How to go about sanitizing a large bag of hay?

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How to go about sanitizing a large bag of hay?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:30 am

So, when the bunny found a new home, I was left with an almost full bag of timothy hay, and it was a pretty large bag. I really want to give some to the mice, as I know mice love digging, burrowing in, and nesting in hay. However, I know hay is a big carrier of little bugs and parasites so I obviously need to sanitize it really well and kill all of the nasties. Would throwing it in the freezer overnight kill all of the bad bugs, or do I need to do more than that? I obviously can't bake hay, it would catch on fire Laughing .

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Re: How to go about sanitizing a large bag of hay?

Post by CallaLily on Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:02 am

I think the freezer would be better than nothing.

Honestly I just picked up some hay the other day and didn't even think about it. Oops.

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Re: How to go about sanitizing a large bag of hay?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:26 am

Thank you! I put it in the freezer earlier... How long should it stay in there? I looked it up on hamster forums, since it would be the same whether I was sanitizing it for my mice or my hammy, but everyone has such different opinions. One person said 12 hours, another 24, another 48, another a week, and someone else said a month! The other people in my house want it out of the freezer as soon as possible, because we have a small freezer and now there's not much room for the food Laughing

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Re: How to go about sanitizing a large bag of hay?

Post by Peachy on Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:23 am

What temp is your freezer? If it's 0°F or below you only need to leave it in 24-48 hours. Otherwise you could put some into a small Ziploc and freeze it. On the old forum someone said she froze things for her pet bugs for 2 weeks. Since no one seems to know for sure how long (or if the bugs actually die or just go to sleep and then wake up again) I'd do at least a week just to feel safe.

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Re: How to go about sanitizing a large bag of hay?

Post by AnonymousMouseOwner on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:54 am

Wow, ok, thanks! I asked and apparently we don't have a 0 degree or less freezer. No one knows what temp it is exactly, though. My mom said it's ok to leave it in there for a few days, or until there's no room left for it. So, I will leave it in there until I can't anymore. I've been giving them carefully inspected strands of hay from that bag for the past few days Laughing I have just been looking for little black bugs, then if it passes the test, I throw a strand or two in for them, just for little pieces of nesting material. They've been fine so far, but it's kind of ridiculous to inspect each strand if I want to give them a little pile of hay, lol.

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Re: How to go about sanitizing a large bag of hay?

Post by scaredymouse on Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:30 pm

Just an idea... You could also just freeze a little bit at a time before you use it.  That way you won't take up much space and you could leave it in the freezer for a week.  Win win!

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