Bearded Dragon Mite: How To Get Rid Of Them? [Prevention Tips]

Being a bearded dragon keeper, you know how dangerous it is to have mites on bearded dragons. Mites can cause life-threatening diseases to bearded dragons as mites are the carrier of bacteria and viruses. So, how to deal with mites on a bearded dragon?

To treat mites on a bearded dragon: Isolate the affected dragon, clean its enclosure, and replace substrate with paper towels. Soak the dragon in a reptile-safe mite solution, then gently brush off mites with a soft toothbrush. Repeat as per product instructions or vet advice. Monitor regularly and maintain hygiene to prevent future infestations. Consult a vet if needed.

How do you know if your bearded dragons have mites? How can you get rid of the mites? Where do the mites come from? To get precise answers to these questions, you must go through this article.

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced bearded dragon keeper, this article is especially for you.

I Asked Experienced Bearded Dragon Owners For Recommendation

I got into 2 popular Bearded Dragon groups on Facebook. I asked in both of them for #1 recommendation to deal with mites on bearded dragon.

Here’s what my post looked like:

I have got a whole array of answers. However, they were not very varied.

Most owners recommended to give the beardie a warm water bath.

A comment from Alanah Glenney pretty much summarizes all the responses:

One owner recommended to use coconut oil on the beardies avoiding ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.

how does mite look like

What Do Mites Look Like On A Bearded Dragon?

Mites form black dots to a small red on bearded  dragons’ bodies. To be more specific, they are small and colorless parasites found in reptiles, like bearded dragons. This parasite bites and‌ sucks bearded dragon blood. As mites look tiny and colorless, it’s difficult to identify them on the bearded dragons.

Where Do Bearded Dragon Mites Come From?

Mites are common in reptiles, like bearded dragons. Knowing the origin of the mites is a must if you would like to prevent and eliminate the number of mites on your bearded dragons. Mites that are vulnerable to cause different diseases can come in contact with bearded dragons from different sources.

  • Bearded Dragon Pet Shops: If your purchased bearded dragon already suffers from mites, bringing the bearded dragon home might increase the possibility of spreading mites to other pets. So it’s wise to check the bearded dragon while purchasing before bringing it home.
  • Infested Animals: Infested animalsproduce mites.If the pet shops are full of infested animals, it becomes tough to handle them and they may spread to other animals.
  • Purchasing Pet Supplies: Mites may come from pet supplies. When purchasing pet supplies, check if they have any source of mites or not.

Mites are very small parasitic creatures that feed off the blood of your snake. They are visible to the naked eye and look like tiny black, red, or grey bugs. They are often visible on your animal (often in the thin-skinned areas such as eyes, ears, and armpits), on your hands after you handle your animal, and in the water dish in your animal’s enclosure.River Road Veterinary Clinic

How Do Bearded Dragons Get Mites?


Bearded dragons can get mites from various sources, and mite infestations can occur even in seemingly clean environments. Here’s how bearded dragons typically become infested with mites:

  1. New Additions: Introducing a new reptile to your collection without proper quarantine can be a source of mites. The new reptile might carry mites, which can then spread to other reptiles in your care.
  2. Contaminated Items: Introducing contaminated items, such as decor, substrate, or equipment from an infested source, can bring mites into the enclosure.
  3. Handling: If you handle a mite-infested reptile and then handle your bearded dragon without washing your hands or changing clothes, you can transfer mites.
  4. Shared Spaces: If you use shared spaces or equipment for multiple reptiles, such as bathing containers, these can be sources of mite transfer if not cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  5. Pet Stores or Reptile Shows: Sometimes, bearded dragons can pick up mites from pet stores or reptile shows where they come into close proximity with other infested reptiles or contaminated equipment.
  6. Feeders: Rarely, feeder insects might come from a source that has mites, and they can introduce mites into the bearded dragon’s environment.
  7. Environmental Exposure: If your bearded dragon’s enclosure is outdoors or if you frequently take your dragon outside, there’s a slight risk of exposure to mites from the natural environment, though this is less common.
  8. Poor Hygiene: Not maintaining a clean and hygienic environment for your bearded dragon can increase the risk of mite infestations. Regular cleaning and disinfection can help prevent mites.
3D Rendering Of A Dust Mite

What Do Mites Do To Your Bearded Dragons?

