A Comprehensive Guide To Bearded Dragon Mite Control

Although mite infestations in Bearded Dragons aren’t common, they can happen if incorrect husbandry practices are put in place.

In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, elimination, and prevention, of mites from Bearded Dragons, and how to ensure a mite-free environment for your beloved pet. 

What Are Mites?

Mites are parasitic insects who survive by attaching themselves to a host, they work similarly to fleas or lice.

Mites aren’t common in Bearded Dragons; however, this doesn’t mean it’ll never happen and it’s best to err caution with these parasites.

Where Do Mites Come From?

There are 3 common scenarios causing the infestation of mites in Bearded Dragons and all of these are human errors.

  • The purchase of an already infected reptile.
  • Handling reptiles at pet stores, friends’ houses, and pet expos without proper hygiene precautions.
  • The purchase of substrates and decorations from unhygienic retailers with facilities infested with mites.

I’ll be discussing in depth the prevention of mites later in this article, however, I’m going to move on to the symptoms and elimination of mites first.

Symptoms Of Mites

Symptoms of a mite infestation include;

  • Tiny arthropods on your pet, often on the head, neck, and upper torso.
  • Mites typically look like red, brown, or black dots
  • Spotting mites in or around your beardie’s habitat, or on your skin or clothing.
  • Your beardie trying to constantly scratch against objects or with claws when not shedding.
  • Anorexia and lethargy, which may happen after the infestation is quite apparent from looking at the animal.
  • Arthropods in your beardie’s feces.

Eliminating Mites From Your Bearded Dragons Body

When you’re ridding your Bearded Dragon of mites I recommend going immediately to your vet, they’ll prescribe a mite-killing medication. This will treat the infestation in a safe manner for your beardie.

Mites are able to be eliminated by soaking the infected reptile in water, however, this method is difficult to apply to Bearded Dragons because it’s not safe to fully submerge your Bearded Dragon in case of water inhalation.

Once you’ve cleaned your beardie of the mites on their body, they’ll need to remain in temporary housing whilst you fumigate their habitat.

Eliminating Mites From Your Bearded Dragons Habitat

You’ll need to ensure you thoroughly clean your Bearded Dragons tank and surrounding areas when dealing with mites, if not all of them are eradicated they’ll return and take you back to step one.

Actions to be taken to eradicate mites include;

  • Clean the surrounding area by vacuuming all rugs and fabrics and cleaning hard surfaces with a reptile-safe disinfectant.
  • Cleaning your reptile’s habitat thoroughly by discarding everything that can’t be disinfected, such as the substrate, and discarding any wooden climbing decor.
  • Soaking water dishes, food bowls, and similar items in a weak bleach solution, rinsing, and allowing them to air dry completely.
  • Cleaning the habitat several times while eradicating the mites.
  • Maintaining a relatively “sterile” habitat setup until you’re sure all of the mites are gone.

How To Prevent Mite Infestation

Mites are a difficult parasite to deal with once an infestation begins, so preventing them all together is the best strategy.

Here are 5 easy steps to prevent mite infestations;

  • Only Buy Animals From Reputable Breeders.
  • Use Hygiene When Handling Pets.
  • Don’t Handle Unknown Animals Unnecessarily.
  • Quarantine Any New Recruits for 2-3 months.
  • Monitor Your Reptile For Symptoms.

Summary

Mites are a difficult parasite to get rid of, so prevention is the best treatment you can use. 

Remember to;

  • Only buy animals from reputable breeders.
  • Use hygiene when handling pets.
  • Don’t handle unknown animals unnecessarily.
  • Quarantine any new animals for 2-3 months.
  • Monitor your reptile for symptoms.