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Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

How To Get Rid of Crested Gecko Mites 2023

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by The Pet Engineers


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Compared to occurrences in other reptile species, cases of reptile mites in crested geckos are very uncommon, but they can still infect crested geckos if they come into contact with one.

Treatment for mite infestations involves carefully removing the mites from the afflicted gecko and thoroughly cleaning its habitat.

Key Takeaway:
If you find mites on your crested gecko. We recommend giving it a betadine bath and thoroughly cleaning out the enclosure and accessories using betadine.

What Are Reptile Mites?

A typical parasite found in reptile collections is the reptile mite (Ophionyssus natricus).

The parasite’s blood-sucking habit can severely weaken individual animals, therefore infection with the reptile mite has major repercussions.

The mite may also transfer illnesses like Aeromonas bacterial infections, and it may also carry viruses like Inclusion Body Disease and Ophidian Paramyxovirus.

Can Crested Geckos Get Mites?

All reptile species can get mites, including crested geckos. However, the risk of mite infestation is considerably low for crested geckos.

Reptile mites thrive in environments that are either filthy and unhygienic or very crowded.

Since, in captivity, a crested gecko is in a clean and hygienic environment and is often kept alone, the chances of reptile mite infestation are considerably lower.

Whether your crested gecko gets infested by reptile mites depends, to some extent, on the quality of husbandry that you provide.

If you provide a clean, hygienic, and regularly maintained tank to your crested gecko, you will substantially reduce the risk of reptile mite infestation.

How Do I Know If My Crested Gecko Has Mites?

reptile mites
Mites are either black, red or brown

Observable by the naked eye, reptile mites are initially light in color and turn darker after feeding.

On the animal or inside the enclosure, mite feces can be visible as white flecks.

Because they don’t like light, mites will hide in gaps inside the cage as well as on the animal’s scales and skin.

Check the lips, legs, and areas surrounding the eyes, in particular. Some people have described developing dermatitis as a result of a reptile mite infection.

You will know your crested gecko has mites if overnight you see a sudden appearance of thick black spots all over your crested gecko.

These black spots will look 3-D and come outward from the surface of your crested gecko’s skin.

What Do Crested Gecko Mites Look Like?

Reptile mites that infect crested geckos look like red, black, or brown spots that are barely bigger than the head of a pin – and if you look closely, you’ll notice that they are not stationary or still.

They move about the surface of the crested gecko’s skin in a slow crawling motion.

Do Mites Spread To Other Geckos?

Mites on reptiles are incredibly infectious and can spread to other surrounding reptiles.

Crested geckos that are infected need to be isolated apart from any other indoor reptiles.

To stop the continued spread of reptile mites, strict hand washing and enclosure cleaning are necessary.

In fact, one of the things that make clearing a mite infestation so painstakingly difficult is the fact that the mites can spread to other geckos very rapidly.

The moment you notice a single mite on your crested gecko, you need to act fast.

Or else, before you know it, you will be dealing with a larger scale mite infestation that may spread to any other reptile pet you have in that room.

How Do I Get Rid Of Mites On My Crested Gecko?

crested gecko behind plant
Bath your crested gecko in betadine to kill mites

The best technique to get rid of mites on an infected crested gecko is to give it a Betadine bath that has been diluted with water, then use warm, wet cotton swabs to carefully wipe the mites away from the gecko’s eyes, mouth, vent, and other sensitive regions.

Treatment options for reptile mites range from utilizing hot water and cotton swabs to using professional mite sprays like Natural Chemistry’s Reptile Mite Spray.

These commercial mite treatments are praised as being quite successful by certain reptile owners.

However, the majority of reptile specialists and reptile doctors advise using a cheap Betadine solution as the most effective procedure.

How to give a betadine bath to your crested gecko?

  1. Take a small container of depth not more than 1 inch. Clean the container and dry it properly.
  2. Add roughly a half inch of warm water and a half inch of betadine and form a good solution of betadine and water.
  3. Soak your crested gecko in the warm betadine bath.
  4. Use cotton swabs to gently spot and treat the eyes, mouth, vent, and armpits of your crested gecko.
  5. In case your crested gecko poops inside the bath, draw up a clean bath in the same manner and soak your crested gecko in the clean solution.

How Do I Get Rid Of Mites In My Crested Gecko’s Enclosure?

When dealing with an infestation of reptile mites, it is not enough to simply clean and washes your crested gecko.

Even the enclosure or tank of your crested gecko needs to be cleaned thoroughly.

If you miss out on even a single mite inside the enclosure, it can lead to a second wave of reptile mite infestation in almost no time.

You must clean the gecko’s habitat, accessories, and food and water bowl with hot, soapy water to get rid of a reptile mite infestation.

Wooden decorations and enclosures must be baked in the oven, while rocks must be washed in hot water.

Step 1 – Make an alternate enclosure for your crested gecko.

crested gecko tank
Get an alternative tank for your crestie

This enclosure does not need to be very fancy.

A simple substrate made of wet paper towels, some foliage, and ambient humidity and temperature levels should be sufficient.

This enclosure will anyway be used for a day or two only.

Once you have washed your crested gecko in the warm betadine solution, keep it in the alternate tank and begin cleaning the main tank.

Step 2 – Empty the main tank completely.

This will include removing all decorations and even the substrate. Ensure that you finally have just an empty glass or wooden enclosure in your hand.

Step 3 – Clean the tank thoroughly.

If it is a glass tank, you can make another warm betadine solution to wipe and clean the tank.

If it is a wooden tank, then clean it the best you can with a damp cloth and then bake it in the oven to kill any hidden mites.

Step 4 – Clean all decorations, foliage, food, and water bowls, etc.

Once you have cleaned the tank, the next step is to thoroughly clean everything that’s supposed to go inside it.

This includes foliage, plant decorations, a food bowl, a water bowl, etc.

crested gecko hides
Clean or replace all crested gecko accessories including hides

Step 5 – Let the tank and its contents dry in the sun.

After cleaning and washing, you must keep the tank and the contents in the sun.

Sun-drying will kill all germs and make your crested gecko tank fresh and hygienic and ready for your crested gecko to settle in again.

Preventing Reptile Mites In Crested Geckos

You need to keep the following points in mind to prevent reptile mites in crested geckos:

  1. Keep the enclosure clean and hygienic at all times.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps before and after handling your crested geckos. This will prevent cross-contamination between crested geckos.
  3. If your crested geckos are cohabitating with each other, increase the frequency of deep cleaning their tank to prevent mite infestation.
  4. When breeding crested gecko eggs, ensure that the incubator or egg container is completely clean before transferring a batch of eggs to it.

Can Reptile Mites Live On Humans?

No, reptile mites cannot live on humans. They may, in a rare case, try to feed off humans’ blood – but they won’t be able to finish their lifecycle and will eventually die off quickly before any damage can be done to the human.

Reptile mites are solely interested in feeding on reptiles.

Sometimes, extremely hungry mites will try to feed on people or other hosts.

Nevertheless, without a suitable host like a lizard or a snake, they won’t finish their life cycle and would pass away fast.

If you sometimes come across a reptile mite on your skin or clothes, remove it, wash your hands well with hot, soapy water, and wash any clothing that came into touch with the mites as soon as possible.


Reptile mites are a pain for most reptile owners. The occurrence of a reptile mite infestation, however, is rare in the case of crested geckos.

When that does happen, you need to act fast because reptile mites are very swift in reproducing and spreading.

The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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