Fleas are relatively large parasites that can be seen with the naked eye. To check your hamster for fleas, use two fingers to gently part its hair and have a look at the base of the hair shafts across its body. Do you see any fast-moving insects that can jump? If you do, it’s likely that your hamster has fleas.
Since fleas feed on blood, you can also analyse their droppings to identify them. Fleas will leave little black droppings that you can gently remove from your hamster’s coat. If you put these droppings on a white paper towel and add a few drops of water, they will turn red. This is because they are made of digested blood. If you’ve seen the fleas and analysed the droppings like this then you can be fairly sure that your hamster is suffering from these parasites.
Fleas are parasites that can cause a lot of discomfort for pets
Be aware that fleas can be passed very easily from pets to owners. Unless your hamster has been playing with others, it’s likely to have caught these pests from another pet in your house. To eradicate these parasites, you will need to treat all pets at the same time, but be careful - it’s dangerous to use one flea treatment on all pets without checking whether or not the treatment is safe for each individual animal. For example, flea treatments for dogs have ingredients in them that are very harmful for guinea pigs. Thoroughly check the label - if it doesn’t mention that it’s safe for other pets, then we don’t advise that you use it to treat the household. To be on the safe side, it might be best to purchase different flea treatments for each of your different pets.
In order to prevent another infestation, we recommend thoroughly cleaning out your hamster’s cage to remove all fleas and eggs. It may also be a good idea to give it a good scrub with some hamster cage disinfectant and treat your pet for fleas.