Treating bedding for parasites

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Treating bedding for parasites

Post by River on Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:04 pm

I know, I've asked too many questions for my first day on the forum. I've had too many questions piled up, and this is the only forum I've found that has a sole focus on mice.
I've never froze or baked bedding. Is it absolutely needed? I want to avoid parasites as best as possible. However...how exactly is it done? I know you should freeze bedding for 24 hours, but I'm not sure what you do with the bedding after freezing.  I guess, really, just how exactly is the freezing process done? If anyone can explain it in detail, that'd be wonderful.
I'm considering starting Carefresh soon (which kind is best?), which I've heard needs baking/freezing so an answer is greatly appreciated.

I've never froze bedding as I've been using shredded paper - as I'm sure you all know doesn't need freezing/baking because of how low the risk of parasites and other nasty things is with it. On top of this, it's hypo-allergenic and my girl is allergic to most of the bedding I've tried.  It is really smelly though, so I must ask - how does one keep the smell in the tank down? I spot clean every other day, and fully clean weekly, but it always smells of urine anyways. Considering they're in a tank, I'd like to have as little ammonia as possible. Is using Nodor spray safe? What does anyone else out there do to keep ammonia levels low?

Thanks Smile
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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by Artistwolf on Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:42 pm

Freezing needs to be done in a sub-zero freezer—which I kind of doubt any of us have Laughing
So baking is the only realistic choice for most of us Smile
I'm not really sure how to do it, but I do know that it's not super necessary unless you're using hay or some other common parasite-carrying stuff.

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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by Peachy on Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:25 pm

My new refrigerator's freezer goes down to -8°F. If you can set yours to at least 0°F it'll be fine. I just put how much I need in zip lock bags and freeze it the day before cleaning. If you have a large freezer you could freeze bedding in its bag and then put it in a storage container or something.

I've never baked, but I imagine you could do it rhe same way. This page says 140°F for half an hour. http://petmousefanciers.forumotion.com/t1-lice-mites-and-ivermectin#7

I saw that there were different Carefresh bags at Pet Smart today... one said something like "new odor control formula + baking soda" and the other only said "new odor control formula." I never noticed a big difference with the colors, but you definitely want to make sure it doesn't say baking soda on the bag.

Good bedding and keeping walls and toys clean will definitely help with smell. My girls sometimes pick a corner that just gets super gross if I don't pull it out, it's usually under a toy or box. Maybe keep an eye out for that. Razz
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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by scaredymouse on Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:30 pm

I think shredded paper is the smelliest option, IMO. I used either carefresh (no baking soda and no fragrance) or kaytee clean and cozy. Be careful with any spray to decrease odor. Mice have very delicate respiratory systems and they are usually not safe. Additionally, mice will sometimes scent mark so things smell like home. If you clean too often, it could be counterproductive.

How many mice do you have? How long have you had them? And what size is your tank?

I used to spot clean, but now I don't even bother. New mice are smellier due to their horrible diets at the pet store. Also, sometimes tap water can contribute to urine odor, so I use filtered water for the critters. It takes some time for these things to clear their systems.

I don't bother with baking or freezing. I have 7 tanks with 11 critters. I can't be baking/freezing all this bedding! I treat all mice that come in my house with ivermectin and then cross my fingers. Mites can get into your house on toys or any other pet supplies you bring in or if you take them to the vet. So, I don't bother.

Young mice also like to pee on all their toys which is often where the smell comes from, so when I have a young mouse in the house, I find that I have to wash their wheel a few times a week and that helps with the smell.

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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by River on Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:52 am

@scaredymouse wrote:I think shredded paper is the smelliest option, IMO.  I used either carefresh (no baking soda and no fragrance) or kaytee clean and cozy.  Be careful with any spray to decrease odor.  Mice have very delicate respiratory systems and they are usually not safe.  Additionally, mice will sometimes scent mark so things smell like home.  If you clean too often, it could be counterproductive.

Definitely  is pretty smelly, but considering the allergies my girl has to so many bedding types, it's all that's worked so far! And Graham - the other girl - loves it. Making tunnels in the paper is the best thing to her, and it holds up pretty well. I've never heard about the 'cleaning too often' thing being bad. How often would you suggest I spot clean?

@scaredymouse wrote:How many mice do you have?  How long have you had them?  And what size is your tank?

I have two girls, Maier and Graham. I've owned Maier since May 10 - she was four weeks old, and had to go to the vet for a while, so I only ended up getting Graham on what I think was June 11, but I could be wrong - I forgot to mark it on the calendar! The tank, currently is 10 gallons. While this may be suitable for up to 3 mice, I do wanna upgrade to a 20-25 gallon soon  Smile

@scaredymouse wrote:New mice are smellier due to their horrible diets at the pet store.  Also, sometimes tap water can contribute to urine odor, so I use filtered water for the critters.

