Guinea pigs are very clean and neat, but sometimes we notice that they are constantly scratching. You must be wondering why they itch so much. Do guinea pigs have fleas?
Can guinea pigs get fleas?
Yes, when guinea pigs keep scratching, then they have fleas. Guinea pigs usually get fleas from other animals such as dogs and cats. By cleaning the cage, and the home and bathing the guinea pigs, you will destroy the fleas.
In today’s article, we will find out why guinea pigs get fleas, how to prevent the appearance of fleas, how dangerous fleas are for the health of guinea pigs, and other related questions on this topic.
Can guinea pigs get fleas?
Yes, guinea pigs can get fleas, although fleas are rare. Fleas rarely appear in guinea pigs because they prefer dogs, cats, and other animals.
Fleas are insects that feed on the blood of mammals, they jump up to 13 inches and are very light.
Also, fleas need blood from the animal in order to reproduce.
Fleas do not like guinea pigs very much, they look for animals that are more suitable for them to survive and reproduce.
How do guinea pigs get fleas?
Guinea pigs can get fleas in several ways, from other animals, dirt from the garden, and even from people.
Let’s take a closer look at these three ways guinea pigs can get fleas.
Fleas rarely appear on humans, but they can still happen because they jump.
They can easily get into our clothes and then when we come to the guinea pig they can jump on it too.
Dirt from the garden
Garden trash such as leaves can cause fleas to be transmitted to guinea pigs.
Whether the guinea pig is in the yard to play or they get the fleas from someone else who has been outside, they will eventually end up on the guinea pig’s fur.
It is enough for them to end up on the carpet in the room through the dirt and then wait for the guinea pig when he passes by to jump on it.
Other animals such as cats and dogs can be carriers of fleas that will attach to guinea pigs.
Since fleas jump, they can easily move to a guinea pig if an animal has been near it.
However, no matter how careful we are, fleas will once manage to end up with our furry friends.
What are the symptoms of fleas in guinea pigs?
There are several symptoms by which you will notice that your guinea pig has fleas.
Here are some of them:
- redness of the skin
- loss of appetite
- too much scratching
- baldness in certain areas of the fur
- dark spots on the fur are a sign of fleas
If you notice dark spots on your guinea pig’s fur that look like dirt, they are actually spots of dried flea blood.
You can check that very easily if you take some dirt from fleas and rub it on a wet cloth, you will notice that a red color appears, or dried blood.
It is a sign that the guinea pig has fleas.
Do guinea pigs attract fleas?
No, guinea pigs do not attract fleas, but due to the environment around guinea pigs, they can get fleas.
A big problem is that fleas are suited to the same living environment as guinea pigs:
- a dark room
The environment itself does its thing and guinea pigs can therefore get fleas.
How to prevent guinea pigs from getting fleas?
It is better to prevent the appearance of fleas than to have to clean and disinfect everything in the cage and home afterward.
Here are some tips to prevent fleas in guinea pigs.
Regular cleaning of the cage
The guinea pig’s cage should always be clean and dry.
Clean the cage every other day and deep clean once a week.
With these procedures, you can be sure that there will be no fleas in the guinea pigs.
Cleaning the home with a vacuum cleaner
Using a vacuum cleaner is an excellent solution against fleas.
The vacuum cleaner will pick up all the fleas, flea eggs, and whatever is left of them.
Vacuuming once or twice a week is great for maintaining home hygiene and flea protection.
When cleaning with a vacuum cleaner, you can also put baking soda or salt on the carpet for two days to better destroy the fleas, and then clean up with the vacuum cleaner.
Watch out for other pets
Other pets such as dogs and cats are the most common carriers and transmitters of fleas in guinea pigs.
So away from the guinea pig so the fleas don’t jump on them.
Even if they do not have close contact with other pets, guinea pigs can still get fleas if there are fleas on the carpet in the room where other pets have been.
Certain plants can help protect guinea pigs from fleas.
Lavender and peppermint are great choices, and their scent and ingredients will deter fleas from entering your home and attaching themselves to guinea pigs.
These plants may not do the job completely, but they will certainly help keep fleas down.
How to clean fleas from guinea pigs?
As we said, fleas rarely appear in guinea pigs, but you don’t need to worry because there are many ways to clean fleas from your pet.
Here are a few that will help you get rid of fleas in guinea pigs more easily.
Cleaning the cage
Get some warm water and soap and start cleaning the cage.
Clean all objects, toys, and other parts in the cage. Anywhere there is dirt or any flea residue.
Also, use a 50-50 vinegar and water disinfectant solution and wipe down the cage.
Using a flea comb
Using a flea trap is a very effective way to remove fleas from guinea pigs.
Just dip the comb in water and comb your pets to remove fleas.
Do this daily several times a day and you will solve the guinea pig flea problem.
Bathing the guinea pigs
Bathe the guinea pigs with a shampoo designed for guinea pigs and warm water to bathe your pets.
Of course, make sure the guinea pigs don’t fall into your water and get hurt. At the end of the bath, comb the guinea pig’s hair with a special flea comb.
If one of the guinea pigs has fleas and the others do not bathe them all just in case.
Cleaning the home
Cleaning the guinea pig’s cage doesn’t mean the flea job is done.
You will have to clean the entire home, carpets, blankets, and anything that can be a place where fleas can settle.
It’s really a bit of a hassle, but if you want to kill fleas, everything must be cleaned properly.
Can fleas kill guinea pigs?
Fleas cannot directly kill guinea pigs, but the consequences and diseases that can be a consequence of fleas can threaten the life of the guinea pig.
Guinea pigs biting and scratching themselves to remove fleas can create sores on their skin and risk infection.
Another dangerous thing that can threaten the life of guinea pigs is anemia, i.e. the loss of red blood cells in their blood.
This can happen if the fleas are too numerous and they can use the blood of the guinea pigs, and our pets can get weakened blood or anemia.
If guinea pigs ingest the fleas it can be dangerous as they can transmit diseases such as myxomatosis which is deadly to all pets.
Can guinea pigs get fleas from hay?
Yes, guinea pigs can get fleas through the hay.
Hay is actually a great environment for fleas because they can lie there until they find a new environment or settle in with guinea pigs.
If the hay is not stored properly and starts to get wet then the chances are high that it will attract fleas.
That’s why you need to keep the hay well and give the guinea pigs fresh hay, so there are the least chances of them getting fleas.
Read more: Guide For Newborn Baby Guinea Pigs