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 Fear of Rat Mites

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ClarkeReptiles
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PostSubject: Fear of Rat Mites   Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:21 am

The first time I ever started breeding rats, things were fine for several months. Then the mites came. I'm not sure if they came in on the bedding, or a new rat, or something else, but they took over my animal room fast. I was getting bitten and it was horrible. I culled all of my rodents and didn't breed rats for a long time. Then when I moved I brought all my tanks with me. I had cleaned them well with bleach and soap and didn't see any more mites.

Then I began breeding rats again and for a while didn't see any mites. Then all of the sudden I had an explosion of them. It was horrible. Again I was getting bitten and my rats were suffering and so again, I culled them all.

Now, at the moment, I do not have any rodents in the house other than the ones in the freezer. My snake racks and equipment were in the same room as my rodents when I had the mite problem but as of right now, there is not a mite in sight.

What I worry about is when I go to breed rats again in the future (won't be for a long time as we'd have to move to a bigger apartment/house in order to do that) I will get the same mite problem. With my snake racks being exposed to the rat mites, are they going to lay dormant and then explode again like last time or will it be safe to start over again and as long as I get my bedding and rats from good sources, I shouldn't have an issue.

Both times that I tried breeding rats and mice, I got my rodents from the same sources. Off the Ark Exotics store off Iron Bridge Road, Fin and Feather off Broad (no longer there). The bedding was wood pellet bedding (like for horse stalls) from Southern States. Food was Mazuri or Harlan Teklan.

Any thoughts, advice, suggestions? I really would like to breed rats and mice in the future when we get a house or larger apartment, but I'm terrified of getting mites again.
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Rat Mites   Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:02 am

Im not sure about laying dormant, but after reading your post and your bedding, it has me thinking.

I gave my parents a rat last year as a pet. Long story short, he ended up with aggression issues and didn't make a good pet. I told them I would take it in and make it a breeder. When I arrived, I realized they were on the same bedding you indicated, the same they used for the horses. I didn't take note of the rats condition and my dad put him in a box.

When I got home, I noticed the rat had been chewing at himself and was culled (I have yet to tell my parents :| ). I've never had experience with mites, but that was the first thing that came to mind. Luckily he wasn't introduced to any of my rats, but they are on lockdown regardless. It's been a week and a half and it still looks like all is well.

I'm not sure if it was the bedding, but depending on how it's packaged and were it is stored, I think it's pretty easy for wild rats to come into contact with it.

When I started breeding, I bought "pet quality" rats and started holding back. I bought a few breeders later on from other rat breeders, but since that incident and after reading your post, I am going to quarantine my rats like my snakes just to be safe.

Since you probably have so much stuff to clean, I would probably try that Nix shampoo stuff and wipe the floors and racks down. I think that stuff should kill eggs but not sure. I would also find a different rat provider just to be safe.
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Rat Mites   Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:04 am

BTW, I have used both of the foods you have mentioned and haven't had a mite problem. I would hope they are safe :/
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Rat Mites   Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:22 pm

Rat mites are mostly carried in by other rats. It is my understanding that rat mites can't live on mice and mouse mites can't live on rats and they have to have a food source to live. We used to treat our animals with Ivermectin (I think - I will check to make sure), but I think you can get it from farm supply stores. The best thing to do is quarantine new animals and give them at least a week on Ivermectin, then put them into your population. Don't use them for feeders for several weeks after treatments. This is what we do at work when recieving rodents from other facilities. I work with a vet and he tells me to not buy rats/mice from pet stores because inevitably they are probably infested. He checked the pet stores in Charlottesville and found that every pet store here had mites.

The only problem with feed that I have ever had are flour beetles. Once you get them they are hard to get rid of!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Rat Mites   Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:59 pm

Lokielani wrote:
The only problem with feed that I have ever had are flour beetles. Once you get them they are hard to get rid of!!!

Those are awful! I had them in my fish food and couldn't find where they were coming from for weeks :vomit:
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Lokielani
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Rat Mites   Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:58 pm

They came in my mouse, hamster and rabbit chows, I was pretty Evil or Very Mad when I found them.
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Rat Mites   Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:08 pm

Lokielani wrote:
They came in my mouse, hamster and rabbit chows, I was pretty Evil or Very Mad when I found them.
Thats pretty common, put it in the frezzer when you get it after a few day there dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Rat Mites   Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:30 pm

I'll definately try it! Thanks!
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ClarkeReptiles
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PostSubject: Re: Fear of Rat Mites   Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:43 am

The last time I tried breeding rats I was using Ivermectin (the kind used for cattle. Its blue and I diluted it down as instructed from a mouse breeder) and would spray constantly. It helped a little but I think I just had too large of an infestation. I mean, they got everywhere!

Next time I get rats/mice/asfs to breed, I'm going to stock up on Ivermectin (not too expensive. $15 for a bottle) and treat every breeder rat that comes into my home and QT every new rat.

Now you are not supposed to feed off rats that have been sprayed. I use rats when they are about 5-8 weeks old. How long should I wait to feed after spraying? And how often should I spray my breeders. Is it safe to spray babies?
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