Makes sense. They came with some pretty horrible food, so I'm working on converting them to the good stuff soon. Even I drink mostly tap water, since it's easier to get at.  I wonder if using the refrigerator water dispenser would help any - or do you guys prefer to use bottled water?

@scaredymouse wrote: I don't bother with baking or freezing.  I have 7 tanks with 11 critters.  I can't be baking/freezing all this bedding!  I treat all mice that come in my house with ivermectin and then cross my fingers.  Mites can get into your house on toys or any other pet supplies you bring in or if you take them to the vet.  So, I don't bother.

Where would you get ivermectin - would you need a vet prescription? If mites do happen to come up, then I'll get a vet visit of course. Anything for the girls.  Relieving to see that most don't freeze or bake.
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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by MouseLover on Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:30 pm

Regarding ivermectin - I know you can buy it online. I'd imagine lots of pet shops stock it too.

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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by Artistwolf on Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:04 pm

I'd imagine lots of pet shops stock it too.
Mm, not so much. A cattle store will sell it, but not really a generic pet store. I believe Amazon has the best deal on it.

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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by MouseLover on Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:37 pm

Oh that's strange. Maybe a UK/USA difference then, cuz the biggest chain of pet shops here (pets at home) sells ivermectin marketed for hamsters/gerbils etc.

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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by CallaLily on Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:14 pm

Like Scaredy, I don't freeze or bake bedding but I do treat my mice with ivermectin.  So far so good.

@MouseLover wrote:Maybe a UK/USA difference then,

From what I can tell, that is exactly it.  Here you can only find topical ivermectin on Amazon or at some farm supply stores. That's why there's this article with directions for how to properly dilute it and dose for mice.  All that is sold in pet stores here is a spray with very harmful ingredients.  I've never used it but I've seen posts over on TFM where mice became very ill or died from it.

The other option is a vet visit where they'll give you the proper dosage of Revolution (selamectin).

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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by Artistwolf on Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:30 pm

Oh, okay, sorry MouseLover, I didn't realize!

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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:35 pm

This is the stuff I get:
https://www.amazon.com/Durvet-Ivermectin-Ermectin-Pour-Cattle/dp/B00JAL3AAW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1466540787&sr=8-3&keywords=Ivermectin

And it looks like Callalily already linked the instructions for dilution and application for mice.

As far as you other questions go: to spot clean, you have to find the corner they pee in. Most mice have a special spot where they like to pee for the most part. so just scoop that part out a couple times a week and wash the toys if they need it. I use a britta water pitcher for the critter water but i'm sure the refrigerator water is fine, too. It's filtered. Like I said, I treat all mice that come into my house with ivermectin as a precaution. it's totally safe as it is such a small dose, literally one highly diluted drop on the back of the neck. they wouldn't need to see a vet unless you wanted to take them.

Just curious is your other mouse still sneezing? Sometimes new mice can get box shock which can last up to two weeks and it's basically stress related sneezing.
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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by River on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:40 pm

@CallaLily wrote:Like Scaredy, I don't freeze or bake bedding but I do treat my mice with ivermectin.  So far so good

Nice that that seems to work out easy! I'd like to keep stress levels for Maier as low as possible, considering her 'issues' with it, so if a trip to the vet isn't needed so soon after her last visit...I'm up for it. Can you give ivermectin to mice that don't have a mite problem? Do you guys give it regularly? Also, what do you guys use to weigh the babes? I'm sorry to say I haven't been weighing them at all yet. I've heard kitchen scales are good?
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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by River on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:45 pm

@scaredymouse wrote: Just curious is your other mouse still sneezing?  Sometimes new mice can get box shock which can last up to two weeks and it's basically stress related sneezing.  

Maier still sneezes, yep. I've been checking the sound of her breathing - usually by holding her up to my ear, which she seems happy with - and watch her once a day to see how many seconds there are between sneezing. The sneezing has quieted down recently. It's less loud, and she does it less often, and she doesn't have any 'episodes' where she sneezes three times in a row. Sounds like progress to me. I'm just glad it's not a URI!
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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by scaredymouse on Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:09 pm

It's okay to use ivermectin even if they don't have mites. It lasts in their systems, too, for about 6 months. It's one of those things where having mites is worse for their health than just giving them ivermectin.

Kitchen scales are perfect for weighing mice. That's what I use. Normal adult mice weigh between 25g up to the neighborhood of 60g or so. Certain types like Brindle are prone to obesity, so they might get bigger.

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Re: Treating bedding for parasites

Post by River on Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:13 pm

@scaredymouse wrote:It's okay to use ivermectin even if they don't have mites.  It lasts in their systems, too, for about 6 months.  It's one of those things where having mites is worse for their health than just giving them ivermectin.

Kitchen scales are perfect for weighing mice.  That's what I use.  Normal adult mice weigh between 25g up to the neighborhood of 60g or so.  Certain types like Brindle are prone to obesity, so they might get bigger.

Good thing. I'll be getting some then.
I had a brindle a few years back. Chubby thing indeed - lasted two years though!

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