Mites are tiny black insects that are parasites. They feed off your snake’s blood, and they can be quite the pain in the butt to get rid of once you have them. Most times your snake will be caught and sold already having mites, or they’ll get them from another snake at the pet store.
Symptoms of Snake Mites
Symptoms that your snake has mites:
- Long soaks in their water
- Rubbing on objects in their enclosure
- Tiny black specs on your snake or objects in their enclosure
- Tiny black specs on you from handling your snake
We recommend contacting your vet to find out what treatment they recommend for killing mites. Keep in mind that mites don’t tend to stay in one place, and any other snakes or reptiles kept in the same room could be infested with mites as well. Distance between pets is key, just as washing your hands between handling pets so that you don’t spread mites from pet to pet.
Diagnosing Snake Mites
The best way to diagnose snake mites is to take your snake to a veterinarian for a physical examination. The vet could also take skin scrapings or use a microscope to look for mites on their body. They could also recommend blood tests or other diagnostic tests to rule out any underlying health issues that could be causing the symptoms.
Stages of the Snake Mites
Snake mites have four distinct stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, nymph, and adult.
The eggs are laid on a snake’s skin and hatch into larvae within a few days.
The larvae then feed on the snake’s blood for several days before molting into nymphs.
Nymphs will continue to feed on the snake’s blood for several weeks before becoming adults.
Adults will continue to feed and lay eggs on your snake’s skin to restart the cycle
Treating Snake Mites
The most effective way to treat snake mites is to use a topical insecticide. The insecticide should be applied directly to the affected area and left on for several hours before being washed off.
It’s important to thoroughly clean your snake’s enclosure and any other areas where the mites may have been present.
It’s also important to monitor your snake’s health closely and get veterinary care if any signs of illness or infection are observed. It’s very important to keep your snake’s enclosure clean and free of debris that could harbor mites.
Preventing Snake Mites
The best way to prevent snake mites is to keep your snake’s enclosure clean and free of debris that could harbor mites.
Finally, it’s important to quarantine any new snakes before introducing them into an existing collection. Quarantining them will help prevent the spread of mites from one snake to another, and give you time to find out that they’re sick before they can infect any of your other pets.