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  • [Mites] Mites on tiny baby boa

    Hey all

    I'm not a frequent poster, to put it mildly, but I have a new baby boa (December 2015 0.1 Hypo Central American) that has mites on her. I took her to my herp vet and have ivermectin I mixed into a spray per her directions (0.5mL ivermectin into 1 L water), and the shake the bottle while I'm spraying it to keep the solution mixed up. I sprayed it on the boa in her deli cup, and also all over her freshly cleaned/ disinfected enclosure, let it dry, then wiped it down with just paper towels, again per my vet's instructions.

    My question is, has anyone else used ivermectin with snake mites? Any thoughts as to its efficacy? I have a can of PAM, but this girl is teensy (under 90 grams) which really has me freaked out about the toxicity of the permethrin products. But I'm also really squicked out by parasites (ask me how well I dealt when my younger son brought home head lice sometime -- the freakout was epic), and I want to be sure I'm doing everything I can to wipe them out and ensure the rest of my collection stays mite-free.

    She's in a separate room from the rest of the animals already because she's new and I don't put new snakes with established animals, but frankly my quarantine procedures could have been better. I got lax. Regardless, I've checked all our other reptiles who aren't in shed (7 other snakes and a tortoise -- no ivermectin for the tortoise due to fatalities, just the PAM for him if need be) and see no sign of mites thus far. I'm considering everyone on lockdown except for necessary care until we're sure the mites are gone/ haven't spread.

    Any thoughts? I've only been keeping snakes for four years, and this is my first experience with mites so my knowledge is still on the lower end of things.

  • #2
    Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

    Never used that on mites, sorry...but just follow your vet's instructions to the letter, as anything that kills mites (ivermectin or PAM, etc.) can also harm (or even kill) your pet if used carelessly or in excess.

    Just be patient & vigilant with all your pets, as mites can be shared after hitching a ride on your clothing too, for example. Quarantine is important with all new pets (now you know, lol). Baby snakes especially are
    easily weakened by blood loss from mites (their population explodes exponentially!) but even larger snakes can be killed by mites, not to mention that they are thought to spread diseases. Keeping fingers crossed for
    you & your new boa. Assuming she came with the mites, I'd also be talking to the person you got her from & probably wouldn't be buying there again, just sayin'.

    Let us know how it's going? That's why we're here...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

      When I first read this I thought when you said PAM I thought you meant the non-stick spray. I was concerned because I was pretty sure that was toxic to all animals but I wasn't saying anything because I wasn't sure. Now I realise you mean Prevent-A-Mite. I think the most dangerous thing about PAM (Prevent-A-Mite) is the aerosol gasses which can hurt every living organism's respiratory tract and you want to let it settle down a long time before you put a snake back into a cage after using it because their faces are along the ground.

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      • #4
        Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

        I emailed the vendor immediately, heard back a couple of days later. He offered to send ivermectin, which was kind, but by then we'd already been to the vet.

        And believe me, vigilance is up to Professor Moody level (Harry Potter reference if you're not a fan)! To the point where laundry is done as soon as I'm done dealing with Mite-y Girl kind of vigilance, not to mention more hand washing followed by hand sanitizer than you can shake a stick at. I've also informed the other reptile lovers in my house, which includes everyone except #1 Son, that any further visits to reptile expos will be followed by an immediate clothes in washer/ shower routine.

        I think we're going to stay right here at Red Alert for awhile. Whatever it takes to get these guys gone and ensure they NEVER return

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

          Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
          When I first read this I thought when you said PAM I thought you meant the non-stick spray. I was concerned because I was pretty sure that was toxic to all animals but I wasn't saying anything because I wasn't sure. Now I realise you mean Prevent-A-Mite. I think the most dangerous thing about PAM (Prevent-A-Mite) is the aerosol gasses which can hurt every living organism's respiratory tract and you want to let it settle down a long time before you put a snake back into a cage after using it because their faces are along the ground.
          Yes, Provent-a-Mite LOL

          I'm using that to spray on the floor (all enclosures are several feet off the floor) to stop any wandering mites from wandering any further. Ivermectin only in an enclosure. We're good on the reptiles thus far, and I'm going to keep my eyes wide open to ensure things stay that way if it's at all within my control.

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          • #6
            Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

            Originally posted by AmandaJ View Post
            NEVER return
            Scar would approve.

