Fleas & Mites

Tips, experience & advice related to the healthy and not-so-healthy flying squirrel
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Fleas & Mites

Postby Joan » Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:59 pm

Fleas (Here's what you would do for pups):
A few drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle of water and spritz it on them several times. It does not hurt them at all and the fleas and mites HATE it.
Fleas can be temporarily knocked out being dabbed with a cotton ball wet in rubbing alcohol. Only use a chemical (Addams spray) IF there was so many that the newborns life is in danger. Enough fleas can literally suck all the blood out of a pup overnight. Use Addams Flea Solution that is recommended for kittens & puppies. Fill the bathroom sink with water and a capful of Dawn liquid dish soap. Hold the pup over the sink, and using an old toothbrush or a fine tooth comb (an eyelash comb works well for this), comb the pup, head to tail, right over the sink, pushing the fleas into the soapy water. Then, saturate a cotton ball with the Addams and back comb the coat. Then, rub the cotton ball against the hair growth.

Fleas only spend 10 percent of their time on the animal. They only need to eat once every two weeks. They live the rest of their six to eight week life in the environment. After two weeks to a month in an empty house, the fleas will attack any warm blooded thing that enters. Generally for every flea you see on an animal, you add 50 more to come up with how many you really have total.

"Frontline can be lethal for rabbits and has been implicated in many rabbit deaths due to neurological side effects including seizures. Many grown flyers weigh only about 50 grams. Therefore, any absorption goes into a small body. The differences in absorption of the product are crucial. Skin absorption does not occur in the formulated pet product in the dog or cat, but it does occur in the rabbit." Therefore, we cautions HOFs NOT to use this product on their flyers.

Pick over each pup for almost an hour over & over again. Change/wash the box bedding after each feeding and re-inspect each pup all day long. Keep on white bedding & T-shirts - easier to spot the fleas. Isolated from other flyers.

The next deal is the eggs -- which will hatch soon and you start all over again. That's where the Addams would help. Advantage is oily and one drop will last long enough to take care of any fleas you missed and any eggs on the pups. The eggs, attach to the hair follicles, towels, carpet fibers etc. Flea combs are very ineffective at removing the eggs. There are other ways to get rid of them for dogs & cats but nothing we can use on a one to two ounce flyer.

Fleas (adults)
Any flea powder safe for kittens is safe for adult flyers. You can clean the nestbox and powdered it well with flea powder and put in clean nesting material. The flyers end up powdering themself as they rearrange bedding and sleep.

Here's a post I received recently from the Florida Wildlife Rehabilitators Association regarding my question about treating mites in flyers.

Subject: Re: Mites/Flying Squirrels

I haven't had to treat flyers for mites, but for grey squirrels I use
Ivermectin, 4 drops out of an insulin syringe right between the shoulder blades (not injected but just dropped from the needle onto the skin).

For a flyer, I'd say one drop of Ivermectin ... Brand names: Ivomec, Iverhart Plus, Heartgard30 and Acarexx (from an insulin needle, which is
smaller than a "drop" from even a 25ga) if that doesn't do the job you can always re-dose in a couple weeks.

Michelle Anthony
Wildlife Rehabilitation of Daytona Beach, Inc.
14 yrs. mammals

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Postby Wanda » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:34 pm

When I had tiny baby greys with fleas, I used a Q tip, dipped it in Adam's Flea and Tick spray and rubbed it down their back one time with it. It did the trick too. No more fleas and it didn't hurt them at all.
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Postby Sherri Roy » Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:59 pm

I was wondering if hamster and gerbil flea and mite spray would be safe for flyers, I bought my son a gerbil recently and the poor thing was infested with mites, the gerbil and my flyer were caged in the same room, now I am SO afraid my flyer is gonna end up with mites and putting Ivermectin on her makes me SOOO nervous. Any ideas?

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Re: Fleas & Mites

Postby david_594 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:16 pm

Revolution(selamectin) is another option if you are having a problem with fleas. Its a product that you can only through a vet, and you will need to find one that is familiar with exotics, otherwise its unlikely they will sell it to you for off label use. (they will also have to help you with diluting it down as the dose is very small).

Plus side to it is, it just takes the tiniest dab on the back and thats it. It absorbs into the system and then kills the fleas for a month. No dipping/soaking/washing necessary. Also, a 1 month tube intended for a kitten has enough Revolution for >1 years of use on a flying squirrel. The dose works out to ~0.01mL.

I am only mentioning it because one of mine got fleas and this is what I used. Put it on and within 48 hours there were a few dead fleas laying around the cage.

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