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Old 09-06-2021, 05:36 AM   #1
ShadowNinjaHamster
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Default I found those bugs in my hamsters cage. What are those?

Hello,
I'm a new hamster owner. I think it's a Russian dwarf hamster. I've had this hamster for two weeks not and I've been trying to figure out how to exactly take care of a hamster.
Today was the first day ever I deep cleaned his cage. I threw all of the old bedding away and everything. I usually kept the old bedding, because some Victoria from YouTube told that hamsters don't like it when you deep clean their cages etc, but today he woke me up by squeaking and he has never squeaked before. I checked on him and he was still sleeping and squeaking (I can post the video if anyone wants to tell me what it means), but I went to his food tray and I saw some bugs, so I quickly took a box, filled it with bedding and other stuff got the hamster out of the cage and cleaned everything with vinegar and water. While I was cleaning his house I saw one of the bugs on his house. Link below:
IMG-1795 — ImgBB

I already put the hamster back to it's cage and I've been trying to find more bugs, so I could take cleaner picture with higher quality, but I can't find any of the bugs.

The hamster has been scratching himself a lot and he already did that in the store, but I thought he was just grooming himself. Now I'm not sure…

Edit: Removed the photo.

Last edited by ShadowNinjaHamster; 09-06-2021 at 08:15 AM. Reason: The photo was too large.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:14 AM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: I found those bugs in my hamsters cage. What are those?

Hello. The photo needs resizing to fit the forum page - I couldn't see much - but I clicked on your link to see the photo and saw the bug. No idea what it is - but the most likely source is from the hamster food. It almost always comes from the food. Maybe some kind of grain weavil.

So you said you'd done a complete deep clean - was that after you found the bugs? What you need to do is bin the remaining food and buy a new bag. And freeze it for a week. During that week you can take the daily amount of food needed out while the bag is in the freezer (the food defrosts very quickly). Chances are the new bag will be absolutely fine (hence ok to take daily amounts out during the first week) but freezing for a week will kill any eggs that might hatch out later if it wasn't frozen.

After a moth outbreak from hamster food, I freeze all hamster food, including treats and chew sticks etc! Best way is to get two bags at a time, freeze them both for a week, then keep the contents in a lock and lock type storage container. Then when you start on the second bag, buy another bag to go in the freezer for a week.

Your hamster will almost certainly be stressed and upset by a full cage clean so it's not something you want to do normally, but in this case, you do need to.

So since you found the bugs you've done a full cage clean with vinegar and water? Just make sure you rinse everything well so the smell doesn't overpower the hamster. You'll also need to clean all the cage contents - the house, toys etc. And throw away all bedding, food and nesting. It's a huge upheaval for the hamster especially as new to you, so he'll probably need a good two weeks to settle into the cage again and during that time, no cleaning or moving things - and just talk to him and say sorry! But it was necessary. He'll get over it once he starts to get a routine and feel more confident.

Any plastic or ceramic items you can just wash with soapy fairy liquid water and rinse well. Smooth wood items you can just wipe with a damp cloth. Bark wood items are the tricky thing. They either need replacing or baking in the oven. I haven't had much success with baking wood items in the oven personally! Maybe I did it wrong but they smelled awful and I ended up having to replace them. One reason why I now use very few bark wood items and prefer smooth wood and ceramic or plastic items!

The bugs will be from the food - but they of course spread to substrate and toys etc.

Once you've done this they'll be gone - providing you don't keep using the same bag of food. If you could PM one of the moderators (Souffle or Amethyst) and ask them to resize your photo, then it will be easier to read as the photo has stretched your thread so it's hard to read! Don't worry - it takes time to get used to posting photos on here but you need to resize them to 600 pixels wide,
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: I found those bugs in my hamsters cage. What are those?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Hello. The photo needs resizing to fit the forum page - I couldn't see much - but I clicked on your link to see the photo and saw the bug. No idea what it is - but the most likely source is from the hamster food. It almost always comes from the food. Maybe some kind of grain weavil.

So you said you'd done a complete deep clean - was that after you found the bugs? What you need to do is bin the remaining food and buy a new bag. And freeze it for a week. During that week you can take the daily amount of food needed out while the bag is in the freezer (the food defrosts very quickly). Chances are the new bag will be absolutely fine (hence ok to take daily amounts out during the first week) but freezing for a week will kill any eggs that might hatch out later if it wasn't frozen.

After a moth outbreak from hamster food, I freeze all hamster food, including treats and chew sticks etc! Best way is to get two bags at a time, freeze them both for a week, then keep the contents in a lock and lock type storage container. Then when you start on the second bag, buy another bag to go in the freezer for a week.

Your hamster will almost certainly be stressed and upset by a full cage clean so it's not something you want to do normally, but in this case, you do need to.

So since you found the bugs you've done a full cage clean with vinegar and water? Just make sure you rinse everything well so the smell doesn't overpower the hamster. You'll also need to clean all the cage contents - the house, toys etc. And throw away all bedding, food and nesting. It's a huge upheaval for the hamster especially as new to you, so he'll probably need a good two weeks to settle into the cage again and during that time, no cleaning or moving things - and just talk to him and say sorry! But it was necessary. He'll get over it once he starts to get a routine and feel more confident.

Any plastic or ceramic items you can just wash with soapy fairy liquid water and rinse well. Smooth wood items you can just wipe with a damp cloth. Bark wood items are the tricky thing. They either need replacing or baking in the oven. I haven't had much success with baking wood items in the oven personally! Maybe I did it wrong but they smelled awful and I ended up having to replace them. One reason why I now use very few bark wood items and prefer smooth wood and ceramic or plastic items!

The bugs will be from the food - but they of course spread to substrate and toys etc.

Once you've done this they'll be gone - providing you don't keep using the same bag of food. If you could PM one of the moderators (Souffle or Amethyst) and ask them to resize your photo, then it will be easier to read as the photo has stretched your thread so it's hard to read! Don't worry - it takes time to get used to posting photos on here but you need to resize them to 600 pixels wide,
Hello,
thank you so much for your reply. I have removed the photo and only provided the link. I did not know it was going to be this big. I apologise.

Yes, I did the complete clean after I found the bugs near his food tray, but unfortunately I put the food back from the same package… I hope I wont have to clean it again.

Yes, I even sniffed the cage after I cleaned it with vinegar and rinsed it and it seemed to be fine.

I cannot touch him yet, because whenever I touch him he literally jumps, but he does take food from my hands (not today, of course). I bet he's a bit angry with me, but I hope he knows that I had to do it.

I really hope I didn't harm my hamster. I've only had cats before, but hamsters seem to be a bit more difficult and I can't forcefully touch him.

I hope he'll be alright. I feel like a bad hamster owner, but I hope I'm not the only one that has gone through this.

Thank you so much for your reply.
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Old 09-08-2021, 07:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: I found those bugs in my hamsters cage. What are those?

Don't worry We all have to get the hang of photo resizing! It's a pain!

I just read your other thread about your hamster sleeping strangely. After the cage clean. So yes it's probably been a big upheaval for him but necessary. If you can get a new bag of food I'd take out any food you've put back in (including his hoard) and replace it with the new food (replace the hoard with new food as well). Hopefully it'll be ok and you won't get any more bugs.

He'll need a couple of weeks to settle again now probably, without too much disturbance. But he'll soon come round and feel happier after that. Just make sure he has plenty of substrate and plenty of nesting material. They love that. They like moving it around and rearranging it Look into paper based bedding as well. It's better than wood shavings and doesn't have to cost more either.
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