Crickets got worms???

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by Ozzie2011, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Ozzie2011

    Ozzie2011 New Member

    I just bought Ozzie some crickets and as I was dusting a few I noticed a dead one and it had little tiny white worms coming out of it??? What the heck are these and does this mean the whole batch of crickets got worms and Ozzie could get worms from them? He hasn't eaten any but if this is the case then I am fixing to dump all 50 of them in the outside trash?:mad:
  2. seanUTD

    seanUTD New Member

    Sounds like fly larvae... I found them in my supers when there was a few dead ones... Just don't feed off any dead ones and it should be okay!
  3. Ozzie2011

    Ozzie2011 New Member

    Ok so if crickets had pin worms then I wouldn't see them if the crickets were dead? UGH! Thanks Sean I think crickets are cheap enough that I really don't want to chance loosing Ozzie over it. Thank goodness he is going through another shed so he has slacked off on eating anything. That just grosses me out...bleh..
  4. jdog1027

    jdog1027 New Member

    Have you noticed little gnats buzzing around your cricket keeper? More than likely that is what they are. It is a constant battle with them in my cricket bins as well. They lay their eggs in the damp peat moss for the cricket eggs as well as dead crickets. They are some type of Phorid fly I believe. I don't think it would hurt your chameleon, but I don't know many who feed their chameleon dead crickets anyway.
  5. Ozzie2011

    Ozzie2011 New Member

    jdog I had just bought the crickets so it is possible I guess where they came from gnats were around them but I have never had an issue with nats but I try to take uneaten fruits out of the cricket bin about every 4hrs. I think Ozzie would only eat live crickets anyways because it is the fast movement that he is attracted to.
  6. Zen Reptiles

    Zen Reptiles Avid Member

    I remember a wise reptile person told me several years ago that crickets were the number one cause of pinworms. Never checked into it, but he knew his S***

    Since that day, I have only used crickets when I absolutely had to. Never had any parasite problems. The only pinworms I ever had here was in a frilled dragon that was fed only crickets for 3 years by the previous owner.

    The younger the cricket, the less likely of parasites.

    Here's a great video to illustrate the point:
  7. Texas Ranger

    Texas Ranger Avid Member

    :eek: thats all I have to say.
  8. PeriTanz

    PeriTanz New Member

    ahhhh that was awesome but ahh at the same time!!:eek::D

    it was so freakin long!! like 7 times the crickets length???!!
  9. okiroo

    okiroo Avid Member

    THAT WAS DISCUSTING!!! i feel so suck now. echhhhh. wtheck.
  10. Texas Ranger

    Texas Ranger Avid Member

    :eek: Thats all I have to say.
  11. jdog1027

    jdog1027 New Member

    I've seen that video as well as a few others before. But I don't think this resembles the small tiny white worms that Ozzie2011 described. That was a cricket from the Gryllus genus. I'm sure that Acheta have their specific parasites as well. So what insect do you feed a chameleon that has no threat of potentially harboring parasites? Parasites live in balance with the host. If your chameleon is healthy and stress free, you might not ever know that it has a parasite. Parasites don't typically kill their host. It's a risk that there is no way around avoiding.
  12. suzi

    suzi Avid Member

    I had a one of these gnats get Into one of my clutch containers and laid it's eggs in one of my infertile panther eggs, it was filled with the tiny white worms :eek:
  13. jdog1027

    jdog1027 New Member

    Yeah- they suck. And once they establish they are hard to get rid of. I've had to adopt a new method for my cricket enclosure ventilation openings by covering them with window sheer as oposed to window screen. It has such a tight weave that it will keep them out. But you have to make sure that the lids on the bins are tight as well. If you don't keep them out, you'll hatch more Phorid flies than you will crickets. They are extremely annoying. I haven't really had them in any of my chameleon cages yet, mostly just the crickets breeding bins.
  14. Dave Weldon

    Dave Weldon Avid Member

    Howdy Jennifer,

    I'll toss in a couple more data points regarding crickets and pinworms:

    Back around the same time as my old post, I did "floats" on crickets, dubias, silkworms, hornworms, superworms etc. looking for parasite eggs but was unable to find any within my small sample groups. It doesn't mean that out of years of feeders that one wasn't carrying a parasite, but more likely that they are not heavily infested with them. A number of us have our own microscopes and do frequent sample tests of our chameleon's poop. Once in a while I used to find a few pinworm eggs and I could only assume that they came from a feeder at some point. I simply treated with Panacur and continued to monitor with my own testing once a month or so. I'd often see stretches of many, many months without a sign of any parasite eggs. I'd say that if your chameleon acts healthy and you get a fecal done maybe 1-2 times a year then you are covered :eek:.

    My own chameleon collection has been so free of parasite problems that I began testing friends' chameleon poop to keep things interesting :). I got to see a number of parsite species that way :). Necropsies of friends' chameleons provided lots of insight too :(.

    Here's a photo of a pinworm egg that I took using my trinocular microscope and my DSLR with an adapter:

    P.S. For fun, if you still have some, try to incubate those tiny worms and see what they turn into, if anything.
  15. chameleongirl2

    chameleongirl2 New Member


  16. Ozzie2011

    Ozzie2011 New Member

    Thanks for the info! How can you tell if your Cham gets pinworms? I mean will you see them in the poop or will the Cham show any signs of having worms? How do you get Panacur down a Cham and would the dose be 1 drop?
  17. GabeCastro

    GabeCastro Member

    Bringing this thread back to life lol

    I've been researching those little white things, because i thought they were pinworms aswell. Also my chameleon has pinworms, i'm sure he got them from the reptile shop i bought him from awhile back :(


    It turns out those little white tiny rice grain looking things are actually Cricket eggs :)

    I used to get tons of them in clear plastic containers. Before i'd drop the crickets in i had the bottom layered with paper towels and misted it once so the paper towel wouldn't slide around.

    This caused high humidity and after a week my adult crickets would burrow into the paper towels and lay eggs. One day i decided to look under the bin to see if any crickets were under the paper towel and i noticed those tiny little white egg things. Freaked me out, but they're def cricket larve. Nothing to worry about but that video did give me chills, not sure if i want to feed crickets to my cham :eek:

    Also, sometimes Jasper wouldn't digest the eggs so his feces looked like he had tiny pinworms, but my vet said they're cricket eggs and noted i'd know if it was a pinworm or not.

    Here's a few pics to help any new members out, i'm sure by now you guys figured this out already :p

    Cricket eggs (not the best pics, but i'm sure this is what we cricket keepers panic over): 018.JPG
    #17 GabeCastro, Oct 11, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  18. fluxlizard

    fluxlizard New Member

    I don't know what the vets are saying nowadays, but years ago the best vets in the country for herps assured me that pinworms were very species specific. As were most other parasites for lizards. Most are simply carried down from generation to generation or cross contaminated from other lizards.

    You shouldn't be able to get pinworms from crickets unless you are breeding your own crickets and happen to have some pinworm eggs on your hands (very easy to do- they are super tiny and super sticky) or unless your cricket source does the same (say your local petshop which has employees messing about cleaning lizard cages or handling and directly grabbing feeder insects without good hand washing in between).
  19. SarahcoadunatioZac

    SarahcoadunatioZac New Member

    SO glad I'm getting my first 500 dubia in the next few days, buying some breeding pairs today.

    Wondering if I should ever feed crickets again, its such a shame because they are one of the two only feeders readily available.
  20. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    If you want to know water the worms are try growing them to see what they turn into. My bet is that they are from phorid flies.

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