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Re: Preventing mite reinfestation
The secret of preventing a mite reinfestation is to build a "moat", so
that they can not get back in, after you cleaned up your culture by
repeatedly washing the worms in water. As you say, the mites float to
the top and can be decanted. The procedure has to be repeated several
times *after* you don't see any mites floating to the top. There are
always "stragglers" (or eggs?). I let the worms "drown" for about 5
minutes each wash.
To make a "moat", the easiest way is with "TangleFoot" (or a similar
product) -- a gooi substance used to prevent caterpillars crawling up a
tree. Available from garden supply stores. Smear it around your
container of fresh (mite free) soil and you are protected as long as the
goo is sticky.
Automotive grease -- the stuff you put in your differential -- also
works, but is much messier.
The third method is a "real moat" -- water surrounding your container.
If you keep your worms in a sweater box, then place it inside a kitty
litter box (or a suitable basin) and fill the basin with water. It is
simple, but requires constant attention -- if water evaporates, the
mites will return!
I have tried this procedure with micro, Grindal and white worms.
> >Subject: white little critters in an earthworms culture
> I too also have an infestation of these mites. They float in a
> water wash and it is possible to rid the culture of them for a short while,
> but the infestation begins to compete for food and space. All of my fish
> ignore them, even the Epps. and other top feeders. I do feed dry food which
> the fish take from the surface.
> I am wondering if there is a way to rid the culture of them. Sorry
> Simone, they don't seem to be very good food. They must not move much on
> the water surface. I have been successful raising too many of them on
> instant oat meal cereal.
> One of my successes with eliminating insects around the house has
> been with a growth regulator "Sectochloro". They say it causes the insects
> to molt out of their cycle and kills them. Anyway, no fleas for years with
> out problems with fish etc. even with the chemical all over the house,
> anybody with experience with this stuff?
> Charles Harrison