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  1. #1

    Default Bugs in my gecko's food! Help!

    Hope I'm posting this correctly! I joined this forum just now in order to ask for help on this matter.

    My skin is absolutely crawling right now.
    I feed my crested Pangea Fruit Mix and tonight I pulled his food bowl out to feed him only to discover it was crawling with nearly microscopic bugs. They're incredibly tiny and almost impossible to see but his bowl was crawling with them! After inspecting his tank, which I keep lined with paper towels, I noticed the bugs only seemed to be around where his food bowl was so I'm certain the food bowl was the source.
    Right now I have his bowl just sitting in a tub of water to hopefully drown whatever is on it, but tomorrow I'm definitely gonna go out and buy whatever it takes to kill these things.
    So several questions:
    -What are these?
    -What is the best way to kill them that would be safe for my gecko?
    -Are they a danger to my gecko?
    -Even if I completely cleanse the tank, will I need to give my gecko a bath to ensure they're for sure gone? (And I'm aware you don't normally bathe cresties and that's something I'll have to be very, very careful with if I need to do it. If I do, I'll look into the safest way to bathe him but one step at a time)

    I do normally clean my gecko's bowl out but I've been incredibly busy this week with work and so some food did sit in there and dry up which I'm sure is what attracted whatever these are.

  2. #2
    Geck-cessories
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    acpart's Avatar
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    Welcome to GF! I can't tell what you have without a picture (and even then, probably not). Chances are it's one of the following:
    --tiny crickets (do you feed crickets and are some left in the enclosure?)
    --grain mites (see this article: How I Got Rid of Grain Mites - Gecko Time - Gecko Time). Theses mites are not anything that will affect your gecko
    -- springtails, though if you keep them on paper towels I don't know where they would have come from.

    None of those would affect your gecko.

    Aliza

  3. #3

    Junior
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    In the summer months I tend to have a few fruit flies and/or phorid flies around. They lay eggs in my cresteds food and the eggs hatch into tiny fruit fly larvae. They look like little worms. I would just change your food every 48-72 hours and clean the bowls thoroughly with vinegar or throw away the bowls immediately so they don't have a chance to mature or you could have a bit of an infestation on your hands. It could also be one of the things Aliza mentioned. A picture would be helpful.
    Lisa Brooks
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  4. #4

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    Thanks for the responses! I THINK I determined that it was in fact fruit flies in their very early stage, which while disgusting, seem to be harmless? I'm not 100% sure. Sorry, I didn't get any pictures, but honestly, I think if I did, you wouldn't have even been able to see them because they were so tiny (and I don't have a good camera to begin with).
    Either way, I kept the food bowl submerged underwater over night, completely threw out and replaced his branches and leaves, and then gave his entire tank and food bowl a power wash with the hose. Unfortunately I did all of this before I saw your responses so I didn't get to grab any vinegar, but so far things seem to be bug free. If worst comes to worst and they show back up, I have a completely brand new tank on order that I'll be getting soon either way and will just start completely over in with a new food bowl, branch and leaves. He's been due for a bigger tank for a while now anyway (he's a big kid now!) so if the bugs show back up by the time I get his new tank, he'll get an entirely new home with new leaves and branches ahah.

  5. #5

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    A good wash should cure them. I always get a few in the summer but as long as I clean relatively qwell once a week and don't leave food in the cages more than 4 days the flies stay under control. A few are annoying but a lot are like a terrible horror movie (sadly I know from experience - they infested the fruit in my roach bins one year and it was horrific!! Lesson learned! Haha)
    Lisa Brooks
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  6. #6

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    As an aside - I believe in the wild cresteds eat fruit that's begun to spoil a bit and has maggots (baby fruit flies) in it. This is where they get their protein from as fruit alone just doesn't have enough to keep them alive. Gross but I believe this niche is what prompted them to evolve from the insectivorous lifestyle all other geckos lead. In short - I wouldn't be scared they'll hurt your gecko but its not a good idea to let them spawn for your own sanity! Haha.
    Lisa Brooks
    Carpe Gecko

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  7. #7

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    I had this happen to me once. The insects were so small I couldn't tell what they were so I scooped up a few and put them in a separate container to mature. Turned out they were incredibly small baby crickets lol Usually these things will creep you out and bother you more than the animal. It's most likely one of the 3 things mentioned by Azura. I'd gut the tank and clean everything with Wipe Away or something similar. That'll take care of it.


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