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Black_Knight

This was a post I made on my forum about Black Knight...........this post was a response to people asking me about in in a thread..........

I have been using Black Knight since 1992............Pete Kahl introduced it to me. At the time I owned a reptile shop called The Green Iguana...........I would always get in some iguanas or other farm raised lizards with mites..........I did not really have mite trouble with the snakes because 90% of them were captive bred by me or someone close to me..............so they were usually perfect.

Pete was using it to control mites in his boa collection.............this was when Pete had some bad IBD cases in his collection and he was sure that the mites were the ones spreading the disease.

He and other Big name breeders were using BK with great results..............it was not really and "advertised" remedy............it was kind of one of those “tricks of the trade” that were passed on from breeder to breeder.........all I had to use at the time were over the counter watered down mite treatments in the pet trade………….and they did not work!

I used BK as a "fogger"............I would remove water bowls and spray the BK all over the lizards and their enclosures ............I never had any trouble with this nor did Pete...........my only problem was that no matter how far away the cricket tanks were.............they would be dead or dying by the next day.............and yes..........it did kill the mites!.........so I had to make some adjustments when using the BK so I would not kill the crickets and spiders I had for sale in the shop.

I never tried to sell BK and I did not tell anyone to use it............it was my weapon............and I kind of felt like it was dangerous..........it just did not seem right to let the herps breath it in.............but I used in anyway and had great results.

Once I sold The Green Iguana I did not really have much use for any type of mite treatments .............I still used it when I brought in ball pythons from Africa............and when I brought in new stock from another breeders..........

The way I used BK and still do is this............When ever I brought snakes in from Africa or another source ...........through the airlines or ground...........I would remove the snakes from the box and their bags...........I would inspect them for mites.............I ALWAYS set up new snakes on white paper towels with a water bowl and that is it!...........I would then use the BK spray everywhere that the snake box had been.............I used it in my truck............I sprayed the empty snake box.............I sprayed the used snake bags............I sprayed my cloths.............my shoes..................everywhere I walked or traveled with the new snakes................I just flat out sprayed it everywhere and anywhere I or the snakes had been.............then I got rid of the shipping boxes and the used bags...........I even sprayed inside of the trash cans……..LOL………Once the snakes were in their new boxes.............I would spray the BK "around" the boxes in the rack unit...........NOT in the box it's self.............I just kinda fogged the area around each tub.............this to me was like an invisible force field that the mites would travel through if they were to get out of the snake's box and start to travel........I even sprayed the floors and door thresholds ...........I'm nuts when it comes to killing bugs around my snakes!

So basically I use the BK in "the air" around all the new snakes..........and hope it settles down and kills any bug that comes in contact with it.

I have to say..........I have had ZERO mites in my established collection.............I have NEVER brought in mites from Africa...........only ticks...........where I have seen the most mites is from other breeder's snakes coming in. They have the mite problem.............and they send it on to you.............that’s how it happens.........a few mites sent to you on a snake that you do not quarantine and rid of mites can be a huge disaster ...........especially when you keep your snakes on a fiber type bedding ..........mulch, aspen etc.............the mites will get a strong foot hold and breed..........the will multiply and start traveling through your entire collection..............and then you have huge trouble!!

There are a ton of ways to get rid of mites......some are safer then others.............I prefer the more radical approach...........and that is to blast them hard and get rid of them fast!!.............and a pesticide to me is the only way to do this.............this is my opinion only..............everyone has their own thoughts on what is harmful to their snakes and what is not.

I use Black Knight and Provent-O-Mite:

I have used POM since it first came out to the industry ...........I use it exactly like the can says to use.........this is the ONLY treatment I spray directly in the snake's enclosure .............I start out with a clean tub................I spray the POM in the tub ...........covering the bottoms and the sides...............I let it dry............then I place the white paper towels and the water bowl in..............then the snake..............once this is all done...............I will use the BK "in the air" to cover all the bigger areas around the rack system .........mainly the floor and rack system components around the new snakes..............so they get the "double whammy"

If the new snakes have mites............you can bet your butt that they will start showing up dead in the snake's enclosure the next day............I have used POM on snakes that I seen zero mites on and seen dead mites on the white paper towels the next morning......

POM seems to work much longer with one application then BK............POM lasts...........it stays deadly in the box floor and sides for many weeks.........BK does not.......

I think that POM is the much better product.........it's results have completely satisfied me on it's own..............BK on it's own works..............but not nearly as fast in my opinion .........there always seems to be a relapse?............and that makes you use MORE product…………and more can not be safe.

Lately all I use is POM for mites..........it works every time...........I had a bad experience with lice in my rodent collection a while back..........nothing I did would get rid of the rat lice............and the vets and professionals I spoke to said that the lice were really not a problem..........they were species specific.............and that they would just live on the rats...........they would not hurt me or my snakes.

Well I hated the fact that their were lice around............even though they are not easy to see.............you just know that they are there and that bugged me.............anyway...........BK did not work at all.................so I called Bob Pound............he said to use the POM in the bedding...........or to spray the POM on cotton balls and let the rodents bed in it..........

I chose to just spray it in the bedding...............We did this once a week for a month.............not only did the POM kill the lice................but it killed every bug that even came close to the rat room..........there were dead flies, moths, worms, spiders.............you name it ..............everything was dead!!

Now I use POM on the thresholds of my exterior doors to keep the bugs from crawling under..............I spray it on the doors in the summer time once a month...............for the entire summer I can walk down to the doors in the morning and find dead bugs that made it a few inches across the threshold and died.............BK does not work like this................POM lasts even when it has been wet or wiped down!!...........and that is what I like about it............period!

As far as recommending a mite treatment publicly...........??..............I would only publicly recommend POM............yes I have told many people about BK............but I told them that they are on "their own" with using it...........I can not control a "case by case" effect on someone else’s snakes...........snakes are like people............most may be able to handle the treatment with no problems...............but then their are the fewer snakes that could drop dead from it..............so "liable thinking" to me would be to not recommend something that is not specifically designed to be used on herps………..think about it……….realistically unless I have my “own” proven product that I can stand behind and make money from……….why do I want to put my ass on the line for something that has not been studied?.............I don’t………..Anyone who sells a chemical in this industry is nuts in my book………it ain’t worth it!

Wow.............what a book I just wrote!!

Bottom line..............I use both BK and POM.............I like both.............I think POM works much better then BK for me...............if you ask me to recommend a mite product to you............it would be POM..........BUT.............BK and No Pest Strips work too.............POM is much faster and easier...........I get results from it..............I have had ZERO problems with the POM effecting my snakes in a bad way..........its efficient.............and being more efficient is the key to enjoying your snakes.

Closing…………I don’t want anyone’s feelings getting hurt when they read this……….I could care less what you use to get rid of your mites………….just get rid of them and be sensible about it………….if you think it is bad…………then it IS bad………….if you think it is too much………….then it IS too much………….bottom line…………mites are a bad word to me……….get them gone and KEEP THEM GONE!!

Ralphie...........:)

 
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