Hamsters are usually considered indoor animals. As such, it would be somewhat rare for the hamsters to get infested with fleas. Having said that, hamsters are prone to flea infestations. Even if you keep them and their environment clean, they will get fleas. So, in this article, we have elaborated on how they get this infection and all the other important areas of which you need to be aware in this regard. After you finish reading this article, you will understand how to get rid of fleas and prevent flea infestations.
Table of Contents
What are fleas in the first place?
Fleas are more like tiny parasite creatures that tend to draw the blood of warm-blooded animals. If we consider the hamsters, they don’t get any specific kind of fleas. What they usually get are fleas from the cats and dogs. The fleas the hamsters get from the cats and dogs create so many issues for the hamsters. On the other hand, keep in mind that fleas don’t live on hamsters for a longer period of time. Instead, they would go in search of other surrounding areas with cats, dogs, birds, etc. You can commonly spot fleas in brown and black colors. In terms of size, they will be about 2 mm long.
Consider that if fleas find an appropriate place for them to survive, they can survive there for about two weeks to three months. Furthermore, female fleas can lay about 50–60 fleas per day as well. As such, they can even spread quite quickly. Fleas can lay their eggs on various surfaces. For example, they can do that on pets, rugs, carpets, or even any other soft furnishings in the home.
Can fleas live on hamsters?
Fleas can live on hamsters, but for a shorter period as they will go in search of other hosting areas.
How to tell if a hamster has fleas?
First and foremost, you must be on the lookout for the symptoms of a flea infestation. For example, if the hamsters have a flea infestation, you could see them scratching incessantly all over their bodies. This is the first signal they will send to alert you that something is wrong with them.
You could see the infested hamsters rubbing their bodies roughly on the cage bars. Once they keep doing this, it will lead to hair loss. Further, if you let the hamster do that for too long, it can even result in aggravation to its skin. Furthermore, you can even witness fleas with your naked eye.
Fleas are a larger set of creatures, and you can spot them with your naked eye without an issue. Fleas release their drooping, and you can refer to them as flea dirt as well. You could spot them as small black dots. On the other hand, fleas would tend to look like small black dots. Chances are that you could even spot them jumping as well.
How do I check my hamster for fleas?
One way of checking for fleas in hamsters is to use a torch and look at their skin closely. If you come across any large area where there is extra shedding that may have formed from scratch, your hamsters are likely suffering from fleas.
If you wish to ascertain whether your beloved hamsters are suffering from a flea infestation, you can simply part their fur and see the roots of the fur and the skin underneath it. You need to do this step if you have a Syrian hamster in particular. Unless it would be difficult for you to decide whether they have a flea infestation or not, Thereafter, you can have a look at their bedding. Their bedding will have fleas if the hamsters have them too.
Next, you can take a fine-toothed comb and comb the hamster’s body. After that, wipe it onto a fresh white paper towel and see whether you can spot any fleas or dirt on it. You may also add a couple of water drops so that you can see them more clearly. Fleas depend on warm-blooded animals’ blood. If there were any fleas present, you would notice some redness on the towel once wet.
Hamster flea treatment
Due to the low danger of exposure, pet hamsters are rarely afflicted with fleas; thus, whenever a hamster has fleas, you should make sure that your dog, cat, hedgehog, or bird is not the source of the infection.
A thorough flea treatment program for hamsters should involve a thorough de-fleaing of every member of the home, including dogs, cats, adults, kids, etc.
It can be challenging to get rid of fleas on a hamster because many of the current anti-flea drugs are harmful to hamsters in addition to being tiny (which increases the risk of overdosing). The most often used techniques for getting rid of hamster fleas include combing, selamectin, fipronil, diatomaceous earth, and these substances.
Home remedies for fleas on hamsters
If you are wondering how to get rid of the fleas on the hamsters with a home remedy, removing them manually would be the best. All you have to do is gently comb the hamster’s fur with the flea comb. When you do this, ensure that you run the comb from the fur roots up to the tips of them. After you’ve done this a few times, you can dip the comb into a soapy water tub and remove any dirt or fleas you find.
Thereafter, you can dry the comb and keep combing the hamster to see whether you can spot any other fleas. The purpose of this activity is to catch the fleas and then dispose of them in soapy water. Once you complete all these steps, you can let the soapy water freeze and then dispose of it. When you comb the hamsters, keep in mind that their skin is very delicate. So, ensure that you don’t let soapy water get in contact with the hamster’s skin. Make sure that you are using a dry comb for every brushing.
