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Old 01-13-2021, 12:28 PM   #1
Serendipity7000
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Default Moths!

Aargh - nightmare. Moth nest in Pickle’s cage. And dealing with it while snowed up. Snow has now melted but we’re due 6” again tonight.

So Saturday night a little moth fluttered around me. I didn’t think anything of it until later I saw it casually crawl into Pickle’s cage. After my last experience I knew there would be more in there!

Stepson was here for the weekend so decided to wait till he’d gone, but Pickle would need to be moved to another cage and his cage and contents disinfected. I half hoped I wouldn’t find much and not need to do it but I knew I’d have to do it really as the eggs can keep hatching out.

Monday I had a supermarket delivery and van got stuck in the snow so took most of the day to get the food up here. Tuesday I started shifting things in downstairs bedroom to fit another cage in. Needs to be in a different room while I clean up. I set up the travel cage (Skyline Ted) thinking it might just be for the day. But this morning I realised it could be for longer and Pickle needs front access so set up his Savic Mickey 2XL this morning. Took ages. Finding things to go in it. He only moved out of it in September!

So although it’s frustrating that it was a new cage and contents in September and now has to be dismantled and disinfected I was more worried about stressing Pickle and having pantry moths in the kitchen cupboards again.

Anyway I’ve done a nice set up for him in the Mickey 2XL - he has his old wheel in there and a couple of familiar toys from the playpen. Got him out in his tube (and a moth crawled out with him so squashed that one. Pretty sure it’s a food moth by the markings but everything was frozen for a week before it went in!

My own fault - I left the heater on all night recently as it’s been minus 8 some nights and then they hatch out.

Anyway Pickle seemed happy enough in the Mickey XL and immediately ran in his old wheel and explored then went in the house. He might freak out in the next few days though. I feel so mean! He loved his labyrinth house and had it all organised inside.

So rest of the day has been dismantling the cage contents and top. Larvae and webbing all inside the cage corner bars ugh.

I hope I haven’t left it too late. A couple of moths on the wall behind the cage. They can lay 200 to 300 eggs a day and last time I spent every day hoovering then off the carpets and curtains. For months!

Anyway all the cage contents are bagged up and in the garden. The base is still full of substrate - I couldn’t face dealing with it! I poured hot water all over outside in the garden (I read you should drown them.

All still out in the garden as I ran out of daylight and we’re due another six inches of snow tonight!

Cleaned round the cage area with vinegar and hoovered. I hope I have caught it in time! I have lots of extra food supplies in another room
Due to pandemic and couldn’t face then getting moth infested. Ever since the last outbreak I’ve kept everything in lock and lock boxes but need an extra larder at the moment.

Anyway Pickle is cosy in the other room in the Savic Mickey 2XL.

Oh yes and last night we had a mouse in the lounge as well. So probably best Pickle is now in a narrow bar cage.

I hope there aren’t any moth eggs stuck to Pickle’s fur. They were in his nest.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:03 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Moths!

Hmm, i have also seen something very small fluttering about downstairs near Rodney's cage and later upstairs near Ozzy's cage......question is, with six cages lived in and a spare one set up, where do i start looking......hmmm
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Moths!

I’d start with Rodney’s and Ozzy’s cages. If a moth goes inside they are almost certainly nesting there. Unfortunately it does mean a full cage clean with disinfectant if you find any. The larvae look like mini wood lice and there can be white flossy webbing stuff as well. When I had this before they were under the substrate crawling around!
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Moths!

I didn't see it flying into the cages but hovering above. Rodney's cage is due a clean anyway so i'll do the dirty deed tomorrow after work.

Just read up on them. At least they are not harmful and don't bite or sting. Apparently, they feast on dry foods so could come from anywhere really and not necessarily the dry hamster food which i keep in airtight glass jars.

I thought it was a kind of pale coloured fruit fly and was going to search the cages and houses for any leftover fresh food.

If i find any traces, do i need to disinfect absolutely everything including wicker tunnels, shelves etc or only the areas where i find evidence of moths or larvea?

Would disinfectant spray do the job, i use Johnson's, or would water and vinegar be more effective?
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Moths!

No they’re not harmful to hamsters but can cause havoc in your food cupboards if they start proliferating. Really ugh. I had to Chuck half my dried goods in the food cupboard last time and clean out all the cupboards with vinegar and a tooth pick for the crevices. The eggs are too small to see but if you find any white webbing or little larva then there is a nest. It’s definitely a moth and the most common source is pet food. Moth eggs are in most dried foods but only hatch out if the conditions are right. Freezing the food first kills the eggs (although didn’t work for me this time unless I missed something).

The source is usually the hamster cage and the food. But once there are a few moths they can lay eggs anywhere. Known as pantry moths. Last time I had two types - one type was a carpet moth. The traps were useless but fly papers caught quite a few.

I really hope I’ve caught it in time. Just found one in the kitchen. Dead in water thankfully.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Moths!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
I really hope I’ve caught it in time. Just found one in the kitchen. Dead in water thankfully.
I'm at work till tomorrow afternoon, then i'll pick up a Gumtree Alaska in Bristol for Rory. Won't be home till late afternoon and can't wait to check what's buzzing around the house!! I doubt my OH would notice a tiny moth. He has trouble spotting Gordon who seems to have shrunk.

Good luck with the moths extinction mission. Strange though considering that you freeze your hamster food.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Moths!

Quote:
He has trouble spotting Gordon who seems to have shrunk.
Ha ha! I have the same problem. My eyesight is much worse and I missed my eye test during lockdown in April. My reading glasses are ok but middle distance is a blur!

It is strange. I am very particular. All hamster food, treats chews, wood toys are frozen for a week. The only thing in that cage that hadn’t been frozen was the substrate. But I am sure the moths are from the food. I suppose it is possible that a moth laid eggs on the bags after they were frozen (they can bite through plastic bags to lay eggs which is how they get in there). Because I left the bags out in a heap after freezing them.

But even without freezing you only get moths hatching if the temperature is right. Warm.
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Old 01-13-2021, 03:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Moths!

Last time vet recommended deep clean with beaphar. Johnson’s is probably as good. I have just finished my bottle of beaphar after doing Moo’s cage after he died. So I just have a bottle of Safe 4 left but that should be ok. It was very hard getting hold of pet disinfectant last year. I have heard of vinegar being recommended for good cupboards etc to get rid of them but I’d stick with pet disinfectant for the cage. I’ve used vinegar all round the area the cage was.

Any cage items can be frozen or disinfected

I am wondering about my other bags of food now. I opened new bags today but they have all been sitting around the house since April. And my freezer is full as food supplies difficult here. I could fit one bag in. I think I should get new food and freeze it. This pandemic really doesn’t help!
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Old 01-13-2021, 03:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Moths!

I feel your pain!

In 2014 I found carpet moth cases in my house and ever since found their little eggs everywhere, their little cases.. they got into everything, even plastic tubs that seemed sealed!

I inevitably brought a few with me in my house move in April and still shiver when I open things and find all that egg dust! Fingers crossed I have almost got rid of them..and having mostly laminate flooring helps now too. I also had carpet beetles.. the larvae are horrible little wooly looking things!

Luckily the moths themselves never went in my cages but the cases and eggs went on my hammocks and on my wooden things.

FEEL YOUR PAIN!

Hope you manage to get on top of it soon x
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Moths!

Thank you. When you say egg dust, what is that like? I had one box of food that was very dusty (from Rodipet actually and it was unusual). I had already tipped it into the mix with the other two brands (I mix 3 usually) so didn’t think much of it other than it wasn’t the usual quality.
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