Mites are parasites like fleas. They bite and suck the bearded dragon’s blood. After ingesting sufficient blood from bearded dragons, mites lay eggs inside the dragon’s enclosure. Meanwhile, mites carry bacteria and viruses to harm your bearded dragons.

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Because of being the small colorless parasites in shape, most bearded dragon keepers find it difficult to spot the mites at their early stage. If you let them get bigger, they can be life-threatening for your bearded dragons. So you need to eliminate the mites at the early stage to protect your bearded dragon.

How Do Mites Spread From One Beardie To Other Reptiles?

Mites are often found on bearded dragons, especially when you bring home the dragons from a pet store. Despite having a short span of life, mites can lay eggs and reproduce millions of mites fast on bearded dragons. They are great at hiding themselves inside the enclosures and infest everywhere.

How Do You Know If Your‌ Bearded Dragon Has Mites?

Bearded dragons expose some signs if they have mites on themselves. If you know your bearded dragon has mites, you can take precautionary measures to prevent and get rid of bearded dragon mites. Let’s have a look at the symptoms of mites on bearded dragons below:

  1. You’ll notice tiny arthropods on the foreparts of your beardie if mite infestation happens.
  1. Mite’s color can be black, red or brown. If the infestation of mites is in the early stage, you may see a single mite on your beardie. If the infestation of mites is high, you may notice more than hundreds of mites on your bearded dragon.
  1. Expose dusty white spots on your bearded dragon that results in skin damage.
  1. Mite bites irritate a bearded dragon. Meanwhile, the mite bites will leave a red mark on your beardie’s body and around its eyes. 
  1. With the influence of mites, you’ll notice a significant change in bearded dragons. Consequently, your beardie will be reluctant to eat and will refuse to bask because of discomfort caused by mite bites.
  1. Mites will appear in beardie’s habitats and even on your cloth or skins initially.
  1. Beardie will feel the body itch that will give it skin discomfort. So the beardie will try to dislodge the mites.
  1. Symptoms, like lethargy and anorexia, will be exposed to extreme levels with the effect of bearded dragon mites.
  2. Mites affected by bearded dragons will lose weight.
  1. You will notice your beardie is depressed because of mites.

Besides the above symptoms, you’ll also notice the mites on the following body parts of your bearded dragons:

  • Back or front legs of beardies
  • Infesting eyes and ears
  • Skin folds
  • Bearded dragon’s skin
  • Beardie’s fecal matter

The aforementioned signs are a warning for your beardie. If you notice any of these signs, you must consult a veterinarian. You can get rid of the mites easily at an early stage. But it’s difficult to do away with mites once they get severe.

Most mites are introduced through new animals, or substrate, though you can also introduce them to your pet’s enclosure on your hands and clothing. Pet stores and reptile expos are especially risky areas due to the large number of reptiles.River Road Veterinary Clinic

What Are The Health Effects Of Bearded Dragon Mites?

Mites weaken your beardies and affect them with various illnesses. If you find out mites on your bearded dragons, the following health issues might expose to your beardies:

  • Dehydration
  • Anemia
  • Skin Damage
  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Anorexia

Mites can endanger your bearded dragon’s life. If you take proper treatment, your beardie can get rid of mites.

Is It Hard To Get Rid Of Bearded Dragon Mites?

Once the mites are infested at home, it’s difficult to get rid of the bearded dragon mites. In addition, the chemicals you choose to get rid of the mites can be life-threatening for your beardies.

