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Iguana With Mites: How To Get Rid Of Iguana Mites?

Iguana With Mites: How To Get Rid Of Iguana Mites?

If your Iguana is rubbing against its tank substrate or acting strangely, he might suffer from mites. Mites are a common problem that Iguana will usually encounter at one time or another. If you have pets that are found to contract some blood-sucking organism at some point in their lives, you will have to be ready to deal with it in the future.

Mostly, mites affect the Iguana’s skin & internal organs. Hence, mites can be exceptionally challenging to eradicate. Therefore, if you have Iguana with mites, then you might be looking to learn how to get rid of Iguana mites. I will try to outline everything like symptoms of mites, their prevention, type of mites and health effects of mites on Iguana health.

Can Iguana Have Mites?

can iguana have mites
can iguana have mites

Yes, Iguana can have mites. Plus, mites can carry harmful bacteria and viruses, which can cause severe damage to Iguana if not treated early. Therefore, it is always recommended to take preventive measures so that your pet never gets them in the first place. Once mites infest your Iguana enclosure, they can be hard to get rid of.

Due to poor hygiene practices, including the pet being dirty itself or living in a dirty enclosure, they get mites. Iguana also gets mites from another reptile if you have more than one pet in your home. If you have more than one Iguana or snake, pay attention to all of them and treat them well.

After knowing that a poor hygienic routine contributes to mites, be sensible to clean their tank as thoroughly as possible. Not only mites, but you should also be able to see lots of dust which is nothing, then mites defecation. If you suspect redness in the Iguana’s body area where the scales are smaller or near its eyes, it can be due to mites’ bites.

It also signifies a lot of rubbing or itching. If your Iguana is not feeling its usual self, it may avoid basking and eating at all. They may not even like being picked up or handled because it is in much pain.

What Are Mites?

Similar to ticks, mites are small organisms that spread many diseases. That also sucks blood from your Iguana. Hence it is recommended to treat your Iguana as quickly as possible if you suspect mites. Once you get close to your Iguana, you should be able to see them. Mites look to hide in the part of your Iguana body. So, look near the Iguana’s head, eyes, and ears. Let’s look at the types of mites and their life cycle.

Types Of Mites

Surprisingly, over 250 different species of mites can parasitize your Iguana. However, here we will discuss the three most commonly encountered mites.

Pterygosomid Mites

These mites are mainly common in lizards like Iguana. Pterygosomid Mites appear oranges or reddish, distributed across the entire skin of the host. If Iguana is suffering from Pterygosomid Mites, it is likely to have brown, orange, or red spots on its skin. They are hematophagous, which means they suck on their host’s blood.

Harvest Chiggers

This mite can infest any reptiles, mammals, birds, and even humans. They are also known as Chiggers, who are not very particular when choosing a host. If an Iguana is suffering from chiggers, then it can also transmit to you. This mite usually feeds on its host for 5 or 6 days and then drops off. Adult harvest chiggers are particularly bright red and create an orange crust on their host skin. This is the only mite that is parasitic in its larval form.

Snake Mites 

This is one of the most common mites that feed on reptiles like iguanas, beardies, and geckos. They’re very tiny with either brown or black dots. They look to thrive and live in mite pockets like mucus membranes, skin folds, dark parts of the body, and other damp parts of the host. They are also hematophagous.

Life Cycle Of Mites

Unfortunately, they can live their lives hiding in your Iguana scaly crevices. They even breed in your Iguana skin folds. There are five stages of the mite’s life cycle.

  1. Firstly, they give eggs which in turn are baby mites. 
  2. Now, they need 70% relative humidity to survive, making an Iguana tank a perfect breeding ground. 
  3. Depending on the type of mites, they will start feeding on your Iguana skin, blood, or lymph while crawling under their scales. 
  4. Some mites tend to be non-feeding and detach from the host once they are born or adults. 
  5. Lastly, adult mites depending on the species will return to feeding on Iguana while reproducing and laying eggs.

Symptoms & Prevention Of Iguana’s Mite

9 Symptoms Of Mite Infestation On Iguana

  1. Crusty Skin
  2. Lethargy
  3. Sunken Eyes
  4. Frequent Rubbing Against Tank’s Furniture
  5. Not Eating Properly
  6. Haemorrhages
  7. Dull Skin
  8. Poor Shedding
  9. Weight Loss

5 Prevention Of Mite Infestation On Iguana

  1. Use care when visiting and purchasing anything from a pet store for your Iguana. Most reputed stores will take preventive measures for mites infestation, but others fail to take these steps. You might accidentally pick up a climbing branch or a substrate from a shelf with mites infested.
  2. Whatever you purchase, quarantine all new acquisitions before adding them to your Iguana tank. Whether it’s a new pet or new equipment for your Iguana’s tank, you should assume it is covered in mites and internal parasites. Only end the quarantine period if you are certain that the new acquisitions are clean and healthy to be kept in the existing Iguana’s tank.
  3. It would help if you never handled animals in a pet store unless necessary. Pet expos are often ground zero for mite infestation. You don’t need to take any animal while shopping for a new pet until necessary. After touching or handling any pet, make sure to sterilize your hand using alcohol-based gel.
  4. Follow a good hygiene routine when visiting your family or friend with lizards or other reptiles. Mishaps and mistakes are very common and can happen to anyone. It will be wise to be careful when visiting a snake or lizard, keeping relatives or friends.
  5. Avoid purchasing any reptile from an unreliable source or low-quality breeders. No matter how much you love a bargain, you will mostly regret it if you adopt a pet from an unreputable breeder. In most cases, people get a reptile with mites in an attempt to purchase it at a lower price.

Can You Get Rid Of Iguana Mite? 

