Little black bugs all over my rat, help!

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Tooooonpie
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Little black bugs all over my rat, help!

Post by Tooooonpie » Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:41 am

I noticed my pet rat Nito was looking a bit unhappy, so picked him up for a little hug. Upon doing so I noticed my hand was covered in about 10-15 little black bugs just larger than pin pricks in size. As someone with an intense fear of small bigs I immediately put my little Nito back and wet wiped the hell out of my hand, but noticed one or two red marks where I'm guessing the little gits bit me.

Now my boy lives with his brother Gandalf and while they are both rather old now (2 years 6 months) Gandalf a few weeks ago lost a large amount of weight reletively fast. Took him to the vets, simply said it was old age and nothing could be done.

Righto, now for the questions!

What the hell are these bugs?How can I get rid?One or two bit me, should I be worried?I may have earlier in the day stroked Nito getting these bugs on my hand, and proceeded to walk around the house and spread them onto the sofa and carpet - Again, should I be worried?Do you think Gandalfs recent weight loss and now the appearance of these bugs are related?

Any help is greatly appreciated

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daffee
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Re: Little black bugs all over my rat, help!

Post by daffee » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:37 am

Normally I would say lice, but I have always understood them to be species specific, so I'm wondering if it could be fleas? For lice you can self-treat with ivermectin bought from a pet shop, but I'd probably pop them to the vets to get a proper diagnosis and ensure the right treatment.

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cyber ratty
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Re: Little black bugs all over my rat, help!

Post by cyber ratty » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:53 am

I'm pretty sure fleas would be much bigger than a pin prick, no idea what these could be.

If you can't get to a vet today, in this instance I would a) capture some and seal them in clingfilm so you can get them identified, b) contrary to normal advice, give the rats a good bath in the hope that the water will displace and hopefully kill most of the wee beasties (perhaps wear rubber gloves so they don't jump ship onto you) and put the rats into a completely fresh space (even if it's just a carrier), and blitz their cage and accessories, c) apply some ivermectin if you've got any. Then get to a vet asap.

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cyber ratty
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Re: Little black bugs all over my rat, help!

Post by cyber ratty » Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:06 am

Google has a few suggestions:

The tropical mite sounds possible:
the tropical mite Liponyssus bacoti (synonym: Ornithonyssus bacoti) is round in shape and appears dark when engorged with blood. They can survive on fomites (e.g, bedding, litter), and only stay on an animal when they are feeding. They are one of the species of mites that will also bite other animals including humans.
This article may help - in particular the comments at the end might contain useful tips (but may also horrify you!)
http://pestkill.org/insect/mites/rat-mite/

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Stovokor
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Re: Little black bugs all over my rat, help!

Post by Stovokor » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:01 pm

I wonder if they are the nicknamed 'Finacard bugs' that people used to get regularly in their bedding. They match that description....didn't harm the rats at all, but bit people, including myself!!!

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cyber ratty
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Re: Little black bugs all over my rat, help!

Post by cyber ratty » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:25 am

I've never seen anything like that in my finacard.

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Lissy_M
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Re: Little black bugs all over my rat, help!

Post by Lissy_M » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:11 pm

cyber ratty wrote:I'm pretty sure fleas would be much bigger than a pin prick, no idea what these could be.
Yeah, fleas are normally bigger than that! 1.5 - 3.3mm average. How odd!

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