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Oxalic Acid For Beetle Mites?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Jared McGuire, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. Jared McGuire

    Jared McGuire New Member

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    Has anyone tried using oxalic acid from a vaporizer to try and kill mites on your dermestids?
    I recently bought my first package of beetles and here two weeks later I found mites. Not infested but noticeable. I am also a beekeeper and put some Checkmite+ strips in there, but saw some threads on here about the "+" killing or sterilizing the beetles. In the bee yard we stopped using Checkmite+ for the same reason that left long enough could sterilize the queen. We instead use oxalic acid in a vaporizer to kill the verroa mites on the bees. We also use formic acid but its less stable. Just wondering since formic acid seems to work for dermestid mites and verroa mites if oxalic acid would do the same.
     
  2. Jared McGuire

    Jared McGuire New Member

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    BTW, I have had them in a Freezer enclosure in a plastic tote until the colony gets larger to dump them in the freezer itself. Only fed frozen meat, kept at 75 to 80 deg and around 25% humidity the entire two weeks.
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If they showed up in 2 weeks, I would venture that they were contaminated when you got them. Who did you get them from? You should contact them and tell them about the mites. They might not know .. or maybe don't care. If the Oxalic works for the bees it "should" work for the beetles. You can try it and see as the mites are going to wipe out what you have any way. Formic acid is what was in the old Checkmite strips. The new formula isn't as good.
    What are you using for bedding in the container you have now? You may also do some good by reducing the humidity with a fan or something. The one time I had mites, I also misted the sides of the enclosure (and occasionally the surface and beetles) with rubbing alcohol. I could see mites all over the sides of the enclosure. The alcohol seemed to kill the mites on contact due to their very small size when they got wet with the alcohol. The adult beetles just seemed to shrug it off. The beetle larva did not like it at all. I can't say that any of the beetles or larva died from the alcohol but I also didn't get much on them. After several weeks of daily misting, reducing humidity and taking out bedding and disposing of it, the numbers of mites I was seeing seemed greatly reduced. Adding the Checkmite strips seemed to kill off the rest of them. Reducing the humidity seemed to prevent a return but I did finally strip out all the old bedding and started over with just the adult beetles and all the larva I could save.
    As a thought, mites are small and crawl everywhere. They will now also be outside the tote and inside the freezer enclosure itself. You will need to spray that down and kill them in there too. You could spray it with insecticide, close the lid for a day or so and then just wash the inside out completely and rinse very well and let dry. ... Removing the tote with beetles someplace else of course.
     
  4. Jared McGuire

    Jared McGuire New Member

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    I informed the seller and he said he checked his and didn't see any. But said if he does end up having mites he would refund me or if mine died he'd send me a new batch. I've kept them at 25% humidity. I might do a trial on a handfull of larva to see if oxalic acid works and let yall know. I'll spray the area with alchohol too just to be safe.
     
  5. Jared McGuire

    Jared McGuire New Member

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    I'm using what they came in as bedding which is some kind of insulation like substrate and shredded paper.
     
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Ok. I have seen and read other places that pine shavings also seem to draw mites. I have a paper shredder at the desk so shredded newspaper is free and endless.
     
  7. Jared McGuire

    Jared McGuire New Member

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    The seller just messaged me and informed me that he does now see mites in his colony and will issue me a refund. I gave them an oxalic acid treatment and will see what that does. If I cant save them then it's a wash anyway and I'll have to sanitize my enclosure. I'll still update on the acid treatment and keep yall posted.