So finding the best treatment to get rid of bearded dragon mites is important. While you can use toxic solutions for bearded dragon mites, you need to use non-toxic treatments for your pets.

anatomy of House Dust mite
anatomy of House Dust mite

How To Deal With Mites On Your Bearded Dragon? 2 Steps

Dealing with mites on bearded dragons isn’t a breeze. Though there are some medicines and treatments available in the pet shops to get rid of the bearded dragon mites, they are less efficient. Once you know your beardie is affected by mites, the foremost thing you should do is to consult a veterinarian.

DIY treatment is also effective, but if the mites are severe on your beardie, I suggest ‌you consult a professional.

Here are 2 easy steps you can follow to get rid of mites from your bearded dragon:

Step 1: Remove The Mites From your Bearded Dragons:

To do away with the bearded dragon mites, you need to clean the mites first from your bearded dragons. Below I am going to discuss this step to help you get rid of the mites:

  • Remove The Beardie To Clean The Enclosure: To remove the mites from bearded dragons, you need to evacuate your beardie to a safe place while cleaning the beardies’ enclosure.
  • Prepare A Bath For Beardie: Using soap you can give your beardies a soak in warm water. Mites cannot stand drowning in the soapy warm water for long. It won’t harm beardie’s head either. Thus, beardies can get rid of mites.

Moreover, you can prepare a Betadine bath. All you need to do is to mix Betadine with water. Betadine works as an antiseptic for beardie’s skin infection. Mix the antiseptic with the water until it gets a weak tea color.

  • Bathe The Beardie In The Diluted Water: Diluted water is handy to get away from the bearded dragon mites. Besides Betavine and a warm water bath, you can bathe your beardie in diluted water. But keep the eyes safe from the diluted solutions.
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Replace the water while eliminating the mites and then bathe again with diluted water. Thus, mites can disappear from your beardie.

  • Isolate The Affected Animals: Mites get easily on bearded dragons. Once you’re sure about the mite infestation, you need to isolate the affected ones for 2-4 weeks.
  • Apply Olive Oil: Mites can live on your beardie’s skin. Applying olive oil on your beardie can be very effective. Apply the oil first to the bearded dragon’s body and then leave it for 10-20 minutes.

The mites will disappear from the beardie’s body. But be mindful of beardie’s eyes so that the olive oil cannot enter.

  • Medications For Bearded Dragon Mites:  There are different options, like injectable and topical medications, to treat your bearded dragon mite infestation. Consult your veterinarian to decide which one best fits your beardie.
  • Feed Nutritious Foods:  After mite infestation, your beardie might be weak and devastated. For making the beardie strong, feed them nutritious feeds.

Mites can be very difficult to get rid of and can pose a serious risk to your pet by transmitting disease. Additionally, since they have the ability to reproduce very quickly, large numbers of mites can drain too much blood from your animal causing them to be anemic and lethargic- and can even result in death if left untreated. – River Road Veterinary Clinic

Dust mites feeding on human flakes

Step 2: Clean The beardie’s Enclosure:

In the first step, you get to learn the mite removing process from bearded dragons. Now you’ll learn the cleaning process of beardie’s enclosure in the second step.

  • Clean The Enclosure: Before cleaning the beardie’s enclosure, you need to move the things that are left behind. Otherwise, cleaning the enclosure will be just a waste of time as mites can reproduce and spread everywhere.
  • Fixture And Lighting: Soak the wooden items in bleached water and evacuate the lighting. Wipe down them with bleached water to make the items free of mites.
  • Vacuum And Clean: Now you can vacuum the enclosures and notice every single small egg of mites that are hidden inside the enclosure. Now clean the enclosure frame. With Soapy water, you can clean the wooden enclosures. But you can apply to spray on glass enclosures.
  • Fumigate The Enclosure: With a flea collar, you can now fumigate the enclosure. Before that, with a tap, you need to seal the enclosure to hold the air. And leave it for a few hours. And then again remove the tap and leave it for a few more hours. Finally, open the window.
  • Check The Surrounding And Vacuum: Now you need to check the enclosures if there are any more mites hiding in the enclosure. And vacuum the mite affected areas.

