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Old 05-28-2022, 05:44 AM   #1
Shina
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Default Ants infested cage with hamster babies

The hamster babies are 8 days old at this point, I was thinking of spot cleaning the cage when I saw the ants, I have been reluctant to clean it before because of fear the hamster may eat her babies. I've sprayed most of it off with wood vinegar, but there are still those who hide inside the cages where the babies are... How do I clean them out before they call for backup? I found out that the cause was because mommy ham kept a piece of broccoli 3 days old.
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Old 05-28-2022, 06:21 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

When my dwarf had (unexpected) babies i didn't clean anything until the babies moved out.

I had fruit flies from a piece of left cucumber once but they are harmless so i removed the source and cleaned out just the affected corner

Do these ants bite? If they could hurt the hamsters and are likely to lay eggs in cravices then you may not have much of a choice but to set up another cage with clean substrate and furnishings.

What is wood vinegar? Is that something to deter or kill the ants and where did you spray it?
Be careful that the hamsters don't get in contact with anything acidic or strong smelling.

Best wait for more advice from people more familiar with this kind of problem. It's not something we come across in the UK but people from hot and humid countries may be able to help.
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Old 05-28-2022, 06:19 PM   #3
Shina
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
When my dwarf had (unexpected) babies i didn't clean anything until the babies moved out.

I had fruit flies from a piece of left cucumber once but they are harmless so i removed the source and cleaned out just the affected corner

Do these ants bite? If they could hurt the hamsters and are likely to lay eggs in cravices then you may not have much of a choice but to set up another cage with clean substrate and furnishings.

What is wood vinegar? Is that something to deter or kill the ants and where did you spray it?
Be careful that the hamsters don't get in contact with anything acidic or strong smelling.

Best wait for more advice from people more familiar with this kind of problem. It's not something we come across in the UK but people from hot and humid countries may be able to help.
Yes, these are tiny red ants but they still have the tendency to bite, wood vinegar smells like burnt wood flavour, I sprayed it regularly but since my dwarf hamster Tang Yuan had babies, I stopped till the problem came again. I was waiting for the 2 week mark... I spot cleaned after the 7th day which was on Friday, but she still kept a small piece of broccoli that I couldn't reach. The wood vinegar has been diluted with water, it's harmless to pets, fertilises soil, and keeps pests like ants on bay, it dizzies them out when I spray them so I normally wipe them away. Other option was neem oil, but I didn't get it since I have sensitive skin.
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Old 05-28-2022, 07:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

Neem is a good natural insecticide. It stops them breeding and feeding so they die off - changes their hormones. However I have no idea if it is safe around hamsters (it certainly wouldn’t be safe to eat). We used it to get rid of head lice and nits! When stepson was younger. We all got them - ugh. I remember at the time neem (shampoo) was safe for adults but not for children so wouldn’t risk it around hamsters anyway.

I hope Souffle comes along - she will know what to do (breeder). It seems to me that it’s a bit of a rock and a hard place, weighing up the risks. Red ants are bad.

There was a similar issue on here (linked below) and the owner moved Mum and babies to a new bin cage. Read to see how she did it. Some of the babies had lumps from red ant bites.
But 5 days is not very old - their eyes won’t be open yet. I think maybe try to keep the ants down as you have been doing until the hamsters are a bit older. The owner in the thread below, the hamsters were about two weeks old.

Baby hamsters and ants
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Old 05-28-2022, 10:10 PM   #5
Shina
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Neem is a good natural insecticide. It stops them breeding and feeding so they die off - changes their hormones. However I have no idea if it is safe around hamsters (it certainly wouldn’t be safe to eat). We used it to get rid of head lice and nits! When stepson was younger. We all got them - ugh. I remember at the time neem (shampoo) was safe for adults but not for children so wouldn’t risk it around hamsters anyway.

I hope Souffle comes along - she will know what to do (breeder). It seems to me that it’s a bit of a rock and a hard place, weighing up the risks. Red ants are bad.

There was a similar issue on here (linked below) and the owner moved Mum and babies to a new bin cage. Read to see how she did it. Some of the babies had lumps from red ant bites.
But 5 days is not very old - their eyes won’t be open yet. I think maybe try to keep the ants down as you have been doing until the hamsters are a bit older. The owner in the thread below, the hamsters were about two weeks old.

Baby hamsters and ants
I cleaned out most of the bedding sprayed on some wood vinegar, worry not I used tissues to rub on the old bedding to hold the babies, there's still some ants on the bars but that was fixed by squishing them, I rubbed some wood vinegar on top of cage bars, that was last night, today checked up on them this morn, the ants were back but reduced by a lot like just seeing one or two, Mom did not eat her babies. I guess I start on the wood vinegar rubbing again... Just put food in an hour ago.
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Old 05-29-2022, 01:07 AM   #6
Shina
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shina View Post
I cleaned out most of the bedding sprayed on some wood vinegar, worry not I used tissues to rub on the old bedding to hold the babies, there's still some ants on the bars but that was fixed by squishing them, I rubbed some wood vinegar on top of cage bars, that was last night, today checked up on them this morn, the ants were back but reduced by a lot like just seeing one or two, Mom did not eat her babies. I guess I start on the wood vinegar rubbing again... Just put food in an hour ago.
They're back with backup and revenge!!!! They've bitten my babies... No visible marks, but they have been scratching and bodies of the ants have been decapitated all around, I changed it again, I've cleaned out the whole bedding I'm not risking anything anymore, I've moved the cage to another part of the room on a piano bench. One of the babies is weak but I hope it will manage, the rest are still alright.
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Old 05-29-2022, 01:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

I am really sorry to hear about the ants. I really hope all the babies and mother pull through. You are doing everything you can for them.
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Old 05-29-2022, 03:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

I think you need to move them into another cage or a high storage box then soak and wash everything.

Could you create a barrier around the cage and spray it with wood vinegar to stop the ants from getting in?

I was thinking what i'd do in this situation and my course of action would be to house them in a bin cage with washable furnishings then place it on top of something in a bath tub or large tray and add water to drown the ants before they reach the cage. If they're flying ants or good swimmers this idea wouldn't work though.

The piano stool may work and you could spray the legs with something that kills the ants.
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Old 05-29-2022, 04:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

I agree. The risk of them getting infected bites now outweighs the risk of the Mother eating them. Get a bin for a bin cage and put new bedding in. Get a new bag of bedding in case the ants came from the bedding. Just put a cardboard box in for a house with a hole cut for a door (shoebox is ideal) and a clean food dish and lots of strips of torn up toilet paper. Rub your hands in the old bedding before moving the babies one at a time. I am not sure if you should move the babies first or the Mother first but around the same time.
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Old 05-29-2022, 04:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ants infested cage with hamster babies

Don’t use the same cage - it’ll take a huge amount of time to disinfect thoroughly.
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