My experience with mites - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 01-07-2006, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 366

Mites... my first thoughts is.. headache and a half, also can be a never ending nightmare.

When I was breeding gerbils a few years ago, at first I did not know what mites looked like or the precautions to take when having them, so they spread throughout my house and to all my pets very quickly, and once this happens the problem is very difficult to deal with.

After dealing w/this problem for many many months and dealing with different methods, I contacted a breeder friend of mine to help me out. And to this day I use this method and for me it works.

First off, I clean my gerbil tank every 2-3 weeks, and always clean there tank as if they did have mites, even if I don't see any I clean there tank in a way to prevent them from ever comming back.

I begin with filling my bath tub with scalding hot water and about a cup of bleach and I spray mite spray into the bath tub. I usually strip down to my underware, because if there are mites I don't want them getting into my clothes and when I am taking a break sitting down somewhere and the mites spreading to my furniture and other places. I then take out all the toys and water bottle out of the tank and spray them down with the mite spray, I also take out the tank cover and do the same to it, and I let each item soak for about 5-10 minutes. In between spraying and putting these items in the bath tub I rinse my arms and hands in the bathtub just in case there should be any mites on me, this will kill them right away, and I dry my hands and arms off with a towel (I basically do this everytime after my hands and arms come in contact with the tank, and before I continue on to the next step). Also at the same time I take a pet carrier and soak it in the bath tub for about a minute or two, then I take it out and shake it a few times to get rid of any excess bleach inside it, I then from a distance (about 12-18 inches away) spray a heavy coat of mite spray on and in it.

I then put my gebils in it for about 10-15 minutes, so then can walk around in it and if there are any mites on them this will kill them. If I do see any mites before this process, when the gerbils are in the carrier, I close the lid and from a distance again (12- 18 inches away) I spray until it looks like there bodies are evenly wet with the spray. but if I don't see mites I usually skip this step. The reason I do this, is because I don't like spraying it directly on them, because in my experience it can harm them, and from my experience this method is much safer for me.

I then put a garbage bag inside the tank (I do this so no litter can accidently spill onto my rug) and I scoop up piles of litter at a time and put it in the garbage bag, I make sure the tank is atleast 99% empty of litter and food. I then go to the bathtub and soak my arms and hands again just in case there is any mites on me, then I grab a new fresh garbage bag and take the other bag out of the tank and put it inside the new bag (there for the outside bag has not been inside the tank and less likely to have mites on it), and then I tie it securly and tightly and spray the whole bag with mite spray. I then go rinse my arms and hands again. Throw a bathrobe on and put the bag outside my door, and later when I am dressed I put it in the trash (therefor it is no longer in my house and no mites can spread through out my house). I then wash my hands and arms again in the bathtub and take out all the accesories, water bottle and tank lid to a near by towel layed out on the floor(preferably several feet away from the tank) and let them air dry.

I then take the tank and put it on my bath tub ledge and heavly and evenly spray the mite spray everywhere and every inch on it. When I am done doing this I then put it in the bath tub and I work my hands in the tank where it is dirty and I flip it around in the bath tub spraying other areas of it. I then let it soak for about 10 minutes. I then spray the bath tub ledge where the tank layed momments ago to kill any possible mites.

I then spray the area where the tank was with mite spray (and flea powder If I saw any mites during the cleaning process) and I vacuum the area up really well.

I then take the tank out of the bath tub and towel dry it, and then I lightly (very lightly) spray the tank from a distance, then I put some carefresh in and lightly spray that from a distance (just in case any of the mites live then will die shortly after entering the tank). I then put the furniture and accessories, water bottle etc back in the tank, then put the gerbils themselves back in the tank. I then take the pet carrier and spray it one last time and have it soak in the bath tub for a few minutes, then I drain and clean the bath tub.

If you wear clothes during the process, I would suggest washing your cloathes right away and taking a hot shower and washing yourself with head and shoulders, because these mites can bite you and it can be very itchy.

I have been doing this method for my gerbils (and I have done this before) since this past june when they got mites again, and since then I haven't seen any mites.

I also want to add, do not use this method for dwarf hamsters, because they are too small and injesting this mite spray can be poisoness for them. I did this with my dwarf hamsters 2 years ago and they got very sick. I have had no problems though with my syrian and gerbils with this method.
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