How to Kill Rat Mites

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If your pet rat has been showing up with scabs or raw, bald patches, there is a chance that he might be dealing with mites. Mites are small parasites that can be introduced to your rats through bedding or through a new cage mate that is carrying them. If you have realized that your pets are suffering from these pests, you need to take action.

Things You'll Need

  • Spare cage
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Ivermectin paste
  • Plastic container with lid
  • Bread
  • Toothpick

Inspect your rat. It is important to verify for yourself that your rat has external parasites that need to be dealt with. Some owners believe their rats have parasites when in fact the culprit is a rat who is grooming his cage mates too roughly.

Move all of your rats to a spare cage.

Wash the regular cage with soap and water, scrubbing thoroughly. If there are any mites hiding in the bedding, this will take care of it.

Throw out all old bedding, soft toys, cloth hammocks or rope that might be in the cage. If it cannot be scrubbed down, it might be carrying mites.

Squeeze all the ivermectin from the tube into a plastic container.

Stir the ivermectin until it is uniform. It is essential to mix your ivermectin because this will help distribute the medication through the paste evenly.

Tear off a very small amount of bread, about the size of the head of a thumbtack or even a little smaller.

Use a toothpick to pick up a very small amount of ivermectin. The amount of ivermectin that you use should be equal in size to a grain of rice

Smear the ivermectin onto the bread.

Feed the bread to your rat.

Place the rat back into the cleaned regular cage.

Put the lid on your container of ivermectin. Ivermectin should be stored at room temperature, away from light, heat and moisture.

Repeat steps 2 through 12 again within a week and then one more time a week after that. After three applications of ivermectin, the mites should be gone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Throw away the unused bedding from the pack that you believe might have brought the mites in.
  • Ivermectin is actually a horse de-wormer, and can be found in most tack stores. It may be marketed under the name Zimecterin or Equimectrin.
  • Do not use this treatment on very young rats or on pregnant females. Instead, consult with your veterinarian.

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