Ask Milo – Flying bugs in tank

Bri4321 submitted the following question :

There are tiny flying brown bugs in my hermit crab cage. I think that they might be gnats or fruit flies. I really need to get rid of them without hurting my crab. How do I get rid of them? Thanks so much if you can help! My hermit crab cage looks like this:

Wire Cage - Unsuitable

Dear Bri4321,

Firstly I would recommend you upgrade from the wire cage to a glass tank with lids as soon as possible. You will continue to have problems with gnats or fruit flies as they are attracted to the hermit crab food and can fly in through the gaps in the wire. There is also no ability to retain humidity or temperature without a closed enclosure. You can pick up some cheap tanks on eBay and Craigslist.

To get rid of the gnats you will need to remove the food from your wire cage, change the substrate (if you have any), change the food on a daily basis and avoid giving them foods which include wheat germ. I would avoid placing fresh fruit for the time being.Just until you have a glass crabitat. There may be gnat larvae in your wire cage so you might need to remove the hermit crabs from the cage, wash out the cage and scrub it, then give your hermit crabs a bath in water with stress coat. Gnats and fruit flies can irritate them.

I would put a towel or blanket over the tank at night when you put your food in to stop more gnats from entering the tank. I hope this helps.

‘Your friend in a pinch,