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Old 07-30-2021, 01:33 PM   #1
Poekie
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Default Bugs. Bugs everywhere. Help

I have 2 hamsters. One of the cages has been filled with tiny grain beetles for a while now (I was working on getting a new cage). The other cage has just started gathering beetles too. The plan for now is to finish the new cage and then empty out both cages fully and remove anything that could have beetles in it. Then I'll have to refill both cages and just hope that they won't show up again. I'm terrified of them not leaving. They're not doing any harm to the hamsters themselves, but they do likely eat some of their food. What do I do if this doesn't get rid of the bugs?
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Old 07-30-2021, 04:33 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Bugs. Bugs everywhere. Help

I think I would do a full cage clean now. Do you have somewhere you can put the hamsters while doing it? A pet carrier each? I used to put our hamster in his pet carrier and put it in the bedroom (quiet and away from his cage) with a blanket over the top. Or one pet carrier and one in a plastic bin with substrate.

Throw away all the substrate. Wash any cage items with soapy water (or clean with white vinegar - that should kill the bugs as well as wash them away). Or hamster safe pet disinfectant (which should get rid of them too).

Any wood things you'll need to either bake or discard.

Get the cages sorted and the bugs gone before finishing/buying a new cage.

Do you know where they might have come from? It's usually from food or bedding. So freeze any hamster food for a week - ideally bin it and buy two new bags and freeze those before use (taking the daily amount out while they're in the freezer).

I'd also buy a new bag of bedding.
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:23 AM   #3
Poekie
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Default Re: Bugs. Bugs everywhere. Help

The new cage will be finished today, and this one doesnt have open sides so the bugs can't fly in. The current cage also has a lot of nooks and crannies that they are likely hiding in. Bedding for both cages is on the way and I will wash all items in the cage.
They both have their own carriers, so the cage cleans can happen at the same time.
I think the bugs came with some sprays I ordered, ehich is strange as I always freeze the boxes before opening them, but it only takes 2 to survive to make way too many more.
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bugs. Bugs everywhere. Help

Horrible isn’t it. Don’t worry they’ll soon be gone. The only thing that slightly concerns me is a cage change is a stressful thing for a hamster and it’s usually recommended to move everything over without cleaning so they settle quicker. As you can’t do that then do try to
Keep the layout the same as before so that is less disorientating for them. Eg house right hand side, wheel back left- other items placed as before. So their “route” is the same. And it could take 10 days or more for then to fully settle so no cleaning for the first two weeks after moving (apart from emptying a litter tray or spot cleaning the pee once or twice a week.

I’d also suggest letting the hammy explore the new cage the day before moving them over as that can really help them settle quicker. They’ve already scent marked a bit and familiarised. So just with some new substrate and any new items you’re adding so they can just have a bit of an explore. Then back to the old cage overnight then move later the next day after you’ve cleaned items to move over
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Old 07-31-2021, 06:26 AM   #5
Poekie
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Default Re: Bugs. Bugs everywhere. Help

Her big hide, wheel and sand bath are smooth and have no place for bugs to hide, so I won't clean those so they'll smell like her. I'll try to make sure as many things will have at least a bit of scent on them as I can. Most things she has are made of wood, so not everything will be able to escape the washing. I also have some older bedding that smells like her that was in a sealed bin so there won't be bugs in there, while giving her some of her smell.

Sadly I can't fill up the new cage before the old one is empty, as it has te be moved where the old one is, and both of them are too heavy to lift while filled. Also some bugs may try to get into the new cage if it has items and bedding in it. I'll do whatever I can to keep her from being too stressed!
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:07 AM   #6
Poekie
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Default Re: Bugs. Bugs everywhere. Help

Small update: the cleanouts and move are done now, and I haven't seen any bugs for the past few hours. The girls seem to be settling in well, just a bit annoyed they had to be in their carriers for so long (it took a good few hours to clean everything). Hopefully they won't return!
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bugs. Bugs everywhere. Help

Fingers crossed
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