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be careful with hardware stores. (bugs in substrate)

Neeko

New Member
My local Lowes friend/associate told me that she wouldn't put any of the substrate found in hardware stores into pet enclosures. She said it can have bacteria, bugs and other pest in it. I know you can bake it, but I don't have an oven large enough. Any suggestions on how to sterilize.
 

kellen.watkins

New Member
Maybe rubbing alcohol and let it sit out to dry, food manufacturing plants use alcohol based sanitizer on food contact surfaces, other than that I'm clueless
 

james.w

Active Member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
i've never had any problems with stuff from hardware stores. if you are worried about it you can put it on cookie sheets and bake what you can fit.
 

adam1120

New Member
Or u can u do what bobby said to put it huge plastic ziplock bag and pit it in the microwave make sure its kinda wet u can steam it quick like that. But I've never had bug it anything when I bought some there for my Colombian tegu.
 

Bubblz Calhoun

Moderator
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Depending on the weather where you are,.. on a nice hot day. I would rinse it really well then put it in black trash bags and leave it outside for a couple of days. The heat and lack of oxygen should kill just about anything in there.

As for the pesticides or chemicals,.. "The solution to pollution is dilution" which is where rinsing it comes in. If you can't get rid of it completely you can water it down to where it's hardly effective.
 

Rhetoric

Moderator
Staff member
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5 Year Member
I've never had issues with it. I look over the ingredients and avoid obvious chemicals. I'm not too worried about bugs, they come across bugs in the wild. The mulch I get sits outside 24/7 at the bark company but I have yet to see bugs in it.
 

Neeko

New Member
I was just passing on information from her. Since the product does sit out and can be come infested. as for baking t be a lot of baking for 3 bags.
 

rrcoolj

New Member
5 Year Member
I haven't had problems with substrate from a hardware store either. I just buy what I want in the "purest" form possible. I do get some bugs but they aren't going to kill my tegu. There are going to be some animals in the substrate since it's kept outside.
 

CrankbaitJedi

New Member
I use close to 12 bags (2 cu. feet) of mulch to fill up one of my big cages. I am not baking, microwaving or anything like that. It just goes in. Now, do I get some critters? Yep. But personally, I have not had any issues that would cause me to believe I need to sterilize on that scale. If I score some driftwood from the lake or river, yeah, I give that a bake. I am afraid being critter free in big enclosures is just chasing an elusive dream. The mini-critters don't bother the living things... usually they clean up the scraps of food the tegus leave around or even help with the crap. All in all, I got no problems with the current relationship.
 

Rhetoric

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Staff member
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5 Year Member
Neeko said:
I was just passing on information from her. Since the product does sit out and can be come infested. as for baking t be a lot of baking for 3 bags.
It's good she told you about it. Kind of sad but I know there are people out there who are more interested in selling a product than what its used for, safety, etc.
 

corruptphantasm

New Member
my cage takes like 14 bages to fill i bought them all at my local home depot for $2 a bag there's no way anything is gunna make me bake soak or sterilize that much mulch and to me it looks fine ya some little bugs i see now and then but even so if u have a big enclosure inside or out bugs will find there way in there anyway.
 

Toby_H

New Member
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5 Year Member
She is right, it is possible to get a bad bug or bacteria... But the same thing can be said about anything that spends anytime at all outdoors.

It is very rare that companies will randomly apply pesticides to a product. It adds to cost, pesticides are widely frowned upon, it puts the comany at risk of blame for problems down the road, etc...

There are dozens of people with ample personal experience in using typical "harware grade" Cypress Mulch without issue. It very commonly has Springtails in it, but springtails are in no way harmful and are actually beneficial (they eat mold and mildew).
 

Neeko

New Member
I've seen fecal examinations (micro scope is hooked up to a TV. COOLEST poop show I've ever seen. Seeing worms and big circular moving blobs, etc.) where there are protozoans and other micro bacteria that caused problems. If know one has come across these problems that's great and I wont worry.
 

Draco D Tegu

New Member
Neeko said:
My local Lowes friend/associate told me that she wouldn't put any of the substrate found in hardware stores into pet enclosures. She said it can have bacteria, bugs and other pest in it. I know you can bake it, but I don't have an oven large enough. Any suggestions on how to sterilize.
Actually, the most natural way to sanitize anything is.....lay it out in the sun and let the UV kill it. Take a tarp, spread it out on your lawn and then spread your mulch out on it and let the rays kill it.

In fact, for the guys, if you're out sweaty and you put your shirt in the sun to dry, it will not smell as bad because the UV kills the bacteria. But please DO continue to bathe LOL (Called field washing and is a trick used by a lot of infantry, and those females of us who changed shirts).

Short of getting "kiln dried" or autoclaved bedding, everything you get will have bacteria in it, no matter WHERE you purchase it from.

Allowing it to cure in the sun will also get rid of springtails as well.
 

Jefroka

Member
5 Year Member
Another thing you can do if you have the means is freeze it. Freezing anything will usually kill most everything. Can also freeze small bags at a time.


...Jefroka
 

wildartist

New Member
5 Year Member
my cage takes like 14 bages to fill i bought them all at my local home depot for $2 a bag there's no way anything is gunna make me bake soak or sterilize that much mulch and to me it looks fine ya some little bugs i see now and then but even so if u have a big enclosure inside or out bugs will find there way in there anyway.
I’m curious.. what substrate do you get for $2 a bag?
 
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