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msktty89

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Sep 16 09 5:17 PM

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I noticed Pete itching the past couple days, but couldn't see anything in his fur and thought it was the changing weather. I picked up Norman today and saw little brown bettle-bugs crawling (two or three) on him!! Pete probably has them on him, too, but it's harder to see in the sable fur than the white.

I looked online and they are not fleas or ticks or bed bugs (they are fast, no jumping, more long/skinny/oval than round). I can't figure out what they are or where they came from... Did Pete bring them in from outside? Where they in this house and finally crawled onto the ferrets? Did I track them in?

Other than a few scratching fits, I haven't noticed any changes, but I want to know what these are and how to get rid of them! I tried to grab them when I saw them, but they were too fast and kept crawling away.

I haven't noticed them on the other animals (which all have or have had flea/tick treatment which maybe repels whatever these are?).

I'm worried for the ferts and really hope to get some answers as to how I get rid of them! I just cleaned their room again today, including vacuuming, so I am so confused... I go in there a couple times a week to just vacuum and once a week I do more (like today, cleaned spots on carpet, washed dishes, etc).
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spiritualtramp

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#1 [url]

Sep 16 09 5:32 PM

Sounds more like fleas than anything, if you ask me. I've actually never seen a flea jump (though supposedly they do!) but run super fast through the ferret's fur, weaving in and out. They are skinny, thin, and quick! And it makes sense that the other pets don't have them since they have been treated. I'd give the ferrets all a quick bath (fleas drown easily) with or without soap and see if you can find a fine-toothed comb to comb through while they are in the tub, this should catch all the buggies. Then you can go around vacuuming/washing bedding/etc while the ferrets dry off.

A pain, I know, but at least it isn't an infestation! Should be easy enough to kick!

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#2 [url]

Sep 16 09 5:39 PM

You're going to hate this but try looking up lice. They can get huge which is why you could've seen them. Except for the beetle part it sounds a lot like them. Long, thin, light in color. It's just a suggestion, I highly doubt it is lice (not even sure animals can get them). But best to cover some of the more odd basics just in case.

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msktty89

Posts: 2,062 Harlequin Queen

#3 [url]

Sep 16 09 6:09 PM

I found a picture of a lice and a flea:

http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=219945&d=1235672902

http://www.petside.com/petsideblog/2009/06/29/29-flea-1.jpg

It doesn't look like either one of those. The legs aren't very long (or at least I don't see them), they are brown, sorta dark brown, and have a shiny back like a beetle. I didn't see antenna, but they are small and may have short ones (they are also quick!).

I'm not ruling out fleas, but they don't look like them to me. I gave Norman a quick bath and now don't see any on him. I got a hold of Akai for a moment and saw one, only one, but she squirmed away before I could get her to the bath. I'm a bit worried about bathing Pete, haven't done so yet, so I'm not sure what'll happen...

I'll throw their stuff in the wash and try quick baths for the other two and check Norman over again.

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msktty89

Posts: 2,062 Harlequin Queen

#4 [url]

Sep 16 09 6:34 PM

Just a quick update...

Everyone has been bathed, Pete did okay for his first bath with me.

All the bedding is in the wash and I scooped litter boxes again to be extra safe. I already ran the vacuum, but may do it again to be even safer.

I guess the good news is, I don't see the bugs since bathing the ferts, so hopefully them all being bathed, they can't be carrying the bugs back and forth to each other.

Fingers crossed!

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brandiwos

Posts: 2,125 Hey! You! Out of the cave!

#7 [url]

Sep 16 09 7:45 PM

OMG when you described it , it sounded like bed bugs, which I didn't think could get on animals but it says they will bite animals too. I hope that is not what it is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedbug

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pear2apple

Posts: 4,070 Administrative Fruit Loop

#8 [url]

Sep 16 09 9:29 PM

I've never seen a bed bug but I was about to suggest it.

If thats the case though, you need to (I think) have your place sprayed. And if you live in an apartment building, I believe the entire place needs sprayed. You should contact the office if you have a landlord.

