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Old 09-20-2021, 05:05 AM   #21
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

So do make sure the new bag of food has been in the freezer for a week! If it hasn’t been a week yet, just take some out of the bag that’s in the freezer and leave the rest of the bag for a week. Usually fine after a day or two from a new bag but a week makes sure.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:28 AM   #22
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

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Do you mean you found one after the cage clean or before? I donít think he has fleas- itís normal to scratch and groom fairly regularly and youíd know about it if he had fleas. I am sure these bugs have hatched out from the food. Unless, possibly, you have plants nearby that have bugs on them.

Donít worry. Yes it may set things back after another cage clean but heíll come round again. Explain to him. The more you talk to him, the more they bond with you and I swear they listen sometimes! Heíll pick up from your tone of voice. So just tell him youíre really sorry for more upheaval again but the nasty bugs havenít gone and this time itíll get sorted snd heíll soon get back to normal. Then give him a couple of days alone for a day or two after the clean - unless he shows signs of wanting to chat or come out.

The playpen behaviour is fairly normal when heís not tame yet. Heís do the same in the bath tub (try snd climb the sides). Their instinct is to get out! It can help if you have a couple of hidey places and a tunnel in the playpen - and I also scatter some treats or food around - that can distract them. And a chew stick.

The climbing at the sides is also a bit of anxiety about his cage probably - if itís been cleaned out recently and he can head cage noises. So just keep talking to him. Heíll soon settle again.

No donít wait till xth October. While the bugs wonít harm your hamster, they will keep proliferating and it could then be harder to get rid - they may have lays eggs etc.

So do a full cage clean now. Make sure you get the cleaning stuff into all the crevices in the base and give the bars a good clean too (to wash off any possible eggs which wonít be visible). Using white vinegar is probably fine as that will kill any bugs or eggs (or cause then to die off). But do rinse really well afterwards so it doesnít smell too strong of vinegar.

Once this is done then by the time the new cage comes he will be settled snd have familiar smells in the cage so donít clean anything again until the new cage comes (except maybe a tiny bit of spot cleaning wee if itís smelly and you actually know where heís weeíd.). But donít do anything for two weeks now - even if it gets a bit whiffs. If you have enough substrate in (at least 4Ē deep) itíll be fine.

When he comes to moving to the new cage you can just move everything over without cleaning anything so he settles quickly.

Which cage did you go for?

The only kind of bugs that could be harmful to him are red spider mites and they donít look like that (they do come from plants I believe). I am sure itís from the food though as itís the only thing that wasnít eliminated last time and a usual source of bugs hatching out).
Hello,
yes, there are new bugs every day. I used new bedding, new food and I'm pretty sure they were in the fridge for about a week. I don't have any plants. I tried to take pictures of the bug but later when I looked at the pictures those were pretty bad quality. They're very small and I haven't seen them anywhere else.

I've noticed that the hamster is normally in the playpen, eating food and going to his hiding places and digging, but as soon as I get close to him he wants to get
out. He even slept in his nest.
I cleaned the cage with white vinegar and with water and there was nothing in it.


I'm going to have to go to the vet to figure out if the bugs are on him. I cannot really touch him, because he runs away, but I can at least pet him and he won't get startled anymore.

I killed the bug I saw in his house today too. I'm guessing I'll have to go to the vet as soon as I can. Shame that most of them are opened when I'm at work and closed when I'm not at work.

The bugs are annoying my hamster too, because at one point he'll start making weird noises. He often scratches himself ever since I brought him home. He already scratched himself at the store and my friend told me to take a different hamster, but he looked cuter.

I guess vet is the only way now. I hope the bugs won't harm him. He has been friendly otherwise and he hasn't attacked me nor bitten me.


This was the bug I found and killed today. I don't think it's a flea and I think if he had fleas I'd have fleas too.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:46 AM   #23
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

Looks like grain beetles or biscuit beetles. These bugs can't live on your hamster - if they were living on your hamster he'd be crawling with them and that just doesn't happen. Sadly they will be from the food.

If it's a new bag of food then maybe get it from somewhere else next time - it may be very old stock or stored in bad conditions. To kill any bugs or bug eggs in pet food that may hatch out, the food needs to be frozen (not put in the fridge - that won't work). Must be in the freezer. If you get a new big from a different place it may be fine anyway without freezing. But I always freeze hamster food for a week now anyway to prevent such things!

So you've done another full cage clean. No more bugs since? Or just this one? I think it's really important to get on top of the food situation so he doesn't need to have any more full cage cleans.

I can't see any point taking your hamster to the vet as they'll just say clean the cage and replace the food. The bugs aren't from your hamster. I know it makes you creep thinking about it!

The reason they will be near him is because he is warm and sits on his hoard! Or the room is warm and the bugs are hatching out in the food and then crawling elsewhere.

