Killing mites with Cottonseed-Clove-Garlic Oil

Otterwoman

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Mites are a perpetual problem with whiteworms. However I found a very effective chemical "mite x" with ingredients that seem safe: they are
Active Ingredients
Cottonseed Oil 0.40%
Clove oil 0.20%
Garlic Oil 0.20%
Other ingredients 99.3%
Total 100%
Other ingredients include: Sorbitol, Oleic Acid, Dodecanoic Acid, Stearic Acid, Molasses, Sucrose and Water.

The whiteworms survive without any apparent adverse effects, nevertheless, I am reluctant to serve these whiteworms to my salamanders.

OPINIONS PLEASE!!!

THANKS!
 

Jennewt

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Clove oil is somewhat toxic. It is used for anesthesia/euthanasia for fish and amphibians. Here is an interesting article:
The Darker Side Of Eugenol Oil
I don't know if there is any solid knowledge about how toxic it might be to amphibians, or at what doses. Also, it's likely to be broken down in the soil/worms, so the resulting amount may be less than a trace by the time the whiteworms were used as feeders. I suspect it wouldn't be a problem, but I would still probably err on the side of caution and not use it for this.

By the way, the whiteworms I got from you continue to be mite-free (knock on wood)!
 

SludgeMunkey

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I need to do some research, but correct me if I am wrong in thinking the mites feed on fungi in the culture? If so, perhaps use of methylparaben such as is done for fruit fly cultures?

In addition to Jen's caution of the clove oil, I would worry a bit about the oleic acid.

I seem to remember reading about this product and its use with live food culturing. I'll see what I can dig up in my file cabinet and hard drive of doom.
 

Molch

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are mites a problem, though? Do they slow down worm production? I have some and also tons of springtails in my whiteworms and they don't seem to affect the worms at all.
 

Jake

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I get grain mites in some of my cockroach cultures that have substrate in the bottom, but they seem to be more annoying than anything, not really dangerous.

I've noticed a decrease in mite population in the ones that I added tropical springtails to, so maybe you could try that?
 

Otterwoman

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I know the mites aren't harmful but they bother people and gross them out.

Thanks for all the input so far!!
 

Jennewt

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I have one further suggestion: if this oil works, you could use it to "clean up" some whiteworms, then use a few of those worms as a starter to start a new culture in sterilized soil. It would be some effort to prevent re-contamination, you'd have to keep them in a place away from where the mites have been, but you could get a mite-free culture that way.
 

dano

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Mites are not a problem in white worm cultures. Wherever you put the culture the mites will show up to feed on food. You can dry out the culture to reduce the amount of infestation, but you will not get rid of them. Your worm production will go down when drying out the culture so you have to put in more water. Buy a bag of diatomaceous earth and sprinkle on the surface. This will help keep gnats down that might get in you culture, also.
 
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