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Old 09-11-2020, 02:50 AM   #11
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Excellent news about the potty They sound a bit like flour weavils or something. Even tiny weevils/mites won't be hamster mites if you can actually see them. What colour are they? Black?
Yes, he's not Percy Pee Pants anymore! Poor little man!

Honestly couldn't say; they're so small. I thin lightish really; not black. Almost the same colour as wood. So weird. i've trawled the internet but can't correctly identify them...! Last two nights though I haven't found one since I changed his bedding (and he seems to have forgiven me because he sat in my hands first time last night! Yay!) so hopefully they've disappeared...
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Old 09-11-2020, 02:50 AM   #12
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

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Originally Posted by MyHamsterAdventures View Post
I only learnt recently that I was probably not freezing stuff for long enough, i.e I was just doing a couple of days but then it was pointed out thay a week is better. It will be interesting if you tried this to see if it makes any difference in your situation. Good luck
I definitely will be doing this! Will let you know... Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2020, 02:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

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Originally Posted by Amethyst_ice View Post
Hello,

I wonder if you may have book lice? In my old house, it was quite dark and damp and I found really tiny little bugs on lots of surfaces. I took many photos and book lice were the closest identification I could find, they were tinier than a pinhead.
I never fully got rid of them but they survived better in damp climates so after my initial big freak out clean, I only found the odd ones here and there and kept the house as well ventilated as I could.

As you have been freezing everything and had new bags open etc, it sounds more environmental. We have had some very hot weather over summer and having windows open etc, all sorts can get in.

It's unlikely they would "bite" Percy to make him itchy, hamsters do itch like all animals, is it possible you are on high alert and it seems like he is itchier and thus worrying you?

Hope you get it sorted, all the best
Hmmm, not come across those - thank you - I'll investigate! He's in a Detolf so glass sides but a thoroughly airy mesh lid, and we live in a new build so I don't think it's generally damp - but that said, when he came to us 3 weeks ago, he spent the first fortnight curled up in his new house and was peeing in there so it probably was a bit damp and ripe!! I haven't seen these bugs on any other part of his enclosure but in his bedroom and stash corner which makes me think they have to be on - or attracted to - his stash of cereal or on him himself. Then again we do have old books in the house so I will definitely be looking into that! Thanks for the tip!
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:30 AM   #14
Amethyst_ice
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

Book lice, despite their name, can be found on many surfaces not just books. Having the window oopen during the hot weather a host of tiny buggies can get in and they will be attrcacted to toilet areas and food stashes.

Good luck trying to identify and get rid of them
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:34 AM   #15
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

Well, I've solved a little of the mystery: the tiny weeny bugs I found in Percy's house are indeed Demodex mites (took two to be professionally ID'ed under microscope). So, the normal mites which appear on a hamster and live on dander and skin flakes. They are far tinier than a pin head but you can see them move if you have them on a light background and see them in your peripheral vision. I wear glasses and don't have that great eyesight but it's interesting that contrary to the usual accepted idea that you can't see hamster mites at all, you obviously sometime can - especially with a bright light (I use my mobile's torch) on them. Since I first wrote I've found about 4 or 5 of them on his wooden house lid but no more. You can squish them with a hard press of the finger and they just disappear if you do.

Demodex are apparently arachnids (yup - mini spiders!!!) and usually live on harmony on a ham without proliferating unless they get stressed. My guess is when Percy was new and peeing in his bed, it got humid in there and he was a bit under the weather with the change of home from the breeder's etc, and a few of them bred more. I've not found any since that and he's not scratching any more than an average washing-obsessed ham!

So... not going to worry too much but thank you all for your insights as I was definitely freaking out!! And, alongside it all Percy has taken to taming beautifully and is now so completely okay about scrambling all over me it's hard to remember a month ago when he was the most terrified little ham! He's happy and so I think any mites have been put back in their place - though I will always monitor to ensure there aren't further population explosions. Percy's house is for one critter only: Perseus!
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

Demodex Mites Burrow under the skin and can only be seen with a Skin Scraping observed under a Microscope at a Vets. More likely you are seeing Newly Hatched Rodent Mite Nymphs. They are very very very very tiny but like you said on a light color surface and a bit of total focus on the light surface you can see them move about. They come in this old house via wild field mice that sneak in the hollow walls and when the mice die in the walls the Mites MUST find a new host. If the mice get into the House the mites drop off into the carpet and soon lay eggs billions of eggs which in 2 weeks hatch and the cycle starts all over again. Freezing for a long time does NOT kill the eggs at all.

