How to Get Rid of Mites in Turtle Tank

One of the most critical aspects of turtle care is keeping the turtles and their enclosure clean and safe. We want to keep our turtles healthy and happy at all times, but there are times when we cannot control the environment in which we place our turtles. When this happens, we must do what we can to ensure we fix the problem. This article will discuss how to get rid of mites in turtle tanks.

How to Get Rid of Mites in Turtle Tank?

To get rid of mites in your turtle tank, you must sanitize your entire tank. This will involve removing all objects and disinfecting your tank.

It is important to understand how to treat mites that are on your turtle, as well as how to prevent mites in the future.

Sanitize the Turtle Tank

If you find mites anywhere in your tank, you must sanitize it. First, remove your turtle from the tank and set it in a large plastic bin. If you have an aquatic turtle, you can put some water at the bottom.

Next, you should drain the water out of the tank. Below is a video where I show how to do this quickly.

The next step is to remove any plants or turtle tank accessories from the tank. I would suggest discarding the plants. Most mites make it into turtle tanks by latching onto substrate and plants before you put them in the tank.

For the accessories, you should soak them in boiling water, and afterwards brush them with an old tooth brush. Next, let them dry in the sun to ensure they are mite-free.

You should then remove and discard all the substrate from your turtle’s tank. After that, drain all the water from the tank. Once everything is removed, you can scrub the tank clean. I suggest that you use a diluted bleach solution that is around 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse the tank with warm water.

If you are afraid to use bleach or don’t have any, you can use this cleaner. It is designed specifically for reptile tanks.

Make sure to avoid using any cleaning products that may be harmful to your turtle. After cleaning the tank, replace the substrate and water filters, and refill the tank with clean and fresh water. Lastly, you can return the decorations and your turtle to the tank.

How to treat a turtle with mites

If your turtle has mites, put your turtle on a piece of white paper and gently scrub its skin and shell to remove the mites. I suggest you scrub them with an old toothebrush.

After scrubbing your turtle, bathe it in warm water to drown any remaining mites. Many turtle owners recommend rubbing oil, particularly olive oil, on their turtles. Olive oil is generally safe for turtles and effective at removing any mites on the skin of your turtle.

If your turtle already has mite bites, I suggest that you add this solution to your tank. It helps treat bacterial infections as well as tissue wounds in your turtle.

If the situation is more serious, you can also request antibiotic ointments from your veterinarian.

Take Preventative Action

You can do several things to keep mites out of your turtle’s tank. The first thing you can do is clean your turtle’s tank regularly. To learn more, check out my article on how often to clean a turtle tank. You can also check out this article from petmd.

If you have natural plants in your tank, remove them as soon as you notice them decomposing, as this will help reduce the risk of mites in your turtle’s tank. Next, add barriers or lids to your turtle tanks, such as screen covers.

You can easily find turtle tank covers online or in pet stores. Finally, I recommend that your turtle has a designated food bowl that can be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that no leftover food remains in the water. Any leftover food that is left to decompose in the tank can attract other insects to the tank.

What are mites?

Mites are small insects related to ticks and spiders. There are numerous types of mites, including clover mites, house dust mites, itch mites, and chiggers. Itch mites are the most common in turtle tanks. Itch mites are a smaller type of mite that can bite humans and animals and are common in indoor enclosures like turtle and reptile tanks.

Because mites are such tiny insects, they can be hard to detect in turtle tanks. Small black or red dots may appear on your turtle’s skin, particularly around their eyes and nose, or they may appear floating in the water or on your hands after contact with your turtle.

Are mites dangerous for turtles?

Mites are extremely dangerous, especially if your turtle is infested.  They feed on your turtle’s blood, and can cause turtles to have less energy and, in severe cases, even death due to a lack of red blood cells. This condition is known as anemia.


Mites are common in turtles and turtle tanks, and as a turtle owner, you must understand how to deal with them to ensure the safety and health of your turtle. With regular cleaning and preventative actions, I’m sure you can get rid of the mites infesting your turtle’s life. Hopefully, this article guided you on how to get rid of mites in a turtle tank. Good luck!