So get another new bag of food. Not sure which food you're using but Harry Hamster is a safe bet and contains everything needed. Remove any food left in the cage (ie his hoard) and put new food there to replace the hoard. And new food in his bowl, then put the bag of food in the freezer (if you have a freezer) or the freezer compartment of the fridge? You can take some out each day to put in his food bowl. (Leave an hour for it to defrost before putting it in the bowl). But leave the bag in the freezer for a week. After that it will be fine.

It's always the food Unless you can see these bugs anywhere else in your house - but if there are bugs in the pet cage, it's the food!

Hope you've got on top of it now after this recent clean. The rest is time and patience with your hamster as he gets to know you. He'll still be a bit scared and skitty.

This includes all food in my book - including treat sticks! The only thing I don't freeze is sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds I buy as treats as I get human grade ones. But any hamster treats, snacks, treat sticks, food - freeze it. To prevent bugs! It is very very common with all pet foods.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:34 PM   #24
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

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Looks like grain beetles or biscuit beetles. These bugs can't live on your hamster - if they were living on your hamster he'd be crawling with them and that just doesn't happen. Sadly they will be from the food.

If it's a new bag of food then maybe get it from somewhere else next time - it may be very old stock or stored in bad conditions. To kill any bugs or bug eggs in pet food that may hatch out, the food needs to be frozen (not put in the fridge - that won't work). Must be in the freezer. If you get a new big from a different place it may be fine anyway without freezing. But I always freeze hamster food for a week now anyway to prevent such things!

So you've done another full cage clean. No more bugs since? Or just this one? I think it's really important to get on top of the food situation so he doesn't need to have any more full cage cleans.

I can't see any point taking your hamster to the vet as they'll just say clean the cage and replace the food. The bugs aren't from your hamster. I know it makes you creep thinking about it!

The reason they will be near him is because he is warm and sits on his hoard! Or the room is warm and the bugs are hatching out in the food and then crawling elsewhere.

So get another new bag of food. Not sure which food you're using but Harry Hamster is a safe bet and contains everything needed. Remove any food left in the cage (ie his hoard) and put new food there to replace the hoard. And new food in his bowl, then put the bag of food in the freezer (if you have a freezer) or the freezer compartment of the fridge? You can take some out each day to put in his food bowl. (Leave an hour for it to defrost before putting it in the bowl). But leave the bag in the freezer for a week. After that it will be fine.

It's always the food Unless you can see these bugs anywhere else in your house - but if there are bugs in the pet cage, it's the food!

Hope you've got on top of it now after this recent clean. The rest is time and patience with your hamster as he gets to know you. He'll still be a bit scared and skitty.

This includes all food in my book - including treat sticks! The only thing I don't freeze is sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds I buy as treats as I get human grade ones. But any hamster treats, snacks, treat sticks, food - freeze it. To prevent bugs! It is very very common with all pet foods.
But how are they from the food if I froze the food for about a week? There were bugs again. I took pictures, but it's incredibly difficult since those bugs are 1-3mm. I brought my hamster to Playpen while his house is drying.




https://youtu.be/eR1LwHdkr7g

I've done full clean several times and after I'm done cleaning there are no more bugs, but by tomorrow there would be a bug and by the next day there would be several bugs. I don't want to mess up his nest now, so I just washed the house, but I am worried as in what those might be and if they're harmful for my hamster. I even spent money on insect identification app and it said these are bed bugs, however I have no bites on me and my sheets are clean and I haven't seen these bugs anywhere else but at my hamster's cage.

How can I find out if there are bugs in my house? (Kind of a stupid question. I guess if they were everywhere I would've already noticed).

I haven't touched my hamsters stomach, so I can't see what's in there, but I do see him scratching himself even now and a lot. He's inside his little nest, so I can't clearly see what he's scratching, but he does do that a lot, but then again it might be part of regular grooming or maybe stress. I don't think cage cleaning is fun for either one of us.

I'd be even relieved if I found these bugs anywhere else in my house, because right now I don't understand what are those and where do they come from.

I don't want to do full cage cleaning now.:/ Should I replace his wooden house with this tiny little plastic house that was included with the cage to see if the problem persists?

Thank you so much for your advice. It means a lot to me and I do feel like an awful hamster owner.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:48 PM   #25
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

You could try the plastic house instead. Itís possible eggs were laid in crevices in wood items and theyíre hatching out. When doing a full cage clean for things like this it usually means disinfecting wood items as well by baking them (or replacing them).

If your app says theyíre bed bugs I guess thatís possible. Maybe they can live in carpets. But you said you havenít seen them anywhere else. They donít look like bed bugs though - if you Google bed bugs. But they do look like biscuit or grain weevils
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Old 09-22-2021, 01:04 PM   #26
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

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You could try the plastic house instead. Itís possible eggs were laid in crevices in wood items and theyíre hatching out. When doing a full cage clean for things like this it usually means disinfecting wood items as well by baking them (or replacing them).