Applying Spot on Rodent Mite drops is the best way to stop the Mites cycle as new hatched Nymphs are not mature to reproduce, But are easily killed with the medications. So keep all frozen food.Bedding,Toys etc in sealed containers for at least 14 days THEN freeze the stuff for a week and that should solve the Mite issue, BUT do treat Percy if at all possible so if any some how manage to survive the deep freeze his spot on will get them before they are at the reproduction age.
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:06 AM   #17
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

Guys, I am SO confused. I must have researched the types of mites 100 times, The local vet nurse had ID'ed these as demodex, but then everything I read says they can't be seen. Also, hamster mites are apparently long and dark whereas these under magnification are white and teardrop shaped arachnids. There are hundreds of posts online of people saying they've found some in their hamster / gerbil / rat nclosure. Pet seems unbothered by them. Owner is freaked out. But nowhere can i find anything which says what they re and how they get in! I live in a sealed new build and I can't believe these are rodent mites from wild mice or book mites or any others related to parasites - I've done a lot of googling and they don't look the same. Other owners are having the same bugs appear but as yet i can't identify them even though they're common! I did a clean out, re-froze everything edible plus the new bedding had been freezing and a few days later there were 4 of the little blighters wandering up his house wall. Argh. Can only assume one was on him or something avoided the disinfectant but it's completely disheartening. Percy himself is the picture of health and not scratchy, at least, but I feel like a failure for not being able to work out the issue! I called the vet who ID'ed the sample but couldn't get past reception. So weird.

I'm a bit stumped by this...
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

It can be confusing & sometimes virtually impossible to ID little bugs, there are just so many of them!
I can’t really offer any advice but as long as Percy is ok & they’re not causing him any issues then try not to worry too much & just see how it goes, maybe don’t look too close for a awhile!
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:55 AM   #19
MaryRobinson
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Default Re: Signs of mites - even tho' I freeze everything!

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Originally Posted by cypher View Post
It can be confusing & sometimes virtually impossible to ID little bugs, there are just so many of them!
I can’t really offer any advice but as long as Percy is ok & they’re not causing him any issues then try not to worry too much & just see how it goes, maybe don’t look too close for a awhile!
Haha, you're right! Actually, I think I might finally have found some stuff out (I got to bed veeeeery late last night after a LOT of googling!)

Got through the vet who it turns out couldn't see anything on the slide (it had squashed) and had 'suspected' demodex mite - Not the same thing as seeing it!! I won't be using that surgery again!

Found about 8 more of the tiny wanderers last night. My friend works in a lab and she borrowed a powerful lense with a light on usually used for looking at skin problems. We managed to get one of these bugs under the lense without it squishing and ... got a full photo of it! I'll post at some point for ref. Little white teardrop body, brown legs. Definitely not a bloodsucker. Percy completely unphased by them.

The closest I can find are flour mites and mould mites (sometimes called pantry mites) which look identical to this. They seem to live on wheat, dried fruit, anywhere between 20-25 degrees and with higher humidity. This would explain why they're only ever in Percy's house near his stash in his room where he sleeps all day. They are apparently harmless but of course not great to have as they poop and leave marks on stuff eventually and can cause dust allergy. Apparently freezing only kills the live mites, not their eggs. Even for days at a time! Hardy little blighters..

So... I've ordered Percy a new bag of food and realised that a)he's happy and they aren't bothering him and b)I don't have to feel guilty about being a bad ham-mum and not being able to keep his house 'clean' - they can emerge in the cleanest places. I'll clean out his detolf and wash it this evening and hope I can get rid of them but relieved they aren't anything sinister which could hurt him.

Might sleep easier tonight and - yeah, might not go over his whole house with my phone flashlight tonight!!
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