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Bugs in my Grindal Worms...

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by JasonC, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. JasonC

    JasonC Member 5 Year Member

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    So my grindal worm cultures have lots of little white dots in it and I noticed a few moving tonight. Is this some kind of mite or flea? Should this be considered the end of the culture, or is there a way to rescue it, or am I worrying about nothing?
  2. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    Sounds like mites, I usually get them in the older cultures. I probably would re-culture them, you will find the mites float, so you can rinse some Grindal worms in a beaker and pour the mites of the top of the water.

    cheers Darrel
  3. wethumbs

    wethumbs Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Do they look like this under the microscope? If so, they are mites. You can use 0.03% Pyrethrins to control their population by spraying on the underside of the cover. However, reculturing is the only way to completely rid of them. The mites are probably all over the area where you put the culture already. You may want to clean the area with a mild bleach solution before putting new culture there. I put all my grindal worm culture containers on a paper towel that has 0.03% Pyrethrins to keep all crawling bugs off the culture. Fungus gnats are a different story.

    [​IMG]
  4. mummymonkey

    mummymonkey Member 5 Year Member

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    If you turn over the culture every day the mites will be unable to compete with the worms and will cease to be a problem.
  5. JasonC

    JasonC Member 5 Year Member

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    Unfortunately, no microscope, so no way to tell. I think I am going to try re-culturing and seeing how that goes... blah.
  6. wethumbs

    wethumbs Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Are you using potting soil or other soil mix? You may want to microwave the medium to kill all the bugs in it first. Otherwise, they will just reappear again.
  7. JasonC

    JasonC Member 5 Year Member

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    Actually, I am using coir... think thats the name... shredded coconut husk. Supposedly sterile... but would it be worth the time to go ahead and nuke it?
  8. wethumbs

    wethumbs Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Coir should be free of bugs, so you dont need to put it in microwave. I have tried all sort of media for grindal worms. Coir, peat moss,and scrub pad are the only types that are free of bugs. All others I would highly recommend putting it in microwave on HIGH for a minute or two.
  9. JasonC

    JasonC Member 5 Year Member

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    So how do Grindal worms reproduce? are they egg/cyst layers? asexual budding/splitting? Just curious, cause I am already seeing tiny white dots (not moving) that I thought may have been the mite eggs.. but am I mistaken? FYI, the re-culture was done as advised... washed a bunch of worms into a container of water and let them settle, pouring off almost all the water and any floating whatever. thought I got a very clean culture that way, but now I am not sure.
  10. wethumbs

    wethumbs Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I seriously doubt that you can see mite's eggs. Having a microscope would help to identify the 'white dot'.

    Grindal worm is similar to white worm therefore reproduce like earthworm. Typical lifespan of a grindal worm is several months. They reproduce in hermaphroditic fashion (just like earthworm). Reproduction starts around 20 days old once the clitellum is developed. The function of the clitelllum is to produce the egg case to protect the eggs.
  11. MartialTheory

    MartialTheory New Member 5 Year Member

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    Can you please elaborate? Where do you find Pyrethrins and how do you apply it?
  12. Bilbo

    Bilbo Member 5 Year Member

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    I use scourer pads for grindal worms. No soil or dirt of any sort and never have any bugs.