My sister's apartment building had bed bugs and all of their sheets had to be placed in bags and they had to be gone 1 day and leave everything bagged for a week or something. The apartment complex paid for it of course.

Now I'm all itchy.

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trippyferret

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#9 [url]

Sep 16 09 10:24 PM

Yuck. I hate bedbugs. I had a few bites on my back once. Some of the most painful bites I've ever had. They swoll up and were terribly itchy. The skin was practically raw there. I couldn't even lean back in a chair.
However, I think bedbugs are unlikely. They come out at night, so you're less likely to see them. It really sounds like fleas to me. There are different types of fleas, so the picture you looked at might not have been the same kind. I wish I could see them, just to verify.

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sherrylynne

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#10 [url]

Sep 16 09 10:29 PM

Here's a site pretty good with insect identification: http://www.whatsthatbug.com/bug-search/
Takes a bit to narrow it down sometimes, though

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#11 [url]

Sep 17 09 3:53 AM

From wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flea

Some well known flea species include:
Cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis)
Dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis)
Human flea (Pulex irritans)
Northern rat flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus)
Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis)

So yes there are different kinds

Here are more pix from google, do the bugs your kids have look like these fleas?

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.prevailpest.com/dog_flea.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.prevailpest.com/Fleas.html&usg=__pWpLwknpqXYdxz4oL3x1KvD2Gpk=&h=176&w=292&sz=12&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=dZ-UnyfSGwHc0M:&tbnh=69&tbnw=115&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddog%2Bflea%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4ADBF_enUS276US276%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1

http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/YGLNews/images/fleas.jpg

http://www.uki.net/php/files/paragonpestadvice.uki.net/bedbug.jpg

those are all dog fleas.

this is a cat flea
http://www.allpropestmanagement.com/Cat_Flea.jpg

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msktty89

Posts: 2,062 Harlequin Queen

#12 [url]

Sep 17 09 10:02 AM

After looking at them closer, I think they may be fleas.

They're not bed bugs, I don't see any bites or anything, just the bugs, some itching on the ferrets' part, and little black flakeys... Maybe they are mites then, if that's the case. I posted on FerretVillage about thinking Norman had ear mites that I was treating, so maybe they spread?

When we got our stray, BlackJack, he had bad mites that we had to treat and the vet treated him with flea/tick stuff because they weren't sure if he had fleas or that many mites. He's all better now, but maybe that's what's happening here...?

I bathed the ferts, washed their stuff, vacuumed... And Norman has bugs on him again today.

If it's fleas, can I use the cat flea/tick serum on a ferret? Of course I wouldn't use as much, but not sure how else to do it... And if it's mites, I think that stuff would kill it, too, as it did for Jack..?

And then do I have to worry about them getting in the carpet and throughout the house?! Ick!

One other thought, if it is fleas.... They could've been brought in from Pete going outside... OR... The people that were in this house before us (we rent, yes there's a landlord, sorta) had two dogs, a small terrier and an American bulldog. So for all I know, they fleas were in the carpet and got onto the ferrets.

ANYWAY... I can't catch one, I tried using a tweezers in Norman's fur to pick through and grab one, but they are too fast at crawling!

So now what?

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msktty89

Posts: 2,062 Harlequin Queen

#13 [url]

Sep 17 09 10:08 AM

"Fleas are reddish brown to black and about the size of a pencil tip. Dark specks in the fur that look like dirt are flea droppings"

That's from here: http://www.cypresskeep.com/Ferretfiles/Fleas.htm

That sounds like what I'm dealing with. Fleas. Dang it!

I guess back to the original question... Treatment... If I can use that serum stuff on them, that makes things easiest...

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msktty89

Posts: 2,062 Harlequin Queen

#14 [url]

Sep 17 09 10:12 AM

I wish I could edit pooooooosts....

