them to sterilize them just in case.
 

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sorry to hijack this post but i have what looks like mites in my springtail culture but it doesnt effect them,in fact the culture is booming, is there any relationship between these 'mites' and the springtails???
 

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I line the shelf I store my FF cultures and supplies with anti-mite paper, and I freeze the plastic canisters and lids for 24 hours before I use them to sterilize them just in case.
This doesn't stop you from introducing mites with the media or even the flies.

Ed
 

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sorry to hijack this post but i have what looks like mites in my springtail culture but it doesnt effect them,in fact the culture is booming, is there any relationship between these 'mites' and the springtails???
Yes, in most cases they are competing with the springtails for food.. in rare cases you can get mites that predate on the springtails. Stop feeding anything except live baker's yeast and they should disappear, if you keep feeding the mites, the population will grow and crash your springtails.

Ed
 

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Ed's right. I had several springtail cultures infested with two types of mites. One type was the slow moving kind that looked like a tiny bloated tick. It appeared to be feeding on the mushroom slices I fed the springs with. The other kind moved really fast and I suspect they actually preyed on the springtails or their eggs because as soon as they showed up, the springtails disappeared quickly.
Yes, in most cases they are competing with the springtails for food.. in rare cases you can get mites that predate on the springtails. Stop feeding anything except live baker's yeast and they should disappear, if you keep feeding the mites, the population will grow and crash your springtails.

Ed
 

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Ed's right. I had several springtail cultures infested with two types of mites. One type was the slow moving kind that looked like a tiny bloated tick. It appeared to be feeding on the mushroom slices I fed the springs with. The other kind moved really fast and I suspect they actually preyed on the springtails or their eggs because as soon as they showed up, the springtails disappeared quickly.
I have to agree with JimO, just recently i saw 2 of my giant silver spring crash coz of these mites.

But Ed doesnt the mites feed on live bakers yeast ?
 

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It is possible that they will feed on the yeast as there are a lot of different types of mites but the main mite contaminents seem to be grain mites and the yeast doesn't provide them with food. Another benefit is that it doesn't provide a vehicle for contaminating the cultures like grain based foods or whole mushrooms.

Ed
 

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Ed, in your experience/knowledge do most genera/species of springtail eat the yeast and do well with it as a sole food source?
 

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I've fed it to both the white temperate and white tropicals with great effect, and Tomocerus with decent results. I haven't tried it on any of the others as I haven't needed any other springtails.
As an alternative to keep the mites out of the cultures, a person could use freeze dried mushrooms, and reconstitute them in hot water to kill any unwanted hitchhikers.

Moistening and nuking grain based foods will also work but it will reduce vitamins and minerals if you are trying to gut load the springtails.

Ed
 

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I just noticed mites on the OUTSIDE of my Turkish Glider cultures. I keep them separate by a few feet from my Melanogaster cultures. Can anyone recommend a safe or preferably organic way of preventing these mites from traveling to other cultures? They are the super small white ones I think everyone gets in their ff cultures.
 

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The best thing you can do right away is go through the cultures and move any newer cultures far away from the older cultures. The next thing is to go through the cultures and get rid of any cultures that are 25 days or older.

IF you have other insect cultures near your fruit flies (example mealworms) move them far away. Next use your youngest producing cultures and start new cultures, ideally dust the flies with a fine powder supplement to help reduce mites adhering to the flies and then place them into the new cultures. Move this to a location far from the old cultures and away from the newer cultures until you can evaluate them for mite oubreak.

The white mites are usually grain mites so they could also be coming from the media or other grain sources near the cultures.. but if you are seeing them in numbers on the outside of the cultures and you aren't keeping other feeder insects nearby, then the outbreak has to be from the fly cultures. To reduce the number on the shelves, you can wipe them down with any alcohol or any disinfectent you use in the house, but if you don't locate the source the mites will continue to go walkabout.

Ed
 

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The only organic way that I'm aware of, to keep them from traveling from one culture to another, would be the water method. Put the cultures in a pan with about 1/2 of water in it. The cultures cannot touch the edge of the pan, or each other. Mites can't swim.
 
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I'm not sure that the water method works because mites can't swim.. the surface tension of the water and the size of the mites are going to keep the mites from breaking through the water to drown. They should be able to "walk" on the water. I could see this working if dish soap was added to the water to break the surface tension allowing the mites to sink but I have doubts about just water.
 

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The next thing is to go through the cultures and get rid of any cultures that are 25 days or older.
I second this. I found it really made a difference when my cultures started crashing due to mites. Toss/Freeze the cultures at 25 days even if they are still producing. Between that and mite paper you can really bring the mite population down to nearly nil. Realistically speaking, though, I doubt they ever completely go away.
 

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I'm not sure that the water method works because mites can't swim.. the surface tension of the water and the size of the mites are going to keep the mites from breaking through the water to drown. They should be able to "walk" on the water. I could see this working if dish soap was added to the water to break the surface tension allowing the mites to sink but I have doubts about just water.
Good point Ed, I've never done the water method myself. I just use mite spray and paper towels. I've got enough going on without having to worry about keeping that tray constantly topped up with water.
As a side note, I have flooded springtail cultures contaminated with mites and found that while the springtails float, walk, and even jump on top of the water's surface, the mites were all trapped within the water's surface. Trapped enough that they couldn't walk around and were essentially trapped, BUT high enough that they could still breath. Three days later the mites were still alive but still trapped. These were, however, bigger mites than you typically see in fruit fly cultures.
 

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The problem with ones that do get submerged is that they end up with an air bubble trapped around thier body which allows them to breath, it also will exchange gases with the surrounding water. This lets those that get submerged while holding onto a substrate to survive immersion. Soap added to the water (but you don't want this with your springtails), also wipes out the ability to hold that bubble.
 
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