Mites in whiteworm cultures

Otterwoman

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Has anyone ever tried using diatomaceous earth to get rid of mites in whiteworm cultures? I read about this option online and am in the process of trying it (supposedly it takes 48 hours). Today, after almost 24 hours, I looked at some mites under the microscope. They may well be dead, but those bloated little things aren't that active to begin with, so I'm wondering if anyone has anything to add.
 

SludgeMunkey

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My experience with diatomaceous earth has been limited to its use in killing various worms, slugs and snails in my garden. I find it to be extremely effective. As for its affects on white worms, I do not know. (Since I am anxiously awaiting a package of newts today, I will research it a bit...)
 

Otterwoman

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I got it at a garden center. Be warned, though, I had to go to three before I found it, and not only that, the first two places thought I was crazy!! But it's used by gardeners. It was $12.99 for a bag about the size of the average bag of cat food.
 

xMIDNIGHTx

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Excellent work! If everything works out with no long term ill effects I will need to do this as my cultures have fallen victim to a mite infestation. Thanks for the great information.

Mitch
 

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As an update: the diatomaceous earth was successful!! It is easier to use than to spell.
I applied it twice, but that may not have been necessary; I was impatient. I just sprinkled it over the culture, as you might sprinkle confectioner's sugar on brownies. You don't have to cover the whole thing, every spot; the mites crawl around and will get some on them without that.
I applied it again the next day, but like I said, that may not have been necessary. After another day, I stirred it all up throughout the dirt. Now, cultures back to normal, no mites. Yay!
 

SludgeMunkey

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Very interesting! This could be just the thing I needed to get culturing whiteworms again. I gave up on them quite a long time ago as the mites were always an issue no matter what culture method I used.
 

Coastal Groovin

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I just read that this soil can be sprinkle on carpets and you pets to control fleas.
 

Greatwtehunter

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Since you got the mites under control it might be a good idea to keep the culture containers on mite paper. This should prevent them from returning as long as it is changed every 3 months.
 

dano

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Has anyone ever tried using diatomaceous earth to get rid of mites in whiteworm cultures? I read about this option online and am in the process of trying it (supposedly it takes 48 hours). Today, after almost 24 hours, I looked at some mites under the microscope. They may well be dead, but those bloated little things aren't that active to begin with, so I'm wondering if anyone has anything to add.
You can also let the culture dry out. This will only reduce the amount of mites but not entirely eliminate the problem. Later, Dano
 

esnailme

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I applied the diatomaceous earth on my cultures.

This stuff is a miracle powder.

The mite infestation is almost down to nothing.

I am definitely convinced.

otterwoman.......

How long did you have to wait until you were able to feed out from the treated cultures?
 

Otterwoman

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No set amount of time...it's not like the diatomaceous earth needs to break down or go away. I used the culture again when I thought the mites were gone enough.
 

eyrops

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I got it at a garden center. Be warned, though, I had to go to three before I found it, and not only that, the first two places thought I was crazy!! But it's used by gardeners. It was $12.99 for a bag about the size of the average bag of cat food.
It's also available at most swimming pool supply stores in my area. Some swimming pool filters use it. Because it is composed of the remains of the silica cases or "frustules" that enclosed microscopic diatoms, it is very irritating if it gets in your eyes (like microscopic broken glass - I think that's why it kills the mites) and it's bad to breathe the dust also. This is not to say that it isn't useful. I have used a lot of it in making molds for casting glass and metal. It's just a reminder to be careful.

-Steve Morsehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frustule
 

esnailme

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The miracle powder has come back to bite me or either I am dealing with another creature.

What I thought was gone is not totally gone.

I am seeing a decrease in numbers.

There are tiny red bugs crawling on my dirt where as before they were all over the lid and sides of the culture.

I have not been adding moisture or a lot of food.

This past week I used fish food with a light mist of water.

When I returned to do my routine check....7 out of 8 cultures have mites crawling over the diatomaceous earth as if it is snow.

So what now????

What kind of infestation am I dealing with???

Do I need to start over or be patient?
 

Otterwoman

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It does sound like mites...you can start over by taking some and getting them wet like in the video, and scraping them off the sides, maybe swishing them with water, and putting them into a new culture and starting over. The others you can starve for a while and the mites should go away.
 

Molch

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a stray thought - wouldn't the mites themselves be good food for small terrestrial newts?
 

Otterwoman

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I've heard that sals eat them too- but I thnk the grossness factor turns people off.
 

Molch

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I've heard that sals eat them too- but I thnk the grossness factor turns people off.
really - why would they be any more gross than, say, springtails or whiteworms or fruit flies? :wink:

hehe - maybe for the same reason why people will eat shrimp and lobsters but wouldn't eat a scorpion? :lick:
 

esnailme

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The creepy part for me is the number factor! crawling here there and everywhere.:mad:

I am wondering if there is a bug that will eat them.

My spring tail culture is running off the charts,

Will the spring tails eat the mites??
 
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