I owned a long tailed lizard and recently had mites I went to a small pet store and the clerk told me I can use lice treatments the ones for humans ex. RID is this harmful for my lizard ? Can humans catch these mites as well?

The mites are specific to reptiles, and won't bother any other animals (including humans).

RID could kill your reptile, at full strength.  Some reptile keepers have used it, diluted, to treat mites in reptiles, but I'm not sure it's been used for small reptiles such as long-tailed lizards.  Smaller reptiles are more sensitive.  There are instructions online for how to use this product to kill reptile mites, but follow them at your own risk.

I recommend a product called Provent-A-Mite, which is used to treat an enclosure.  Move the lizards into a bare-bones setup with paper towel on the bottom, and a hide that can be disinfected.  Treat the enclosure.  Be sure water sources are placed in only after the enclosure has been treated, and is dry.  (An airstone in a water dish will encourage droplet-drinking species to drink from it).  Move the lizards to another enclosure for food. Preventing contamination of their food and water is crucial (and the treatment will kill their food insects).

Break down and disinfect everything in the old setup - discard anything that can't be disinfected, and replace it.

After three weeks, if there is no further sign of the mites, you can return the lizards to their proper setup.

Mites breed in the enclosure, and wander long distances (even around the room), so it's important to treat them very aggressively, and break their life cycle.  They can stress and kill reptiles if they continue to multiply.

Another alternative treatment, which requires more patience, but is a bit safer, involves moving the lizards to a bare-bones setup, disinfecting the old one, and treating the mites on the lizards themselves with olive oil, using a Q-tip.  Cleaning the enclosure every couple of days for a few weeks, while treating any visible mites by killing them with oil, should eliminate them. (It is more stressful for the lizards, but poses less risk from contamination).


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Donna Fernstrom


My particular focus is on snakes and lizards, but I have a decent smattering of knowledge of turtles and crocodilians as well, plus the experience to get relevant information quickly if I don't have it on hand in my brain. I can answer questions on captive care, diet, breeding, incubation of eggs, starting hatchlings, and more. I am particularly experienced with ball pythons, Lygodactylus geckos and other small lizards with similar care requirements, leopard geckos, and garter snakes.


I am a professional breeder of ball python morphs, Lygodactylus (dwarf) geckos, and mourning geckos. I have begun working with Irian Jaya carpet pythons, and plan to expand to include more gecko species in the future. I also have a background breeding leopard geckos, and have kept several other species of small lizards, snakes, and a water turtle.

Nebraska Herpetological Society (

I have many care sheets published on my own website.

High School Graduate. Extensively self-taught due to high interest in wildlife and reptile care.

Awards and Honors
Fauna Classifieds board of inquiry Good Guy Certification

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