If your app says theyíre bed bugs I guess thatís possible. Maybe they can live in carpets. But you said you havenít seen them anywhere else. They donít look like bed bugs though - if you Google bed bugs. But they do look like biscuit or grain weevils
I have never seen a bed bug in my life, but my body is clean and I haven't seen any of them. Why would they bully my hamster?
Are biscuit / grain weevils harmful for hamsters? I guess I should look around for a new house, because the plastic house is too little.
My hamster was rubbing his paws together like mr.burns and I was worried what it means and Google says that it means they're happy and feel secure with you. He does eat from my hand and I can touch him. Before I couldn't even touch him, because he startled a lot. I remember when I first touched him with the tip of my finger and he literally did a backflip. He only stays still on my hand while eating and sometimes tries to climb my arms. But to be fair, the plastic house that came with the cage is completely transparent and I could see the bugs. I hate putting my hamster through so much stress.
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Old 09-22-2021, 02:50 PM   #27
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

It sounds like taming and familiarisation is going well. You can make a house from a cardboard shoebox . Just cut the base out, keep the lid for a lift off roof and cut a hole for a door. If it’s too big then a tissue box. Yes the bugs must be driving you crazy. They won’t do your hamster any harm - he might even see them as a tasty snack. Grooming is normal - they groom a lot.

I can only think it’s the food or something got missed during the cage clean and eggs hatched out. Yes try changing the house. Squish any bugs you see and maybe that will be the last of them.
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Old 09-23-2021, 12:34 PM   #28
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

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It sounds like taming and familiarisation is going well. You can make a house from a cardboard shoebox . Just cut the base out, keep the lid for a lift off roof and cut a hole for a door. If itís too big then a tissue box. Yes the bugs must be driving you crazy. They wonít do your hamster any harm - he might even see them as a tasty snack. Grooming is normal - they groom a lot.

I can only think itís the food or something got missed during the cage clean and eggs hatched out. Yes try changing the house. Squish any bugs you see and maybe that will be the last of them.
Yeah, I guess I'll have to do something on my own during the weekend, because the plastic house thing isn't going to work out right now.
IMG 2134 - YouTube. It came with the cage and it's visibly too small for him. Also, I've been worried about his weight. Some say he's not fat, but just furry, but he was already big at the store, so I hope he's normal. I do give him 1 teaspoon per day and once I didn't give him food at all, yet he was still eating. Maybe feeding him over day is the best, because he's already a picky eater.

There were bugs again in his house. I couldn't see bugs in his nest, but I wasn't going to destroy it either.
I hope he's fine and healthy. He's my first hamster and I don't even know if he's using the wheel. All I see him doing is pretty much sleeping and eating and yesterday he was doing some hamster stuff and I wanted to see what he's doing and I turned the light on and he immediately went back to his house. So I just pray to god that he's healthy and everything's fine.

He still doesn't want to be on my hand unless I have food, but that's rather normal, because I've failed to tame him considering how much I've put him through.

I couldn't find nor see any bugs on him, but he won't let me touch him without running away, so I am not 100% sure.

Hamsters don't live very long, so I think I overworry too much, meaning that most of the time I think about him and look at him I'm trying to find out if he has health issues or if something is wrong. I should instead enjoy our time together. I'm sure I'd notice if there was something wrong with him, right? At least you told me you were worried about your first hamster as well and probably there are many others like me.
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:48 PM   #29
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

Oh our first one I was a very anxious first Mother lol - slightest little thing. I think it’s fairly normal. But he sounds absolutely fine. Please don’t worry about over feeding him. They just take what they need. It’s rare to see an overweight hamster and they are ones who often live in tiny cages with very little exercise and fed too many sunflower seeds as treats.

A teaspoonful isn’t very much. A dessert spoonful a day is about right. He won’t eat much of it and most of the food they take gets hoarded - then they snack from the hoard. They are funny in that they usually won’t take “old food” that’s left in the bowl. So it means putting fresh out each day. I usually top the bowl up for a day or two then Chuck anything left and start again. Seems a waste of food but it’s not that expensive and a bag tends to last a long time.

This bug situation must be driving you bonkers. As you only seem to find them on the house I’d swap the house out. Tissue box will be fine . Easily replaced as well.

Taming is time and patience and it sounds like it’s going fine. I sometimes think they don’t get fully tame till they’re almost a year old when they become more mature and confident and laid back.
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Old 09-26-2021, 07:37 PM   #30
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Default Re: I think my hamster has some health issues? I want to confirm

There was only 1 photo that was clear enough to see the body sections and id also hazard a guess they are biscuit beetles. They are brown reddish which would account for when you saw red when you squished and attracted to dry food, dark and warm areas.

As said, id get totally new bag of food, do full cage clean and get rid of the wooden items. A cardboard box with holes is fine for a house.

Id also thoroughly hoover the room he is in and do it several times a week.

They shouldn't be harmful to either of you
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