Stressed by Gnats?

Andrew1283

Established Member
I think gnats are stressing out my 6 month old female veieled so I bought a Katchy gnat catcher from Amazon and I turn it on after the lights go out. So far I have caught 12 gnats in two days. They either came from my live plants or they are just coming in from outdoors and are attracted to the lights in the enclosure. Wherever they came from, my Cham’s eyes are darting every which way and she’s showing signs of stress like walking on the screen and displaying stripes and spots. Her enclosure is in a low traffic area of the house so she has peace and quiet. I thought she might be ready to lay eggs so I got a lay bin/pot that’s 12” deep with play sand. Nope. I thought it was lack of foliage so I got her more plant cover...nope. I don’t handle her any more than once a week for cleanings. I can tell the few gnats that get in the screen are driving her nuts and maybe it’s because she isn’t fast enough to get them. Does anyone else have this issue? I know people have reported gnats but I didn’t see anyone comment on resulting stress.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
And just to be clear, I see her on her basking spot looking at a gnat bouncing around at the top of the screen and she retreats down to the bottom of the enclosure, trying to get out through the screen by clinging to the side. It’s pathetic to watch. So I go in to try to swoosh the gnat out with my hand or hope the Katchy gets it overnight. But then there are more the next day. I have no substrate. Her eyes looking directly at the gnat or gnats before retreating is why I suspect they are causing her stress.
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
im using the mosquito bits approach and reducing my overall water output as much a possible. tis the season for gnats. stinks that your cham is that sensitive good luck with the soil !
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
It does sound odd. Normally they would eat the gnats. But if she can’t catch them, maybe it does stress her? Why can’t she catch them?
Still gnats are a pain. Let your soil dry as much as possible. As mentioned this helps.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hatch some baby mantids and throw a bunch in. She’ll enjoy the food and they will eat the gnats. Keeping the top soil of any house plants dry will help, but practically impossible in an enclosure. Avoid sticky traps nearby.

The Katchy helps, as do nearby carnivorous plants like Sundews, Butterworts, Fly Traps, and Nepenthes. But the baby mantids work best for me.
 

Sonny13

Avid Member
And just to be clear, I see her on her basking spot looking at a gnat bouncing around at the top of the screen and she retreats down to the bottom of the enclosure, trying to get out through the screen by clinging to the side. It’s pathetic to watch. So I go in to try to swoosh the gnat out with my hand or hope the Katchy gets it overnight. But then there are more the next day. I have no substrate. Her eyes looking directly at the gnat or gnats before retreating is why I suspect they are causing her stress.
I got a female veiled at the same age and had also the gnat problem, however she caught and ate them. Does she show her receptive colours? Because the behaviour you describe is also common when she´s receptive. Mine did exactly the same things you describe during the gnats problem, thing to note mine didn´t show her receptive colours inside her enclosure, only when she was outside the enclosure.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
I’ll certainly allow the top soil to dry before watering again and reduce spraying to twice a day while leaving her dripper on for 12 hours.

nightanole posted the attached photo of his receptive veieled, which is absolutely beautiful by the way. Mine isn’t this colorful but maybe she is receptive...and stressed.
 

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Andrew1283

Established Member
It does sound odd. Normally they would eat the gnats. But if she can’t catch them, maybe it does stress her? Why can’t she catch them?
Still gnats are a pain. Let your soil dry as much as possible. As mentioned this helps.
Her tongue has been slow since I’ve had her. I don’t know if that a product of being from a store like Petco or what but I hand feed her and hold the crickets at a distance so she really has to extend her tongue to get them. Kind of like a tongue exercise routine. She has good extension, it just takes her longer to fire. I’m comparing her tongue release to videos I have seen on YouTube where the little tongues seem to just shoot out instantaneously from chamemeleons’ mouths.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
And just to be clear, once she releases her tongue it is very fast, it just seems to take her longer than other chameleons to lock on and release it. Other chams seem almost instantaneous but mine seems to give things a little more thought and hedges a bit before letting it go.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
A member named Justin Carl posted this attached photo back in 2008 to show the meaning of different colors. His was a response within a post so I want to make sure he gets proper credit here. She definitely appears receptive and I’ll post a photo of mine later today. But she’s staying low to the branch, climbing on screens, and her eyes are darting everywhere like she’s scanning her surroundings for something she doesn’t like. I think it’s those stinking gnats!
 

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Sonny13

Avid Member
Never said it aren´t the gnats, just that you should take in consideration that it also could be she´s receptive. Mine changed completely from one day to another. Being restless, started screen climbing, cruising around the enclosure and she didn´t had any receptive colours. Until I opened the enclosure and she went out (normally she won´t), in the open she showed me her blue dots. Back inside these colours disappeared.
 

Normlchams

New Member
I think gnats are stressing out my 6 month old female veieled so I bought a Katchy gnat catcher from Amazon and I turn it on after the lights go out. So far I have caught 12 gnats in two days. They either came from my live plants or they are just coming in from outdoors and are attracted to the lights in the enclosure. Wherever they came from, my Cham’s eyes are darting every which way and she’s showing signs of stress like walking on the screen and displaying stripes and spots. Her enclosure is in a low traffic area of the house so she has peace and quiet. I thought she might be ready to lay eggs so I got a lay bin/pot that’s 12” deep with play sand. Nope. I thought it was lack of foliage so I got her more plant cover...nope. I don’t handle her any more than once a week for cleanings. I can tell the few gnats that get in the screen are driving her nuts and maybe it’s because she isn’t fast enough to get them. Does anyone else have this issue? I know people have reported gnats but I didn’t see anyone comment on resulting stress.
Nats can come from outside but if your cage is inside it’s most likely to be overwatering of plants. To solve this switch the plants out of your cage for another one, place a mosquito tablet on the soil and water it in (harmless to animals and humans). If you don’t want to risk that vinegar works if you set a small bow up
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
Yes, she is all prettied up and probably receptive. Just curious @Andrew1283 how far away your basking light is from where she usually sits and what are your basking temps? It may be me, but I think the color of her back spines looks a bit inconsistent with the rest of her spines.
Hi MissSkittles and thank you for noticing. Yep, my poor baby suffered a minor burn due to a 25 watt halogen lamp, which was recommended by the local pet store when I first got her.... I have since gotten a bigger enclosure with lower wattage (two 29 watt) incandescent bulbs which are 8-9” away from her basking spot. It’s a comfy 78-80 in that spot which I regularly check with a wired probe and also use my hand to feel. I had a lot of help getting things straightened out on another one of my threads, which I have attached. It’s almost all gone now, save for one small white spot!

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/female-sub-adult-veiled-shed-problem.181366/
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
Nats can come from outside but if your cage is inside it’s most likely to be overwatering of plants. To solve this switch the plants out of your cage for another one, place a mosquito tablet on the soil and water it in (harmless to animals and humans). If you don’t want to risk that vinegar works if you set a small bow up
I will try the vinegar and if that doesn’t work I may try the mosquito tablets. They may be getting inside through our back door, since the kids are always going in and out. That and I bet these little suckers can just get right through our screens when we leave the windows open. If they can get through her screens, they can get through ours. Ugh!
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
Probably receptive with these kinds of colors when I picked her up. But she also hates gnats.
 

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Klyde O'Scope

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