Guinea Pigs/giunea pigs


my ginuea pigs have little red tiny bugs on there cage or used to and now on their fur and when I play with them my skin itches or my face does can you tell me what they are and if they are harmfull please

I'm honestly not sure what little red bugs would get on a guinea pig.  Guinea pigs do get mites, but they're microscopic and you don't see the mites themselves. You see the chewed area on the pig, generally on their back forming a v shape from where they've been chewing trying to rid themselves of the mites.

However, those types of mites are what we call 'species specific' and will not get on anything other than your guinea pigs.  They will not get on humans, nor can you see them. You need a microscope and even then they aren't always visible because they burrow under the skin.

If you have little red bugs ON the cage I suspect it may be something that came in with their bedding. You don't say what kind of bedding you use, but if you're using shavings it's possible something could have come with them. However, those kind of bugs don't attach guinea pig fur.

Another possibility is some kind of tiny spider. Whatever they are I would suggest a good thorough cleansing of everything in and around the pig cages. Dump all their bedding.  Put the pigs in a large plastic container, then scrub the cage inside and out with a bleach solution.  Put it in the sun to dry. Bugs don't like sunlight and will vacate the cage if they are there.

Give each pig a bath using soap and water.  The bathroom sink is a great place for bathing pigs. If you have a really deep sink you can put just a couple inches of water in it and bathe them in there.  Guinea pigs don't get fleas. They can get a type of lice. But lice look like a tiny white piece of thread and would only be found on their hair.  If your pig has lice you can see them if you separate the hair and look down near the skin, although sometimes they are visible on the coat.

If that's the case you can get some Adam's Dip that's meant for dogs and cats. Mix it according to the directions on the bottle.  Dip each pig and get them thoroughly saturated. Be sure you don't pour it over their head so it doesn't get in their eyes and ears. Once you've done that, put them on a towel and let them drip dry.  DO NOT USE A HAIR DRYER OR try to dry them with a towel. It's important that they drip dry.

The Adams solution has a nice smell, and it also leaves their coat very soft and shiny after it has dried. The pigs should be treated for mites every couple of months even though you don't see any sign of them. The seem to find the pigs wherever they are.  

I don't think they have lice or mites because they don't get on humans. So it seems more probable that these bugs are coming in from somewhere else.  But cleaning out the cages should get rid of everything.

I hope his helps. Please let me know how this works for you.  

Guinea Pigs

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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