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Old 02-14-2021, 01:51 PM   #1
RolyRocks
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Default Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

Help - I just went to put some fresh water in my hamsters bowl and found a little cluster of tiny white bugs on the inside edge of the bowl. It looked like a circle of white dots and when I looked closer they were moving!! What are they and why were they in his water bowl??
He has a bowl instead of a bottle because I got him when he was older and that's what he had been used to and even though I tried a bottle he never really used it. His water bowl is close to his food bowl and I had a good look in there and couldn't see anything. Obviously I took them both out and gave them a thorough clean but could they be everywhere in his cage?!
I give him mineral water out a bottle daily and have never seen these bugs before... it's making me itch just thinking about them!!
Please help!

Update - Found a couple more very tiny brown bugs on top of his wooden shelf where I keep his food and water bowls. Does this mean a complete cage clean out is required?! I have no idea where they have come from as I freeze food, toys, treats etc!

Last edited by RolyRocks; 02-15-2021 at 01:10 AM. Reason: Added an update
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Old 02-15-2021, 01:14 AM   #2
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

If I need to do a full clean out what is the best product to use? I think I remember reading about a water/vinegar solution?
Also, will this stress my dwarf out big time??
There is also another tiny cluster of white bugs on the edge of his water bowl again this morning... what are they?!
Thanks guys.

Last edited by RolyRocks; 02-15-2021 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:13 AM   #3
hamster_lover995
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

If you can please send a picture of these "bugs" because I'm not too sure what they are but you should definitely do a deep cage clean. This might stress your hamster out so freeze some bedding that you can put back into the cage as long with some fresh bedding. Make sure your water bowl is just freshwater with no tiny food pellets or minerals in it because it might attract bugs. Other than that I think you should also check your home because they are signs of an infestation.

Hopefully, this helped!
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:47 AM   #4
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

As soon as I saw the bugs I got rid of them straight away, last night and this morning. They are so very small and the cluster in the water bowl were white (babies maybe) and the couple of others I saw were brown (adults I assume).
Should I chuck everything away, all his spare food, treats, substrate etc or just remove everything that is in his cage?
What if they are possibly living on him though? I can't see any redness or bald patches.
I need to buy some more Kaytee Clean and Cosy bedding as I am getting low, should this be frozen for a week? I just don't know when to start the cleaning process!!
I use Mineral water from thr fridge.. maybe this is the problem?!
Nightmare!!
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:40 AM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

First thing I would say is don’t panic over it, if your ham is fine & not showing any signs of skin problems or anything you have time to figure out what’s going, what they might be & how best to deal with it.
I’m still not sure what they might be tbh though, have a look through the cage & see if you can find more without just chucking everything out. If you do find more in the cage then you may well have to do a full clean but check first & keep an eye on things.
I wouldn’t use vinegar & water, it’s hard to get rid of the smell, if you do need to do a deep clean stick to a good pet safe disinfectant, I use the unscented safe4 if I do need disinfectant.
I do freeze all my food, wood, cork, hay etc but have never frozen substrate & I think the chances of having a problem with kaytee clean & cosy really are unlikely so I wouldn’t worry about that.
Do check any natural wooden toys, cork or other natural materials in the cage in case anything has hidden away in there.
Check for any bits of old veg that might have got left in the cage & maybe buried somewhere, the only time I had a bug outbreak in a cage it came from some broccoli I missed for a few days!
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Old 02-15-2021, 05:16 AM   #6
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

Thanks, I have been panicking all morning!
I checked his water bowl again and could see a couple of these tiny white things walking on the sides. I managed to get a picture of one of them which I will try and attach. His bowls are sat on top of his wooden house which I took the lid off last night and and couldn't see anything. I have just had another look and found a group of them crawling on the underside of the lid. They are so tiny but there was probably about 30-40 of them, definitely white though. I removed his wooden ladder, most is hidden under substrate and I found one at the very bottom. Do they sound like mites?
Do you think now is the time for a full clean?? Could they be on his fur and should I be giving him some treatment?
If I need to do a full clean, can this be done in a day or should I get another spare cage and keep him out for a few days?
Thanks for all you help!
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Old 02-15-2021, 05:25 AM   #7
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

Here is a picture of one of the tiny bugs, hope you can see it ok! I know the bowl looks dirty but it definitely isn't, that's how the colour was when I bought it (last one left!)
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File Type: jpg 20210215_112821.jpg (2.91 MB, 27 views)
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Old 02-15-2021, 05:31 AM   #8
Ria P
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

I'm totally intrigued by these tiny white bugs because i've never heard of them.
Mites you wouldn't be able to see and your hamster would be scratching himself sore.

How is your hamster? Probably not bothered by them at all.
I would never apply any treatment without a confirmed diagnosis from a vet.

I also had bugs once caused by a piece of cucumber my dwarf had hidden in the substrate. Little flies were swirring around his cage but i only cleaned out the affected area.

You could email a photo to a vet explaining that you're worried these bugs are on your hamster. They may be able to identify them and advise.

I think first of all you need to find out what they are before taking the correct course of action.
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Old 02-15-2021, 06:09 AM   #9
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

Loki, my dwarf is absolutely fine! I can't say for certain if he scratches a lot because mostly during the day he is buried underneath the substrate. He has never been super keen on wanting lots of attention, I think maybe because he came from a pet shop at 8 months old. He lets me handle him though but is definitely happier just doing his own thing in his cage.
These bugs really are a mystery! It is strange they are more around the water bowl than food bowl. Do you use tap or bottled water?
Is Johnson's Clean 'n' Safe fine to use as a disinfectant?
I think I will email my vets although there isn't really one there that specialises in rodents.
Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-15-2021, 06:33 AM   #10
cypher
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Default Re: Help - small bugs in water bowl?!

I still don’t know what they are, there are so many types of little mites sometimes you just never know for sure, I’d guess they may have come from some wood possibly. You probably will have to do a cage clean to get rid of them totally but just keep looking to see if they are mostly in one spot other than the water first.
Highly unlikely your ham willl need treatment & may not even really notice them so don’t worry about that.
Johnson’s clean n safe should be fine just be sure to rinse well after using it.
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