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How Do I Check My Hamster For Mites?

Hamster mites are usually very small, so you probably won’t be able to see them on your hamster. However, you will be able to see the effects they are having on your pet’s skin. Your pet can be very itchy, and to you its skin will appear red, flaky and irritated. Your hamster may be scratching itself a lot, as well as rubbing its body on things around its cage to try to ease the itching. If your hamster has ear mites, then they’ll have a richly-coloured wax in their ears, and their skin will appear quite crusty.

Hamster mites are very small, but can cause a lot of discomfort

Although you’ll be able to see these physical symptoms, the only way to really be sure that your hamster has mites is to ask a vet to check. The expert will have to take a small scraping of flaked-off skin from your pet, and analyse it with specialist equipment. If you suspect your hamster has mites, then seek veterinary attention.

To minimise the risk that their pet contracts mites, some owners take the precaution of freezing the bedding material before putting it in their hamster’s cage. Putting the sealed bag of bedding in your freezer for forty-eight hours will kill any mites present, as well as their eggs. Just be sure to thoroughly defrost the material before you put it in your hamster’s enclosure, and make sure it’s not gotten wet - hamsters often nibble on their bedding and are susceptible to moulds on items they ingest.

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