Can Humans Get Mites From Reptiles?

Yes, humans can get mites from reptiles, but it’s important to differentiate between “getting” mites and “being infested” by them. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Transfer: If you handle a reptile infested with mites, the mites can transfer onto your skin or clothing. However, these mites are typically species-specific and prefer reptilian hosts.
  2. Biting: Some reptile mites might bite humans out of opportunity, especially if they’re in large numbers and the reptile isn’t available. These bites can cause minor irritation, redness, or itchiness.
  3. Infestation: While reptile mites can transfer to humans and may even bite, they do not infest humans. This means they won’t reproduce, set up a colony, or continue to live on human hosts for extended periods. They cannot complete their life cycle on a human.
  4. Other Mites: It’s worth noting that while reptile mites don’t infest humans, there are other types of mites that can, such as scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei) or the mites that cause chiggers. These are entirely different from reptile mites.
  5. Prevention: If you’re treating a reptile for mites, it’s a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the animal, clean and disinfect its habitat, and possibly even change your clothing to prevent any potential bites or spread of the mites to other areas.

Reptiles like bearded dragons carry bacteria and viruses and spread them to other reptiles. If humans are in close‌ contact with the bearded dragon, they can also get mites.

And the mites can cause different diseases like salmonella, botulism, campylobacteriosis, and leptospirosis to humans.

3 Tips To Prevent Mites on Bearded Dragons

Buy From Trustworthy Shop

Don’t purchase the bearded dragon from a local retailer for a low price. Beardie can have medical issues or other sorts of problems. Reputable breeders keep good quality products.

Quarantine New Bearded Dragon

Isolate or quarantine the newly purchased bearded dragons until you are sure they are free of mites.

Maintain Proper Hygiene

Ensure hygiene measures while visiting your friends with a bearded dragon.  You can wash your hands and change your clothes after visiting your friends.

Prohibition sign for house dust mites

How do you kill mites in reptile substrate?

To kill mites in reptile substrate:

  1. Remove and Discard: Safest and most immediate step is to remove the infested substrate and discard it securely in a sealed bag.
  2. Heat Treatment: Spread the substrate on a baking tray and bake it in an oven at 250°F (120°C) for 30 minutes. This will kill mites and their eggs.
  3. Freezing: Place the substrate in a sealed bag and freeze for at least 48 hours. This can kill mites and their eggs.
  4. Chemical Treatment: Use a reptile-safe mite spray or solution. Soak the substrate in it, following product instructions. Ensure it’s thoroughly dried before reuse.
  5. Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean and replace substrate to prevent mite infestations.
  6. Monitor: After treatment, monitor the substrate and the reptile regularly for any signs of mites.
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Is Bearded Dragon Mite Spray Effective?


Bearded dragon mite spray is formulated to target and eliminate mites that infest reptiles, including bearded dragons. When used correctly, many of these sprays can be effective. Here’s what you should know:

  1. Effectiveness: Many bearded dragon owners and reptile enthusiasts have found mite sprays to be effective in eliminating mites. The spray typically works by killing mites on contact.
  2. Usage: For best results, it’s essential to follow the product’s instructions carefully. This often involves spraying the reptile directly (avoiding sensitive areas like the eyes) and possibly treating the environment as well.
  3. Comprehensive Treatment: While the spray can kill mites on the bearded dragon, it’s crucial to address the environment too. This means cleaning and disinfecting the enclosure, removing and replacing the substrate, and treating any decorations or accessories. Mites can hide in various parts of the habitat, so addressing only the bearded dragon without cleaning the environment might lead to a recurring infestation.
  4. Safety: Always ensure that the mite spray is safe for bearded dragons. Read product reviews, consult with fellow reptile enthusiasts, or seek advice from a reptile veterinarian. Some sprays might be too harsh or contain ingredients that could harm the bearded dragon.
  5. Alternative Methods: Some bearded dragon owners use a combination of methods to treat mites, including baths, manual removal with a soft brush or q-tip, and mite sprays. A multi-faceted approach can be more effective in severe infestations.
  6. Consultation: If you’re unsure about the severity of the mite infestation, the best treatment method, or if the mites persist after treatment, it’s a good idea to consult with a reptile veterinarian.