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            • #7
              Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

              Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
              Scar would approve.
              Heh heh heh -- indeed

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              • #8
                Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

                Hey try the F-10 product, it works great..
                sigpicJrock23

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                • #9
                  Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

                  I have never used ivermectin but have read that it does work. You do have to be careful with it though, an overdose will kill your snake just as quickly as permethrin poisoning will. Otherwise this writeup is based on my experience battling my last mite infestation a few years ago.

                  Mite Eradication 101:

                  *** Permethrin ***

                  Permethrin comes in many forms - Provent-A-Mite (PAM), NIX/RID head lice treatment, Permethrin-10 from a livestock supply store, etc. Once mixed with water its half life is 30 days if kept out of direct sunlight.

                  PAM has several advantages. It has been tested for use with reptiles, and it comes ready to use. The disadvantages are that it's expensive and most reptile stores don't have it in stock, so you have to wait for it to be shipped to you if you don't have any on hand. Meanwhile the mites are busy feeding and breeding.

                  NIX/RID is cheaper than PAM and is readily available at WalMart, CVS, and other drug stores. It is also easy to dilute: mix one two ounce (59 ml) bottle of the cream rinse with one gallon of water.

                  At a dollar per ounce Permethrin-10 is the cheapest of the three options; one eight ounce bottle will make 240 gallons of solution, as only 6 milliliters of it are needed per gallon of water to make an effective mite spray. The upside is that if you have a lot of snakes to treat this will do it very economically. The downside is that it's all too easy to make too strong of a permethrin solution which can seriously injure or kill your snakes.

                  No matter which product you use, it must be used correctly. I've never applied any permethrin product directly onto my snakes as it's not needed for mite treatment, and permethrin poisoning in a snake can cause irreversible neurological damage or death.

                  Permethrin use: spray the enclosure, paper substrate, and hides with the diluted solution or PAM. DO NOT SPRAY THE WATER BOWL. Allow everything to dry completely before returning your snake to its home. Also keep a supply of treated and dried newspaper or paper towels and treated hides available so that when a snake makes a mess, you replace the soiled paper and hides with treated ones. Treat the enclosure every two to three weeks.

                  *** Reptile Spray ***

                  Reptile Spray kills mites on contact while wet, once it dries it loses its effectiveness pretty quickly. Reptile Spray is a solution of salts rather than an insecticide; it kills mites by dehydrating them. I don't spray the snakes as more ends up on the floor than on the snake. Instead, I spray a white paper towel with it and wipe it on the snake. That way you get even coverage on the snake, you can work it into the area under their chin really well as that's a favorite hiding plate for mites, you don't stress out your snake, and you can look for mites on the paper towel to see how quickly they're being eradicated. Apply twice a week. Note - this stuff hurts like hell in an open wound.

                  *** Hot Shot No-Pest Strips ***

                  Some people take a Hot Shot No-Pest strip, cut it into pieces, put each piece into a small sealed container, poke some holes in the container, and put each container into the snake's enclosure. I've used the No-Pest strip but I just hang it in the snake room and close the door. Either way is effective, especially if you have a major outbreak. If you do use it, remove the water bowls as the insecticide is strongly attracted to water and you don't want the snake drinking it. After 24 hours remove the strip (or pieces), put them into an airtight container for future use, air out the room, and put the water bowls back. Repeat treatment weekly.

                  Important! If you also keep tarantulas, feeder roaches/dubias, crickets, etc. do not use the No-Pest Strip as it can kill them too!!!!

                  *** Mild Dish Soap *** One or two drops of mild dish detergent in your snake's bath water will break the surface tension and prevent mites from floating in the water so they drown. No more than that is needed, your snake should not look like it is taking a bubble bath.

                  *** Heat *** Don't laugh, but temperatures of 150*F for five seconds will kill mites and the eggs. I purchased a heat gun used for stripping paint that can be set to blow hot air from 180*F through 1200*F. Using the heat gun on its lowest setting and a temperature gun I heated the surfaces and crevices of my racks and enclosures to kill off any mite eggs that may have been laid outside the tubs. Don't get your enclosure surfaces and joined/glued areas too hot or you can damage them.

                  Mite treatment should continue for 30 days after you stop finding mites on your snake, as an egg can take that long to hatch.

