Posted By: Guerita135

Salmonella? - 05/24/08 10:57 PM

I was wondering if there was ever a case of a glider getting salmonella?

When there was a post about a glider eating a gecko I did some research and came across some info that explained why 90% of retiles have salmonella. It was because they eat crickets and the crickets are kept in containers with egg cartons and those egg cartons have salmonella bacteria from the chicken eggs that used to be in them.

Well, I know some people feed their gliders crickets. I also know that most people who farm mealworms use egg cartons for the beetles to lay their eggs on(I don't, I use cardboard pieces). Also, most big companies probably use egg cartons for their beetles as well.

Should we be worried about salmonella?

As a precaution, I will never be using egg cartons in my mealworm farms. I just cut up some to use when I realised that it might not be safe, so I threw them out. I'll stick with cardboard. :\
Posted By: LSardou

Re: Salmonella? - 05/24/08 11:02 PM

Right off hand I can't recall any cases of Salmonella caused by crickets. It does make sense though about using the egg cartons to allow the eggs to hatch. That is a very interesting point!

I feel that with the way your set up is using the cardboard pieces is your safest route.
Posted By: Guerita135

Re: Salmonella? - 05/24/08 11:13 PM

Well, I'm definately taking the safe route and not using egg cartons. I'd also recommend that others do the same.

I know it's probably not a big concern, but it's better to be safe then sorry, right?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Salmonella? - 05/24/08 11:47 PM

i sure am glad you posted about the egg cartons i normally use them in my meal worm farms.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Salmonella? - 05/25/08 02:10 AM

They don't use actual 'egg' cartons in cricket farms, it is just cardboard that they buy bulk in an egg carton shape (just like until the egg cartons house eggs, they have never been in contact with eggs for any other reason. (and salmonella can't live on a dry surface for very long anyway). I do use egg cartons for my mealworms, but it's not like I take it straight out of the fridge into the beetle container. While salmonella occurs in eggs, it is not overly abundant there either. But no, salmonella in reptiles has absolutely nothing to do with the crickets they are fed.

The problem with reptiles (in the pet industry) is the way they are housed. Salmonella is very easily transmitted between reptiles (trust me, my iguana was clear and after one weekend around another iguana, wasn't frown ). Reptiles do not get sick from salmonella, they become carriers and shed the bacteria for the rest of their lives which is why you should always practice good hygiene when handling reptiles (also a good idea when handling any animal).

It is also true that most animals carry salmonella in their system, but from my understanding, they do not shed it like the reptiles do. It's kind of like giardia (I know different, but hear me out) Most animals/people get sick from Giardia and fight it off with medical help, but there is always a period in which they become carriers and shed the bacteria (therefore being contagious).

Because salmonella is so easy to come across (it's not just in eggs, but on meat and can be on greens, etc. as well) it is just like Giardia (again) because you will never really know where you got it from for certain. I read an article several years ago that said people got salmonella from their SG, but there were so many variables, how did they know? I do not recall that they even had their SG tested, they were just blaming the exotic.

Again, my understanding is that if your gliders got salmonella, they would absolutely be contagious, but they would also get really sick first if it took hold in their system. As with Giardia, Trich, etc., etc., etc. you would need to have them tested and retested several times to be sure they are rid of it, as there would be a period of time after they got better that they would still be contagious.

If you are really concerned, go get them tested. But then again, basic hygiene should be followed anyway, which would severly reduce the likelyhood of getting sick (always wash hands after handling them or anything of theirs, don't eat after them, don't kiss them). I kiss mine, but I have also kissed every single reptile that I have ever owned in 15 years of owning too many herps to count. You have to weigh the evidence and make your own decision.

But I hope that helps some!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Salmonella? - 05/25/08 02:12 AM

The article you found about salmonella and egg cartons is definitely interesting, but I'm curious about the source. Most if not all reptiles have salmonella, those in captivity and those in the wild, and it's not because they eat crickets that were raised on contaminated egg cartons. Many reptiles do not eat crickets as part of their natural diets and they still have salmonella because it's a natural part of their digestive tract. The whole egg carton thing may increase the amount of salmonella they have overall, but that's definitely not why 90% of reptiles have salmonella. That just doesn't make sense.
Posted By: Guerita135

Re: Salmonella? - 05/25/08 02:21 AM

Thanks for that info Sugarlope! I don't think mine have it or anything, I was just wondering about what I'd read about the egg cartons being the reason for reptiles having salmonella.

I can't remember where I read it from, but if you wanted I could google it again and try and find it. wink Whatever the source was also said that crickets can get other diseases from the egg cartons too, so it's not just salmonella that you'd have to worry about when using the cartons for mealworms.
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Salmonella? - 05/25/08 02:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Padros4
Many reptiles do not eat crickets as part of their natural diets

That is a good point, thank you! My iguana never had a single insect, but still managed to contract salmonella when he was 3 1/2 from another iguana (that never ate insects either).

The problem with the cartons is still not the cartons themselves. It is part of the cricket dilemma...crickets are a fantastic feeder source if you are willing to put in the work to keep them properly fed and clean, but most people get them, stick them in a bucket or tank with a little food and only look at them again to get them out to feed. A lot of moisture in a cricket farm is not good, it can cause bacterial growth among other problems. This is where the cartons come in, if you don't change them regularly and whenever you find them moist (as they draw moisture from the air), they can breed bacterial, parasites, etc. etc. (this is also when Aflatoxin is a greater concern - if you are feeding corn based products in a humid environment). It is not the carton itself that is a concern, it is everything that has been on/around the cartons since they have been in with the crickets. (Does that make sense?) This would also be true of any cardboard/paper/paper towel.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Salmonella? - 05/25/08 11:28 AM

I don't think the cricket companies use "egg cartons" that have been used for "eggs" either. They use way too many cartons in those boxes for the cartons to have been used for eggs! Just think how many eggs they would have to eat to empty that many cartons, LOL! The cartons are factory made and bought in bulk not enptied out by eating all the eggs. I will ask the cricket guy when I call in my next order of crickets and meal worms.

It is a good question though.

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