The Colony was isolated from the rest of the species residing in the kingdom, as soon as the mites were noticed, quarantine protocols were enacted, this has brought upon its own challenges heating the colony to 30°c.
Hypoaspis Miles Mites (updated to Stratiolaelaps Scimitus) a top soil dwelling predatory mite living in the first 1/2 inch of soil, has been added to the set up, i have a culture of 10,000. I would estimate between 3000-5000 mites have been added, the numbers deployed are considered to be over kill for the operation at hand.
The Carebara disappeared underground for two whole days, unseen, unheard, unmoved.
making sure to keep their tunnels open while adding the soil/perlite mix containing the Hyposaspis miles, to the ground layer of their natural nest.
Would be unfortunate to bury the colony with the hopeful cure for their plight.
I had feared the demise of the colony, on the third day, workers appeared, foraging, preparing a Dubia roach nymph, pre-dipped it in just boiled water for 30 seconds, chopped it up and presented it to the foraging minor workers.
Workers observed appear to have less mites on their bodies, however the majority of workers still carry more than one phoretic mite on their bodies.
Currently the status remains unclear as to how effective the Hypoaspis Miles Mites are, in treating the threat from the Phoretic mites, however they have had a clear impact on the population of spring tails, this effects the soil health which promotes the growth of the Phoretic mites, this may present a further challenge in the next coming days.
Mites Vs Mites Vs spring tails Vs Environmental Impacts = ?????
its surely a delicate balance, too much of any can sway devastating results.
Stage one of the operation has been dubbed, Operation Scimitus.
The hope is this overwhelming force of predatory mites, like a fire sweeping through a forest for new hope to be born in the ashes they leave behind, will be enough, their orders are to take no prisoners, show no mercy, give no quarter, in classic Colonial rule.
As almighty overlord to the Empire, I have enacted Order 66.
If this remains to be ineffective at bringing down the numbers of these insurgent mites, plaguing our beloved marauder Ants. My fear is the Hypoaspis only remain in the top layer of the nest, perhaps not dealing with the infestation below. I'm already exploring other avenues and reaching out for help where ever it is offered!
If anyone has any information on the use of Taurrus Mites, another predatory species, please let me know, your experiences and results using this species to treat phoretic mites.
An Ant keepers worst nightmare! a deadly and rampant infestation of harmful blood sucking mites!
Ive purchased some Hypoaspis predatory mites in the hope that they will cull this infestation and save my Asian marauder ant colony from certain doom!
Day One of the treatment, ive added the soil containing the Hypoaspis mites to the colony, i also added a herd of springtails and some isopods, leaving a slice of lemon resting ontop of the natural nest.
I took all the precautions to try and prevent a mite infestation, knowing this species is vulnerable to mites! i dip all feeder food in boiling water, i remove it after 24 hours, i bio-activated the soil with springtails and earth worms, the cocofibre & sand substrate had been baked and soaked in boiling water before going into the set up.
I have been completely taken back and thrown by the sheer speed and severity of this infestation! i have checked all my other colonies, luckily they are all mite free!
The Carebara Affinis colony is now in isolation and undergoing treatment to hopefully cull this infestation and save the colony!
I would love to hear from anyone who has advice on this matter or experience dealing with this kind of mites!
Ants & The Colonialist