                  *** FINAL NOTE ***

                  Effective quarantine means that you treat every new arrival as if it has mites, and new snakes are kept as far away from your established collection as possible for at least 90 days. I treat the quarantine enclosure, hides, and paper with permethrin a day or so before the new snake arrives, and I wipe it with a paper towel soaked in Reptile Spray as part of my inspection process when it comes out of the shipping box. If it has mites I will know it within a day or two at most. This also goes for snakes from "trusted" sources, my first mite outbreak ever came from someone I trusted.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

                    Originally posted by bcr_229 View Post
                    .....*** Mild Dish Soap *** One or two drops of mild dish detergent in your snake's bath water will break the surface tension and prevent mites from floating in the water so they drown. No more than that is needed, your snake should not look like it is taking a bubble bath.....
                    This helps get rid of "most" mites on a snake's body, though some may hide on their face (chin, around eyes, etc) and when soaking a snake, make sure: you stay right there (the water should be just barely deep enough
                    to cover the snake, you don't want the snake drowning; yes they can swim, but should never be locked in a deep, water-filled container as they do get tired, etc. Make sure the snake doesn't DRINK the soapy water, as
                    that will make serious havoc with their digestive tract...and make sure the water is a comfortable temperature...about 82*. (it should feel cool to us as we're about 98.6*, & it's just safer to take the temp. of the water)
                    Again, for those who think of a snake's water bowl as their "bath", do not add soap to their water bowl, even if you've seen them soaking in it...this is a good technique but only with supervision...and works best if you can
                    do this for 20-30 minutes (in my experience).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

                      Thank you all so much for your input -- I really do appreciate it

                      I think I'm going to soak her tonight with a teensy bit of dish soap. I can't re-spray the ivermectin until next Monday, but I can sure as heck see if I'm still getting any mites off her, and decrease their numbers if they're still alive and kicking.

                      Poor baby I'm so bummed for her. The only bright side to this at all is it will likely save me money in the long run, because you can bet your bottom dollar this is the last animal I'm bringing into my collection for the foreseeable future. The stress just isn't worth it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

                        Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                        [Soaking] helps get rid of "most" mites on a snake's body, though some may hide on their face (chin, around eyes, etc) and when soaking a snake, make sure: you stay right there (the water should be just barely deep enough
                        to cover the snake, you don't want the snake drowning...
                        Right, the reason it's mentioned is that soaking is something you can do every day to give your snake relief. The instructions on Reptile Relief state to use it every three days, and ivermectin is a weekly treatment.

                        Also note that if you do use Reptile Relief, because it's a salt solution that kills mites by dehydrating them, it also dries out your snake's skin. Expect the snake's next shed or two to be really bad.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

                          Originally posted by bcr_229 View Post
                          Also note that if you do use Reptile Relief, because it's a salt solution that kills mites by dehydrating them, it also dries out your snake's skin. Expect the snake's next shed or two to be really bad.
                          I think we're going to avoid Reptile Relief at this point -- hopefully soaking with soap and wiping down will be enough. She's just so little, I worry about her exposure when she's already marinating in a tub sprayed with ivermectin.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

                            I've only ever had 2 snakes that 'came with mites' and it's been many years since...I've never even used "PAM". "In the old days" (LOL) I used a SMALL piece of a Shell No Pest Strip: similar to what is described above

                            by bcr_229, only that it was used within the cage- shielded from the snake- and for only 8 hours; then repeated several days later to catch any additional mites that hatched out. It was very effective, and in the mean-

                            time, bathing the snake with a MILD soapy solution was very helpful to relieve MOST of the mites. I wouldn't use dish soap other than Ivory liquid...or you could use mild liquid hand soap (not the "sanitizer" version), or a

                            shampoo product that is made for puppies & kittens. Back then I found & used something called "California Special" -designed for puppies & kittens, it was effective & harmless... All you're after is a gentle 'surfactant', ie.

                            a "wetting agent" to drown those poor widdle mites...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Mites on tiny baby boa

                              Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                              a "wetting agent" to drown those poor widdle mites...
                              Poor "widdle" mites indeed Okay, I think our dog's shampoo will do. It's Burt's Bees and made for puppies. No pesticides in it or anything. Or maybe I'll just dip a bar of Ivory soap into the water first... that might work.

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