Top Cures for Bearded Dragon Mites
Mites are small tick-like parasites that will attach to your bearded dragon and suck on their blood.
They are nasty little creatures that can spread diseases and cause many different health issues.
Following these guidelines and taking a look at the associated products will help guide you towards a mite-free tank and will help keep your pet healthy and happy.
How to Find the Mites
Mites can be quite hard to spot because they will often get into the folds of skin where it is warm and damp (conditions in which they thrive).
The best places to check are:
Just because you can’t see the mites it doesn’t mean they aren’t there though.
There are other signs to look out for such as redness in the areas mentioned above. This comes from the biting of the mites and causes the skin to react.
If your beardie has not been their normal self then this is also an indicator. They may not want to lay in their basking area and they may also turn their noses up at food or become quite irritable.
How to Get Rid of Mites
Getting rid of mites for your bearded dragon can be quite an involved process. The very first thing you should do is contact your vet, they will be able to offer some ‘one to one’ advice.
You will want to also steer clear of potentially toxic mite treatments.
The best way to get rid of the mites is to create a clean and hygienic environment for your beardie. This will involve baths and lots of cleaning.
1. Give Your Beardie a Bath
One of the first things you will want to do when you discover your bearded dragon has mites is to give him or her a bath treated with Betadine. To do this there are a few things which you will need.
You Will Need ‘The Bathtub’
To bath your beardie, you will need a sizeable waterproof tub to allow for some splashing about, but be careful not to submerge your beardie fully.
Make sure to adjust the water level so that when your bearded dragon is comfortably situated in the tub, the water level is not above its neckline.
Note: Bath time can be a fun time for both you and your beardie, as long as it is done safely. You can find tips on how to bath a bearded dragon here.
You Will Need Some Antiseptic
Once you have a tub with some shallow water, add several drops of betadine antiseptic in the bathtub. The water and betadine combination is quite an effective treatment routine.
The water will wash off the mites whilst the betadine works to prevent the risk of infection from the tiny bites.
Note: If your beardie poops whilst in the bath, you will need to start this process again to ensure your beardie is fully clean.
2. Clean Your Beardie’s Tank
Once you have bathed your beardie you don’t want to be putting them back into an unhygienic environment.
You will need to give the tank a good cleanout, this means taking out all the decor items and lighting equipment and giving it a good hoover.
However, you need to be careful when doing this that you don’t use any chemicals which are harmful to your beardie.
Bearded dragons absorb chemicals through their skin which means they can become seriously sick if you use the wrong stuff. Keep looking below for some beardie safe products.
Use a Reptile Safe Disinfectant
The Zoo Med tank cleaner can wipe out terrarium bacteria. It is powerful, yet safe for beardies.
You will want to apply a liberal amount to the particularly dirty areas such as the feeding area.
Become Friends With Tank Scrubbing Wipes
It can be quite difficult to get into every nook and cranny of your beardie’s tank. Using specialist scrubbing wipes allow you to give the tank a truly deep clean.
However, as with the disinfectant, it is important that there are no harmful chemicals on the wipes.
It is a good idea to have a couple of boxes during the mite infestation (you will go through a fair few wipes).
Note: Once you have completely cleaned out your beardie’s tank, leave it to air and dry out fully. Optimum humidity needs to be restored before placing your beardie back.
3. Change to an Easy to Clean Substrate
The substrate is one place that your beardie is in constant contact with. Therefore, if you notice the mites, switching to an easy-to-clean substrate will save you a lot of hassle.
There are a couple of simple options available to you, a terrarium liner and newspaper.
Use a Terrarium Liner
Using a Terrarium Liner is an incredibly hygienic solution. It is easily cleaned, minimizing the chances of parasites such as mites from taking over.
It is also an inexpensive solution which you can adopt in the long term too. Not just in the weeks that your beardie is suffering from mites.
Use Newspaper on Top of the Liner
Just for the period that your beardie is suffering from mites, it is a good idea to use newspaper on top of the liner. This will allow you to see any dead mites dropping from your bearded dragon.
Once the infestation has been removed, feel free to return to a more aesthetically pleasing substrate but be sure to keep it clean and hygienic.
4. After All Of This…
Once you have completed all of the steps above you will want to keep an eye on your beardie.
Check to see if any more mites are visible if they are then you will want to get back in touch with your vet. You will also need to repeat this process until all the mites have disappeared.
This will save you time if you have to do a second deep clean. Once the mites are all gone you can put all of the decors back again.
Mites really can be problematic for a bearded dragon, the risk of disease and other health issues are quite high.
Fortunately, there are some simple practices that can help you get rid of the infestation.
Once you accomplish this, remember to regularly clean out your pet’s terrarium and stay on top of your pet’s hygiene.
Creating good habits will go a long way to ensuring a pleased and healthy bearded dragon in the future!
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