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?
Like any other parasites, mites have become a great challenge for pet keepers. Poor living conditions are responsible for getting mites on a bearded dragon. If you are a novice to dealing with mites on your bearded dragon, you need expert help. In addition, it’s better to consult a veterinarian.
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.
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.
How Do Bearded Dragons Get Mites?
Because of poor hygienic habitats, bearded dragons get mites easily. Moreover, they are always on the move and they like to get in contact with other animals which increases the chance of getting mites on them. So you need to always keep their cages and your bearded dragon clean.
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.
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:
- You’ll notice tiny arthropods on the foreparts of your beardie if mite infestation happens.
- 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.
- Expose dusty white spots on your bearded dragon that results in skin damage.
- Mite bites irritate a bearded dragon. Meanwhile, the mite bites will leave a red mark on your beardie’s body and around its eyes.
- 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.
- Mites will appear in beardie’s habitats and even on your cloth or skins initially.
- Beardie will feel the body itch that will give it skin discomfort. So the beardie will try to dislodge the mites.
- Symptoms, like lethargy and anorexia, will be exposed to extreme levels with the effect of bearded dragon mites.
- Mites affected by bearded dragons will lose weight.
- 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.
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:
- Skin Damage
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
Mites can endanger your bearded dragon’s life. If you take proper treatment, your beardie can get rid of mites.
How To Deal With Mites On Your Bearded Dragon?
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.
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.
2 Steps To Get Rid Of Mites On your Bearded Dragons:
You’ve already known about mites and their effects on your beardies. It’s time to get rid of mites from your bearded dragons. There are two steps to get rid of mites from your bearded dragons:
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.
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.
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.
Is Bearded Dragon Mite Spray Effective?
Sprays are super effective to get rid of your bearded dragon mites. But while spraying, spray directly on the areas where mites can hide, especially in enclosures. Be careful of the eyes so that spray can’t enter there.
Can Humans Get Mites From Reptiles?
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.
Mites On Bearded Dragons Eyes
Mites are mostly found around the eyes and ears of beardies. The eyes are the most sensitive organs. When the beardie gets mites on the eyes, it is irritating and creates lots of discomfort in beardies’ bodies. To get rid of the mites from bearded dragon eyes, you may use soapy water or any chemical cleaning solutions. But be mindful of the eyes while doing away with the parasites.
3 Tips To Prevent Mites on Bearded Dragons
Tip-1: 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.
Tip-2: Isolate or quarantine the newly purchased bearded dragons until you are sure they are free of mites.
Tip-3: Ensure hygiene measures while visiting your friends with a bearded dragon. You can wash your hands and change your clothes after visiting your friends.
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.