Just as dogs and cats can become infested with fleas, pet rodents, including rats and mice, can bring their own infestations into the house. Rodents may bring with them rodent mites, and some of these mites can infest your home and attack human hosts as well. Symptoms of mites include patchy fur and skin lesions. Some of the larger species of mites are visible to the naked eye. Cleanliness and constant treatment are key to eliminating rodent mites from your pet and your home.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Vacuum cleaner
- Topical treatment
Vacuum your home, especially the area around your rodent's living space, at least twice per week to remove mites that may migrate from their host. Dispose of the vacuum detritus outside the home, or freeze the vacuum bag as soon as you have caught mites to ensure that the mites are dead or cannot re-enter your home.
Disinfect your rodent's habitat with bleach once per week to kill mites living within the area. Bleach will kill the mites if they are in their larvae or adult stages. Repeat the cleaning each week so that you can kill new mites as they hatch and enter this stage. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water after cleaning so that the bleach does not harm your pet.
Clean the area surrounding your rodent's habitat with bleach as well. Mites may jump from the rodent to the surrounding area, and can then find their way to humans.
Find a topical treatment (spray, shampoo, dip, etc.) with an active ingredient called "pyrethrin". The product should contain no more than .15 per cent of this active ingredient. Bathe your rodent in this treatment per product instructions.
Tips and warnings
- If you do not have a pet rodent but are finding an infestation of rodent mites, you may have rodents in your home. Set rodent traps or contact a pest control specialist for rodent removal options.
- Remove any toys or objects made of wood from your rodent's living space. Wood will not disinfect easily, and mite eggs may be hidden inside.
- Some species of mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye; consult a veterinarian if you suspect a mite infestation on your rodent. Veterinarians can effectively diagnose mites and suggest treatment options.
- Do not use dog or cat flea powders for your rodent pet, as they are too powerful and can poison the pet. Consult all product instructions and warnings, or follow your veterinarian's suggestions for treatment options.
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