Anyway, it mentions Frontline and Advantage as okay products and I know they kill fleas and repel new ones. I'll pick some up, along with carpet powder and flea shampoo.

STUPID FLEAS!

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#15 [url]

Sep 17 09 10:40 AM

When I was going through flea Heck the drops did no good on my ferrets even though I watched them for like 15 minutes and they were all happy sleeping at some point they got up and groomed each other taking off the drops. I like the sprays, quick and easy. Just do that every other day for about a week-week and a half and you pretty much got them. Make sure to spray bedding when you do ferrets and to vacuum the room. I don't know if you can do it but I like the bombs because they will put protection on to the house for up to two months giving me time to get it off of everyone and meaning I don't have to worry to much about the carpets and big furniture. I think you already said that everyone else was treated just make sure to keep their treatments up to date so they don't get them too.

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#16 [url]

Sep 17 09 2:44 PM

Yea the black flakey stuff is the flea droppings. As for the frontline or advantage, the puppy or kitten kind is what you want to use. What kind of flea shampoo did you buy?

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msktty89

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#17 [url]

Sep 17 09 6:20 PM

I got the drops and it said it was kitten safe, I made sure, and put that on the ferrets and the cats (especially since they are cat fleas).

I got the carpet powder, which I'll use later as it takes an hour to sit and I gotta work soon.

They also had a carpet/bedding/furniture spray, which I used and sprayed the areas outside where the ferrets are, in case the cats would carry them.

They were actually out of cat/kitten shampoo for fleas... I looked at the dog ones because sometimes they put the general shampoos over there (which say for cats/kittens and dogs/puppies), but none of them seemed quite right and I didn't wanna risk it.

They did have the spray for their bodies and I thought about it, but got the drops. I considered them cleaning it off of each other, but Pete isn't allowed near Norman and Akai yet and Norman and Akai do not clean each other at this point (they're still not that close, they kinda ignore each other). I used it between their shoulder blades, where I didn't think they could clean it off of themselves, just like you do with dogs and cats.

I'll keep up with the spray and do the carpet powder tomorrow. I haven't noticed the cats itching, so I don't think they've picked any up to carry around, so my main focus is just powdering and vacuuming the ferret room. I'll just use the spray outside of their.

Hopefully this helped keep them under control and gets rid of them. If you think I should get the spray for on the ferrets, let me know. Otherwise, I'll just use what I have.

I know with the drops you can bathe them a day or two (I think it's two) after putting it on, as it'll be well enough spread through the oils on their skin. I will keep checking for the shampoo through the weekend, at least the drops should help until then.

I do feel a little bit better now that I've armed myself with supplies.

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spiritualtramp

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#18 [url]

Sep 18 09 7:10 AM

What products exactly did you get? Just a word of warning (for everyone out there, too, this is a good reminder for everyone!) There are certain dog and/or cat flea products that have been known to be fatal or extremely damaging to ferrets -- one of the most common flea medications, pyretherin-based sprays and shampoos especially, have been known to cause severe anaphylactic responses in ferrets. Pyretherins are basically an extract from chrysanthemums (yes, it's 'natural'!) and work by obstructing an insect's nervous response, eventually killing them. Unfortunately it can apparently affect ferrets on the cellular level just as much.

Generally I don't treat the ferrets with spot-ons or sprays unless the infestation is REALLY bad. I find treating the environment with sprays and powders, and vacuuming thoroughly, and wetting down the ferrets daily (without soap) is all that I need to do to get rid of the problem, and minimized the chance that the kids will react negatively. I have used Revolution spot-ons in the past before without issue, and know many people use Advantage without problems.

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spiritualtramp

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#20 [url]

Sep 18 09 9:43 AM

That is a good sign! Hopefully things don't take too long to de-bug

Oh, I meant to say, I fixed your account settings so that you can edit your posts. It's a certain function I have to manually go in and approve for each member and sometimes I forget when new people join! Sorry about that!

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Missing NB's Captain Morgan, Pilot, Ranger, Sailor, and Scout.

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