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Mites on culture.

This is a discussion on Mites on culture. within the Live Food General Discussion forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; So i finally managed to get me some fruitflies and the very first thing i noticed is that the container ...

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Old 10th November 2007   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mites on culture.

So i finally managed to get me some fruitflies and the very first thing i noticed is that the container has some mites....its not an infestation but they are there for sure. So what can i do??? Its a starter kit and its full of pupae. Im supossing no matter what i do they will pass from one culture to another any time i make new ones...which is specially bad since im allergic
Any experience with getting rid or at least controlling this awful pest??? Thank you...



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Old 10th November 2007   #2 (permalink)
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Default Mites on culture

Hopefully, the pupae will still hatch into flies.

You can try dusting the emerging flies with calcium (or calcium/vitamin supplement, which you'll need to do to several feedings of flies each week) to remove any mites from the flies' bodies and transfer them to fresh cultures. You can find a number of recipes and ways to do this under Live Foods on this forum.

Then destroy the infested container.

If you have any dart frogs they'll eat the mites straight from the container before you destroy it.

I've managed to keep mites away by keeping the cultures standing on mite paper inside a well ventilated box.



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Old 10th November 2007   #3 (permalink)
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In my experience, there is no way to eradicate mites from fruit fly cultures. The mites stick to the flies and are carried over into the next culture vial. (I haven't tried dusting the flies to get rid of them.) You have two options:

1. Wait and see how it goes. Some mites are a minor pest and don't decrease the fly production much. Some are a major pest and you'll never get more than a few flies from your cultures as long as they are around.

2. Sterilize everything (!) that is associated with these flies (including the shelf/table where you kept them, etc). Get fresh flies from another source. Keep them in a different area of the house, if possible, or use other quarantine methods to protect against re-infestation (remember that your animal setups are now a source of the mites and contact will re-infest the fresh fly cultures).

What kind of mites are you allergic to? For most people, it is dust mites that cause allergies. I believe the kind of mites in your fly cultures are a totally different kind and probably won't irritate your allergy. I don't know this for a fact, but I'd be very surprised if fruit fly mites caused the same kind of reaction.



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Old 10th November 2007   #4 (permalink)
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If you set up new cultures successively as soon as the new flies hatch you can outbreed mites. I think mites have a longer live cycle than fruit flies. Always use the youngest cultures posible and keep the old cultures away from the new ones. I think some people are allergic to fruit fly mites. A friend of of mine that is a frog researcher always starts sneezing and carrying on when he comes into my small room with the old fruit fly cultures. We always blamed it on mites.



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Old 13th November 2007   #5 (permalink)
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Thanx for the replies. Im allergic to the shedding of dust mites...but several sites say the mites that appear in drosophila cultures are highly allergenic too so id rather be cautious. Ill try to keep the cultures and materials as sterillized as i can. I think ill try to find some of that mite paper too.



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Old 12th January 2008   #6 (permalink)
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hello. i work in a drosophila lab, and i can tell you that elimination of mites from fly cultures IS possible, but it takes some work. there are a few guidlines you have to follow to eliminate mites from your cultures.

1) keep things cleen
2) pass your flies often.

its not uncommon to recieve fly stocks that are infested with mites. and mites are an inevitability when working with flies. the best you can do is learn to deal with and control infestations.

to start, youll want to wipe down your working surface with ethanol or some other antiseptic to ensure a clean working surface both BEFORE and AFTER passing your flies. pass your flies to fresh vials or containers of food every few days and dispose of old ones (make sure you take out the garbage often or freeze old vials to ensure that mites are gone from the room you keep the flies or at least are dead). fruit flies are generally very clean and will groom themselves often. continually passing them will help get rid of mite eggs and adults by the time you are done (you should be able to have the mite infestation under control after about a week of passing). you can also help control future outbreaks of mites by keeping your vials of flies on sheets of anti-mite paper. this wont completley eliminate the possiblity of mites, but at the very least, it helps prevent mites from going from vial to vial, so if one vial becomes infested, it will help prevent the infestation from spreading to others.

remember, mites love to feed on old and drying food, so when youre maintaining your fly stock, pass them and toss the old vial when the food looks like its beginning to go bad, but remember to keep them long enough so that enough have emerged from their pupae to maintain the line. since youre using them for food, i would say remember to keep them amplified as well. pass your flies every 3 or so days and keep every single vial. in about 10 days youll have more flies than youll ever want, and dont forget to use fresh flies to amplify. female D. melanogaster begin to have a reduction in egg production when theyre about 2 weeks old.

good luck.




Last edited by DavyC412; 12th January 2008 at 05:12. Reason: added stuff
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