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Remove mites from adult beetle


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Edit: best way to remove the mites is by spraying the beetle with a spray bottle quite a bit, and rinsing it under the tap on cold water.
 

I have a polyphemus beetle that has recently left it’s pupal cell and emerged, and it is covered in a decent amount of grain mites. 
 

My question is, what’s the best way to remove mites from an adult beetle? I’ve tried scrubbing it with a bit of water and a ultra soft tooth brush, but it’s shell repels the water quite a bit and the mites don’t really fall off.

 

I’ve heard of putting larvae with dry leaves for a few days to removes mites so it’s currently sitting in a container filled with leaves. 

 

And on that note, can M. polyphemus be fine in low humidity for a few days?

 

thanks

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The most thorough method of removing mites from beetles is by simply spraying the mites off of them with water using a basic trigger-spray bottle, which will dislodge any type of mite, even the really clingy phoretic nymphs (Hypopus) of grain mites - 

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I probably shouldn’t reply (since I have limited knowledge on beetles and the only Polyphemus I ever raised was when I was in middle school and they ended up dying, before even emerging, because I couldnt figure out that they can’t survive in 5 degrees Celsius) but I wouldn’t worry too much if it’s grain mite since they’re mostly vegetarian and would probably come off after a while without you doing anything, I know this because I own centipedes and it’s just one of those things that happens from time to time. But I see that you also mentioned you couldn’t get them to come off, now I am curious if you have a grain mite problem or if it’s a different type of mites since grain mites are fairly easy to scrub off with things like toothbrush or even a toothpick.

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On 3/17/2022 at 10:43 PM, hadogenes said:

Do grain mites cause any harm?

Grain mites (Acarus spp.) aren't actually parasites, but if they're present in large numbers, it indicates that there's a nutrient overload (nutrient pollution) in the substrate.  It's a bit like when agricultural runoff (fertilizer) ends up in lakes and rivers, leading to an abnormal bloom of algae that disrupts the ecosystem.

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On 3/17/2022 at 10:46 PM, Westside said:

I probably shouldn’t reply (since I have limited knowledge on beetles and the only Polyphemus I ever raised was when I was in middle school and they ended up dying, before even emerging, because I couldnt figure out that they can’t survive in 5 degrees Celsius) but I wouldn’t worry too much if it’s grain mite since they’re mostly vegetarian and would probably come off after a while without you doing anything, I know this because I own centipedes and it’s just one of those things that happens from time to time. But I see that you also mentioned you couldn’t get them to come off, now I am curious if you have a grain mite problem or if it’s a different type of mites since grain mites are fairly easy to scrub off with things like toothbrush or even a toothpick.

Adult grain mites don't attach to beetles or beetle larvae, but the hypopus (a form of the nymph stage) is able to tightly cling to even very smooth surfaces, since it has a structure on the ventral side that works like a suction cup - 

27_sucker_HTML.jpg
 

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On 3/17/2022 at 9:46 PM, Westside said:

I probably shouldn’t reply (since I have limited knowledge on beetles and the only Polyphemus I ever raised was when I was in middle school and they ended up dying, before even emerging, because I couldnt figure out that they can’t survive in 5 degrees Celsius) but I wouldn’t worry too much if it’s grain mite since they’re mostly vegetarian and would probably come off after a while without you doing anything, I know this because I own centipedes and it’s just one of those things that happens from time to time. But I see that you also mentioned you couldn’t get them to come off, now I am curious if you have a grain mite problem or if it’s a different type of mites since grain mites are fairly easy to scrub off with things like toothbrush or even a toothpick.

I managed to remove a lot of the mites using the spray bottle. When I originally tried to spray it, I felt bad because the beetle was running away from the water. I also ran him under some cool tap water, and around 90% of the kites came off. I am pretty positive they’re grain mites, though I never added nutrients to the substrate and they just kinda showed up. I know they’re not a huge deal, but I mostly just wanted to get the mites off so I can hold it without feeling grossed out 😛

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On 3/17/2022 at 4:04 PM, Goliathus said:

The most thorough method of removing mites from beetles is by simply spraying the mites off of them with water using a basic trigger-spray bottle, which will dislodge any type of mite, even the really clingy phoretic nymphs (Hypopus) of grain mites - 

90adf1e6-f1b7-4764-b7aa-e641de9e2d87_1.f

This worked great along with rinsing the beetle under a cold tap. Thanks for your help

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On 3/17/2022 at 9:43 PM, hadogenes said:

Do grain mites cause any harm?

Not really to adults, but for larvae if they get too excessive they can cover spiracles and cause suffocation. They’re mostly just gross lol

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On 3/17/2022 at 8:43 PM, hadogenes said:

Do grain mites cause any harm?

Not really for me. They do annoy the larvae but not damage it in any way. It usually goes away. At least for me.

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I have killed grain mites very successfully by putting the larvae in a container filled with shredded newspaper for a day. It killed every single mite and the larvae was just fine. The grain mites get killed by the very low moisture levels and they dry up and die.

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