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Question
There are some little black bugs in my cage of 3 mice, I'm just about to clean my cage but I want to know if they are dangerous and could they have hurt my mice? They are the size of a flea and have 3 legs and a pointy nose with two little antennas. Please help!!

Answer
Hi Katie,

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the sorts of bugs in your area, and the best thing to do might be to catch a few of them in a container and ask someone who is familiar with pests (pet shop, vet, or even a company that offers pest control might be able to tell you what kind of bug it is).

They could be bugs that are trying to get to the food (we have weevils here), or actual pests (mice can actually get fleas).  Either way, you don't want them in your cage, but until someone can help you visually identify them, the best thing to do is to keep the cage very clean.  You can change the bedding out twice a week and scrub the cage when you do so to help get rid of any eggs that might be present, and check the room to see if you can find any in other places.  Take a close look at your bedding and food for incoming bugs - you can freeze these for 24 hours before thawing them for use to kill any bugs that might be coming from the pet shop or warehouse.

Unless the mice are itching or have scabs, they may be more of an annoyance than a health concern, but it is important to try to keep them away from the mice if you can.

Best of luck,
-Tam

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Tamarah

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding mice as pets, mouse behavior, color and coat genetics, breeding techniques, and general health questions. I can help with caging and setup, nutrition, social issues, and what to do in most mouse emergencies (such as unplanned litters, injuries, fighting, etc.). I can also assist with questions pertaining to orphaned mouse pups, weaning litters, and questions of mating and birthing. I cannot answer questions about exotic or wild varieties of mice such as spiny or pygmy mice. *****FOR EMERGENCIES, anything requiring immediate medical intervention, PLEASE take your mouse to a professional veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator who works with mice as soon as possible! IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Raising Orphaned Mice: http://www.rmca.org/Articles/orphans.htm Orphaned Mice Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/CreekValleyCritters/videos?query=raising Natasha's Your First Mouse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNK4uqNZTbA&feature=share General Mouse Help: http://www.fancymice.info/ Mouse Info and Exotic Breeds: http://www.hiiret.fi/eng/species/

Experience

I have enjoyed the companionship of mice nonstop since 2004, and spent a year caring for them in a lab where I learned a great deal about their breeding, social needs, and health. I spent a few years breeding them, specifically working with albinos, marked mice, angora mice, and satins. My education never stopped - I am learning something new every day from current and well-established research thanks to the wonderful folks at the Jackson Laboratory, as well as from my wonderful mousey friends online. I also love learning from my terrific questioners here on AllExperts - you folks keep my passion for these amazing animals alive and well!

Organizations
East Coast Mouse Association - expired, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association - expired

Education/Credentials
Partial University for a B.S. in Microbiology, Partial University for a 2-year degree in Veterinary Technology (RVT cert), C.E. classes in pathogens, aseptic technique, genetics, and applications

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