Your Iguana will be exposed to possibly many dangerous health conditions with mites. So the first thing to do is to call your pet’s doctor. The veterinarian will be able to get the necessary treatment for your Iguana before it has bad consequences. Other than this, there are a few products that you can use to get rid of mites. That will be discussed later in this article.

How To Get Rid Of Iguana Mites?

how to get rid of iguana mites
how to get rid of iguana mites

There are many ways to remove mites from Iguana skin and help your pet feel relief and comfort. But before that, you must learn that mites can be hard to get rid of as they hide, reproduce quickly and spread easily. Therefore, before using any chemical to kill mites, do your research, as those chemicals can also kill your reptile.

If mites infested your Iguana’s body, they most likely have already infested its entire room where your Iguana is kept. Plus, mites need a double treatment. Make sure to treat the section and its equipment with a toxic solution. But, avoid using any poisonous solution for your Iguana’s treatment.

The first thing you should do if there is more than one Iguana in your home is to isolate the one infested by mites for at least 2-to to four weeks. Put each reptile or stone in a separate cage with the paper substrate. Make sure it has no furnishing or equipment. Now let’s discuss five effective ways to remove mites from iguanas.

5 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Iguana Mites

Betadine (Most Effective)

If your Iguana suffers from mites, you should consider using Betadine. Get a Betadine solution and dilute it in water until it appears the color of weak tea. Afterward, Soak your lizard In the solution for at least 30 minutes. Make sure your Iguana is not allowed to drink the solution.

You should consider putting your Iguana in clean water before adding Betadine to check if it will quench your thirst. Also, ensure that the Betadine solution doesn’t get in your Iguana’s eyes. If the Betadine solution is filthy due to Iguana’s defecation, start over with a fresh concoction.

When your Iguana is soaking in the Betadine solution, use a cotton swab soaked in the same answer to clean all your pet’s skin crevices and folds. It is also recommended always to use a washcloth with undiluted betadine to wipe off your Iguana neck, ears, and head. After 10 minutes, you can rinse the solution and dispose of the washcloth. 

Hot Water Bath (Must Be Given Daily)

Giving an Iguana a hot water bath is very effective in drowning the parasites on its body. Although it will not kill or remove the mites living on your Iguana’s head, it can effectively remove mites hiding in its body crevices and folds. Always be careful when giving your Iguana a path or a soak in hot water. Besides water only, you can also have a gentle squirt of the dish wash.

Olive Oil (To Smother Any Mites)

Do you know that olive oil is a very effective Smother for mites living on your Iguana skin? Therefore, you should apply olive oil to your Iguana’s entire body. Make sure that the oil doesn’t get in its eye. Once applied to its whole body, live it on for at least 10-20 minutes before washing it off. After 20 minutes, rinse the Iguana’s entire body with hot water thoroughly.

Medications & Foods (Must Follow)

There are many topical and injectable meditations available to treat mites and parasite infestations of reptiles. However, it is important to consult your Iguana’s veterinarian about the ideal option that won’t harm your pet anyway. In addition, Iguana is likely to have a poor appetite level. You are more likely to notice your Iguana feeling depleted after mite infestation. Do feed nutrition-rich food to help your Iguana get back on its feet.

Clean & Disinfect Iguana’s Enclosure & Its Environment

Most mites are very difficult to kill as they’re very stubborn; most homeopathic and herbal treatments will not work in treating them. It is necessary to take aggressive steps to get rid of mites; otherwise+, they are likely to come back. Many disinfectant solutions are available on the market, or you can prepare one using a half cup of please gallon of water.

Firstly, remove all the decorations and equipment from the cage, either for sanitizing it or disposing of it. Substrates including bedding, plants, climbing gears, wooden or porous furnishing, food dish, and water bowl should be removed and thoroughly cleaned with a bleach-water solution.

Ensure to submerge all the decoration and equipment Iguana in warm water with bleach for at least 8-12 hours. Then thoroughly rinse all of them. After rinsing all the decorations, let them dry in the air for at least 24 hours. If any substrate needs to be removed, seal it In a plastic garbage bag and then immediately dispose of it.

Interesting Further Reading

The heating elements and the light fixtures should be unplugged and wiped down thoroughly with bleach water. Then allow them to air dry. Even the light bulbs and fixtures are at great risk of harboring mites. Mites can sneak in the stickiest, smallest of places.

If there is any self-adhering heating pad, make sure to discard it. Now vacuum the entire tank, including every crevice possible. After cleaning, disinfect the glass tank using the bleach water solution to kill the mites’ harmful bacteria. Now, apply pesticides or insecticides.

Air seal the tank spread with insecticides for at least 36 hours. While air sealing the tank, make sure everything, including your pet is out of the tank. Before putting anything back in the cage, make sure the enclosure is completely 100% air-dried.

Before reintroducing any equipment, make sure to cycle fresh air into the chamber for a couple of hours. You can use a fan or take advantage of open windows to do that. Decontamination should be done every five days for at least 3-to four weeks until no mites survive.

Over the next six weeks, always monitor your Iguana and its enclosure. It is best to provide a paper-based substrate for a few months so mites cannot hide or grow. In addition, vacuum the entire room thoroughly as mites can infest the whole room where your Iguana tank is kept in.


Finding mites crawling on your Iguana is always a bit of a gut punch. Therefore it’s important never to panic and avoids letting yourself become overwhelmed. Getting rid of mites often takes considerable effort and time. The first thing that you need to accept is that this won’t be solved overnight.

I tried my best to give you all the ways you can help your Iguana get rid of mites and feel comfortable. Therefore, heed the advice mentioned above and do everything you can to avoid the Iguana mites problem.

It is important always to take precautions. Make sure to visit your Iguana veterinarian to get better advice. If you like our articles, then share them. Your one share can help many people save their reptiles from mites or cure Iguana mites.