Mites

Symptoms:

  • itching
  • rubbing
  • lethargy
  • tiny red dots around eyes, ears, or vent
  • ash-like “dust” (mite poo) all over body
  • no symptoms

Cause:

  • poor hygiene
  • contamination from another reptile

Treatment:

If you find gargoyle gecko mites, use a cotton swab soaked with vegetable or coconut oil to wipe the mites away. Follow up with a swab of providone-iodine to disinfect bite wounds.

If you find mites, clean out the terrarium before returning the gecko:

  1. Throw away disposable terrarium furniture/substrate and sterilize the rest with boiling water.
  2. Vacuum out the tank, in the corners and under the lip along the top edge. This will get any extra eggs, mites, or mite poo hiding in there.
  3. Wash it out with hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.
  4. Wipe down with a strong Nolvasan (generic: chlorhexidine) solution (4 Tbsp per gallon of water) or 1:30 (1/2 cup per gallon of water) bleach solution. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse until you can’t smell it anymore.
  5. Wipe down light fixtures.Use a damp cloth to thoroughly wipe away any mites that may have wandered in.
  6. Vacuum and wipe down surrounding area around the tank.
  7. Set up tank with clean paper towels, egg cartons, and PVC pipes.
  8. Return gecko to tank.

If the mites come back, repeat the above steps. If they seem to be gone by the 6-week mark, do a full treatment of the lizard and terrarium to kill any remaining eggs.

If your gargoyle gecko stops eating and seems stressed, hold off on further inspections/treatments until it is eating regularly and seems more comfortable.

If the mites persist, consult your veterinarian.