Jemima and her palace

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Jemima and her palace

Post by Tarajane77 » 20 May 2021, 00:04

Hello Nina and Lynn,

Jemima is now worm free, back on soil and daily her demanding and spoilt-child tendancies are increasing!! :roll: :roll:

Her outside pen is now complete and once I'm happy with the inside furniture placement, I'll post you the pics :lol: :lol: .

So i have a few questions regarding her in the pen, IF the weather ever improves... :evil: :evil:

1. She has shelters, lumisol hide and one half of the pen lid i have a lumisol frame i can what is the lowest temp at 4 yrs i could put her out?

2. If it does get hot am i to try and churn what soil is exposed or simply just dampen it with water.

3. I'm noticing quite a few ants in there. Could this potentially be a problem or is there a tortoise safe ant killer?? What about diatomaceous earth, could this be used either in the enclosure OR to surround the outside of the pen (it's base is dug into the ground).

Thankyou very much, Jody from Wirksworth. Included a picture of the lady in question x

Jody K

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Re: Jemima and her palace

Post by Nina » 20 May 2021, 12:34

Hi Jody,

I'm so glad to hear that Jemima's country estate is finished, and I hope she showed her gratitude by being well behaved.

It's great that you have the lumisol shelters for her, so that she can benefit from UVB even when under cover.

1. Regarding temperature where she can go out. The loose rule is that if it's warm enough for you to be out in a short-sleeved shirt then she can be out, but I find that mine can go outside at lower temperatures, as long as I'm around and can feel when their shells start to get cool and bring them in again for a warm up. So they go in and out and in and out in the colder weather we're having. Smaller tortoises will lose heat more quickly than large ones, so I would just keep feeling her shell every now and then.
If you want her to be out and you're not around, then I'd say a minimum of maybe 15C (I just got that off the top of my head -- it's not an official temperature). It will be warmer under the lumisol, which is good, and I wouldn't leave her outside if it is cold and wet (even 15 and wet isn't good).

2. If it gets hot (lol, we should be so lucky). If you are talking about outdoors and hot, there is no need to do anything -- just make sure she has a nice shady place to hide if she wants to. It's unlikely to get much over 30C in the UK (especially in Wirksworth < :lol: ducks>), so I don't think you have to worry too much. As 30C is a good temperature for them, and if she has a source of water in that enclosure, she should be absolutely fine in the heat and no need to dampen things down.

3. Ants. I think that the only ants we see in our gardens here are black and red ones (I think the red ones bite humans but not tortoises, and the black ones are harmless), and you don't really need to do anything about them. The only ants dangerous to tortoises would be fire ants and as far as I know we don't have them in the UK. If you can find the ant mound where they live, then I find that pouring boiling water onto it works fairly well (you might have to do it several times).

I have heard about using diatomaceous earth, but don't know much about it.I saw this on one tortose forum, and it says he wouldn't use it in an enclosed space with a tortoise, and I assume that is to ensure the tortoise doesn't inhale it:

"Diatomaceous earth is my go to for ants. It is for most any type of insect control. diatomaceous earth is a super fine crushed fossil that is very jagged. When insects get in on themselves it causes micro wounds causing the insect to dehydrate to death. Being a super fine, jagged powder it is not good for anything to breathe. I use it for ants by finding their path into my house and leaving a small pile blocking it. Ants will not go near it. At work we offer a program where we will put a small line all the way around your foundation outside your house and it slows insects from entering. I would not personally use it inside a closed chamber with a tortoise in it. I would follow the ants path and block it before they enter the enclosure."

Thanks so much for the photo of Jemima -- she's gorgeous. My tortoises are both much darker in colour than Jemima -- she's one of those Horsfields with more blonde colouring, and I think that's lovely.


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