Which bearded dragon mite spray is the best?

Several bearded dragon mite sprays are available on the market, and their effectiveness can vary based on individual experiences. However, the only one I’ll recommend is Natural Chemistry Reptile Mite Spray. This product has thousands of positive reviews on Amazon for its ability to kill mites and lice instantly on contact without harming the reptile.

The spray is designed to kill mites and lice instantly upon contact without harming the reptile. Users have reported immediate results, with mites coming off their reptiles right after application.

One user mentioned that after soaking their ball python in a solution made with the spray, mites immediately came off, especially when aided with a q-tip for the face.

The product is easy to use. Some users have combined the spray with other cleaning and disinfecting methods for a comprehensive mite treatment.

For instance, one user described a process where they first bathed their bearded dragon, then disinfected the entire tank, and subsequently used the mite spray to treat both the tank and the dragon. This user emphasized the importance of diligence, recommending a two-week treatment period to ensure all mites are eradicated.

The spray is deemed safe for reptiles. However, one user noted that while the spray effectively kills mites on contact, it might be uncomfortable or even slightly painful for the reptiles, suggesting that it should be used sparingly.

Many users expressed satisfaction with the product, highlighting its effectiveness in treating mite infestations. One user, in particular, mentioned that after a single application, all mites were gone and did not return.

Another user emphasized the importance of being thorough in the treatment process, suggesting cleaning, scrubbing, and replacing old substrate to ensure complete eradication.

It’s essential to note that while many users found the product effective, it’s always a good idea to consult with a reptile specialist or veterinarian before using any product.

closeup of an eye of an bearded dragon.
closeup of an eye of an bearded dragon.

Bearded dragon mites around eyes?

Mites on bearded dragons can be a significant concern, especially when they congregate around sensitive areas like the eyes. Here’s how you can address mites around a bearded dragon’s eyes:

  1. Identification: Mites are tiny, often black or red, and can be seen moving around on the skin. Around the eyes, they can cause irritation, leading the dragon to scratch or rub its face.
  2. Isolation: If you have other reptiles, isolate the affected bearded dragon to prevent the spread of mites.
  3. Bathing: Give your bearded dragon a lukewarm bath. This can help drown many of the mites and provide relief to the dragon. Ensure the water level is shallow, and always supervise during the bath.
  4. Manual Removal: For mites around the eyes, you can use a soft, damp cotton swab or q-tip to gently remove them. Be very careful not to poke or irritate the eye.
  5. Mite Sprays/Treatments: There are reptile-safe mite sprays available. However, you should avoid spraying directly onto the face or eyes. Instead, spray it onto a soft cloth and gently apply it around the affected area, avoiding the eyes.
  6. Clean the Enclosure: Remove all substrate and decorations from the enclosure. Disinfect the tank and all accessories. Replace the substrate with paper towels temporarily, as they make it easier to spot and remove mites.
  7. Consult a Veterinarian: If you’re unsure about the treatment or if the infestation is severe, especially around the eyes, consult a reptile veterinarian. They can provide guidance and might prescribe specific treatments.
  8. Prevention: Regularly clean and disinfect the enclosure. Check any new items or reptiles for mites before introducing them to your bearded dragon’s environment.

Final Thought:

The essence of keeping a bearded dragon lies in the hygienic environment. To ensure an ideal environment for reptiles, like bearded dragons, you will require proper knowledge to prevent the severity of the mites. I hope you’ve already known about how to deal with mites on a bearded dragon.

 

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.

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