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Pet Rats/Can I still play with my pet rat?


I have a male pet rat and he has been itching a lot here lately. The last time that I gave him a bath I noticed that he had a lot of scabs around his neck. If my rat would happen to have mites is it safe for me to still play with him, or should I keep him in his cage. The main thing that I'm concerned about is having mite infestation in my house and them getting on my daughter. Thank you for your time!

Hi Alecia,
Sorry for the delay. I was out of town and for some reason I was not able to log in.

The most common type of mites in rats is the rat fur mite, and it only bothers rats, not people. See the article called Skin Problems on my website at on the Rat Info page for how to treat the mites.

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Debbie Ducommun


I can answer any questions about pet rats, but you will probably be able find answers to simple questions more quickly on my website at If you have a life-threatening emergency you can try calling me at 530-899-0605. I am not usually on the computer on the weekend.


I have been "The Rat Lady" since 1985 and am recognized as one of the world's experts on pet rats. I have 3 published books and already answer lots of questions about rats daily.

President of Rat Assistance & Teaching Society

I am a monthly columnist for Pet Business magazine, and my writing has appeared in other magazines. I have 3 published books.

BA in Animal Behavior

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