Before combing, you need to make sure that your hamsters are comfortable and that you handle them carefully too. I suggest you comb the hamsters during the day as they will be somewhat drowsy during that time.
Hamster flea spray
If you want to get rid of fleas by using a hamster flea spray, you could go ahead with that option as well. Hamster flea sprays are quite good for the hamster’s skin. All you need to do is gently brush the hamster’s fur and then spray some of this spray. Then a coat of spray would appear on the hamster’s skin. There are a plethora of de-cleaning treatments readily available in pet stores. However, ensure that you get medical assistance before you purchase any of these sprays for the hamsters.
You can use this spray once a month and apply the recommended doses for the hamsters. However, it is critically important that you choose the right treatment unless it would have a great negative impact on the overall health of the hamsters. Furthermore, it can cause allergic reactions as well as fur loss.
Can fleas kill hamsters?
One or two fleas will not kill the hamsters. However, a severe flea infestation can result in the hamsters’ death. Fleas are thoroughly dependent on blood. So, if the hamsters keep drawing blood from these tiny little creatures, it would be difficult for them to survive. They will not be able to fulfill the hunger for plenty of fleas. If you fail to remedy the flea infestation properly, chances are that hamsters may end up developing skin inflammation. When things get worse, it will even turn out to be lethal for the hamsters as well.
Can hamsters catch fleas?
Yes, hamsters can catch fleas, but the risk of them getting a flea attack is very low. Hamsters are solitary animals, and they will usually stick to their cages and live. Hamsters can catch fleas from other animals that are living in your household. For example, they can contract fleas from a dog or cat. Hamsters don’t need to have contact with these pets. Hamsters hanging around in areas where these pets were present before will contract fleas. It would be enough for the hamsters to catch the fleas. Further flea eggs can land on the hamster bedding, making them easily spread to the hamsters.
In addition to the aforesaid ways, hamsters can catch fleas from humans as well. Having said that, humans will get fleas from the animals, and when you stay closer to the hamsters, they will get the fleas from us. Human contact is one prime way for hamsters to catch fleas. Apart from the above ways, hamsters may also catch fleas from animals such as squirrels, ferrets, or even skunks. They will spread fleas among the hamsters.
How do I protect my hamster from fleas?
First, what you could do to protect the hamsters from catching fleas is to apply a flea treatment to all the animals you have at home. Ensure that you use the recommended doses so that you can keep the fleas at bay. Furthermore, you need to clean the hamster’s cage quite often too. Don’t forget to clean the hamster’s bedding and burrows as well. Fleas would find those spots very attractive for mating. Additionally, keep checking the hamster’s health regularly. Closely examine the hamster’s fur. Besides, don’t forget to look at their teeth and paws as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can dwarf hamsters get fleas?
All hamsters can catch fleas, and so can dwarf hamsters too. Fleas attack all hamsters, irrespective of the hamster’s breed. To further elaborate, Nosopsyllus fasciatus, a type of flea found on hamsters, is a big fan of attacking dwarf hamsters as well as Syrian hamsters and Siberian hamsters.
Can hamsters get fleas from dogs?
Yes, hamsters can catch a lot of fleas from dogs. Your beloved hamsters have no defensive mechanism to protect themselves from flea-infested dogs. Fleas would usually be present on the dog’s body, and they would end up spreading onto the hamsters when they were even walking around their cages.
Can hamsters get fleas from cats?
Yes, cats can also spread fleas to your hamsters. They are also yet another carrier of fleas. They can spread fleas to your hamsters quite quickly. As such, it is always best to keep the cats away from the hamsters.
Do hamsters fleas bite humans?
It is a yes to this question, as the fleas living on the hamsters can attack humans. They can even result in skin infections. Further, it would cause redness in the affected area, too.
To wrap up, hamsters can catch fleas just like other animals. It would be a common occurrence if you have other animals living in your household and if they had already contracted fleas. Having said that, it is very easy to eliminate this menace as well. What is important is to identify this well in advance and act swiftly to avoid further repercussions.
All you have to do is keep assessing the hamster’s skin regularly. If you come across any irritability or excessive scratching along with hair loss, you need to determine why the hamsters show those symptoms. So, if you ascertain that there are fleas present, you can consider applying the spray that we discussed above and securing your beloved pets from this menace.
Hello, my name is Michelle and I’m a pet lover. For the past 12 years, I’ve been caring for pets. As a result of this, I decided to share my personal experience with you.