Snake mite predators

Control of pests for snakes and reptiles used to rely on chemical pesticides , which can be harmful to them and often not very effective. However now there is an effective alternative using biological control. The main pest of snakes and reptiles is the snake mite [ Ophionyssus natricis ]. These parasites can be difficult to observe at first but build up rapidily. They feed on the blood of the snake and are often found around the eyes and mouths of snakes. The snake mites can cause snakes and reptiles considerable distress and irritation, snakes will often spend more time in their water bowls to try and dis-lodge the mites. Chemical treatments normally only kill the adult stages of the snake mite life cycle, which means treatments have to be re-applied on a regular basis to break the snake mite life cycle. This can be harmful to the snakes and potentially to the applicator.

A few years ago trials were held using predatory mites to see if control of snake mites could be acheived. The first predatory mite used was not a natural predator of snake mites and did not thrive in hot and humid conditions. A much more effective predatory mite was discovered in areas where snakes were present. This new mite is Cheyletus eruditus and is marketed and sold as the product TAURRUS.

Microscope footage of a predator mite attacking a snake mite

TAURRUS predatory mites enjoy and thrive in hot and humid conditions, making them much more effective in the environment where snakes and reptiles are kept. The use of predatory mites and biological control has many advantages. TAURRUS predators will;

  • - kill and consume both eggs and adults of the snake mite for elimination of the entire snake mite life cycle
  • - snake mites are not able to build up resistance to predatory mites, which they do with chemical insecticides
  • - no side effects on the snakes and reptiles or harmful effects to the user and applicator
  • - reduces time in handling and cleaning out
  • - can be used on snakes, lizards and turtles

TAURRUS is also easy to use and apply, simply sprinkle onto the snake or into the viviarium or terrarium. Repeat applications maybe  required. TAURRUS can be applied on a regular basis as a preventative treatment or in higher numbers as a curative treatment once snake mites are observed. TAURRUS can be applied all year round.

Do not use if a chemical treatment has been used in the previous 2 weeks.

TAURRUS is available in a variety of unit sizes.

TAURRUS CANNOT BE DELIVERED OUTSIDE THE UK.

 

   

 

Customer review  of Taurrus  23/05/16 - 

"Following the discovery of snakes mites in our Royal Python collection we needed to find a product which could deal with the problem and fast.  As its the middle of the breeding season we didn't want to go with a chemical solution and having used them in the past we knew we were looking at several treatments before we could be sure they were clear of an infestation.

A few days afterwards the order also arrived and we followed the simple, clear instructions to administer the Mites. Although we had given the worse affected snakes a bath to clear some of the problem, other than that we trusted to the Taurrus mites to do their job and waited to see how effective they would be. Within two days the snakes were visibly clearing. Within a week they were totally clear as were their vivariums, water bowls, snake racks, infact everything was mite free. No chemicals were used, the snakes weren't exposed to anything that could impact upon them and it was so easy! Not only will we be using these regularly on the snakes but also on the rodents we breed and can have total confidence that they work! Wow do they work. Thank you to everyone at Dragonfli for their fast assistance and for an amazing products which will now make up part of our regular shopping list. We can't recommend this enough but if you have reptiles then you should also have Dragonfli protecting them. "

S Burr

 


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