Even the most well-intentioned hamster owners rarely think about the possibility of their pets becoming infested with fleas because they are strictly indoor animals.
If an animal spends its entire life in a cage, a ball, or at home, how could it possibly acquire a parasite from the environment?
If you want the truth, we’ve got the facts to back up our findings.
Although it’s unfortunate, flea infestations can occur in hamsters. In spite of the fact that you’ve taken great care of your pet, fleas can still infest your hamster’s home.
In the following section, you’ll find out why hamsters get fleas and how they can be prevented.
To help eliminate fleas and prevent flea infestations in the first place, we’ll also cover other important aspects of hamster health.
How can a hamster get fleas?
There are almost too many ways for fleas to use your hamster as a safe place or host to multiply quickly.
The most likely location for the hamster to get fleas is where he sleeps. Fleas like to live in the hamster’s bedding and only stick to him when he needs to drink his blood.
It is unlikely that the rodent will get close to other animals, which could cause fleas to start living on it.
Still, if you have other pets in your home, like cats or dogs, that already have fleas, the hamster is more likely to get them as well.
What does it mean when your hamster scratches a lot?
The constant scratching that occurs is a sure sign that your hamster has fleas. This may be followed by gnawing on their skin or ruthless rubbing against the cage’s sides.
These are all signs that your hamster is being bothered by something sinister.
Because your hamster is so small, fleas and their little black dirt-like droppings are easy to spot.
Mites, which are also found on hamsters, are tiny, black parasites that are difficult to see and can cause significant discomfort in your pets.
Mites live in the hair follicles of your hamster’s fur and can cause danger if left untreated.
Passed down from hamster to hamster, you should thoroughly inspect your new furry friend after purchasing it from the pet store.
If you notice your hamster scratching and washing more than usual, it is best to conduct your own investigation, as fleas can cause anemia or skin inflammation if left untreated.
In severe cases, undetected fleas can cause fur loss and painful allergic reactions.
How do you know if your hamster has fleas?
Most hamster fleas can be seen with the naked eye, but if you’re not sure and want to know for sure if your pet hamster has fleas, you can do a quick check yourself. It comes down to:
You can separate their fur with your fingers so you can see the roots and skin underneath. But if you have a hamster with long hair, this can be hard, so it’s best to use a comb.
Take a look at their bedding. If your hamster has fleas, they are probably hiding in the nest.
If you find a flea, you will know it, but if you want to be sure, you could drop a few drops of water on its back.
If it makes a red mark on a paper towel, you know this is a parasite that feeds on blood.
How do you get rid of fleas on a hamster?
Your pet store or vet should be able to tell you if your hamster has fleas and give you flea spray or other treatments that are made just for your hamster.
You should never try to use another pet spray instead because the chemicals are probably different and could hurt your hamster badly.
In addition to treating your pet hamster, you will need to thoroughly clean its cage, where most fleas and flea eggs will be hiding.
You will need to get rid of any toys or tunnels and get new ones since they could be places where they could live and breed.
Check the packaging and contents of the new substrate and bedding for parasites before you put them in the tank.
You should also treat the carpet and other common areas, as well as any other pets in the house, for fleas to get rid of them for good.
Are fleas in hamsters common?
Nope. If you don’t have another pet that goes outside, you probably won’t ever see a flea on your hamster.
Most hamster owners will never have to deal with fleas (yay! ), but it’s important to know that it’s possible.
If you see signs of fleas in your house, check your hamster right away and take action.
Fleas are almost impossible to avoid, and you can find them on other pets like dogs and cats.
What do hamster fleas look like?
Adult fleas are dark in color and around 2-3 mm in length.
Although they can be detected by the naked eye, you are more likely to spot “flea dirt” first.
These dark specks look like scattered pepper on the skin, although they are in fact flea feces – yuck!
Since hamsters don’t usually play with other pets and Syrians live alone, the only way a hamster could get fleas is from a person or by running around on floors that have fleas on them.
This is why it’s important to make sure that any other animals in your house or that come to visit don’t have fleas and that you wash your hands well after playing with them.