You are here:

Mice/Pyrenthin on my mouse for mites


Hi Natasha,

I wrote to you awhile ago. I used non-petroleum jelly to try and smother my mice's mites. Well they are back. I got some .03 pyrenthin (I hope I spelled that right). I need to know where on my mouse to spray the insecticide (I read just on the top, back). And, how often I spray him. I bleach everything in his cage, every day. I don't use bedding, I use soft flour sack towels which I wash and bleach. I spray his cage with the insecticide and wipe off residue every day as well. He resides in a smaller cage while this is happening. Any help you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.

Mrs. Rita Gordon

P.S. Little George was an anniversary gift 1 year and 9 months ago from Petco (he was a return so I got him for a dollar off). I want him to at least last until this May 31 (our upcoming anniversary). Or, longer.....

Hi Rita,

Glad to hear George is doing well at 21 months. Living longer than 24 months is not that common, so take good care of him. Do stop with the bleaching and insecticide. The residue will irritate his nasal passages, which may lead to respiratory issues. He only needs his cage cleaned once a week, and in fact he will be much happier if he can make it smell like him and feel homey. For cleaning his toys, you can use a small amount of bleach in the water, or boil them, but once the mites are gone, just use a gentle dish soap (not detergent). Also, when still worried about mites, freeze anything that can't be washed (wood, paper, straw), for two days.

The 0.03 dose is the weaker dose, for birds, so know that if the problem is not solved you will want to use the rodent version, which is 0.06. But it is fine to start with the weaker, since he is an old guy and it sometimes hurts their skin. You are gong to want to cover the whole mouse except his face. Pyrethrin works directly on the mites, rather than in the mouse's system, so it must contact as many mites as possible. You are going to completely soak his fur. Do this over a bed or couch, because wet mice can panic and jump. This might be easiest with two people. Shake the spray well. It simply does  not work if you don't, as I know from experience. You can either spray it directly on him, being so very careful of his eyes and nose. Or spray it into a bowl and apply it with a tiny piece of sponge. Massage it well into all of his fur. Then you need to keep him from washing himself until it is dry. A very warm room is the best, especially if he can be in the sun. You may be able to get him to stay in his wheel; or hold him; or distract him every time he starts to wash.

Of course you put him back into a cleaned cage.

If he has no improvement in three days, get a stronger spray. I know it as a rodent flea and tick spray from 8-in-1. Repeat the procedure with that.

In either case, after 7-10 days with the spray that worked, you will repeat the entire procedure. This kills the mites which have now hatched from eggs which were not affected the first time.

This should work... But if it doesn't -- and are you sure it is mites?- get a vet or a friend to give you a kitten supply (or cat or puppy) of Revolution. One drop gently patted into the skin (not fur) on the back of his neck, goes into his bloodstream and kills everything that bites him for a full month. Maybe you even want to do this first and not use the spray and the traumatic procedure. These days I do recommend Revolution first. Some vets do not know that it is safe for mice. It is.

If that doesn't do it, it isn't mites, and we have to explore other possibilities, such as allergies or a skin problem. For that by far your best bet is to go to the bet; but write back if you want help.

Best of luck to little George. I hope he makes it to his second anniversary with you.




All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

©2017 All rights reserved.