Although many people consider ferrets to be exotic pets, treating ferret fleas is much the same as treating the fleas of other kinds of house pets. Generally, completely exterminating and preventing future outbreaks of ferret fleas involves a combination of treatment and prevention steps. Since some products are safer than others to use on and around ferrets, it’s best to consult a veterinarian, pet store, or even ferret breeder before beginning the treatment process.
Some pet product manufacturers create flea treatment and prevention products, like shampoos, designed specifically for ferrets. If you’re unable to find such products, contact your veterinarian. Veterinarians who don’t have ferret-specific items in stock might be able to order them. You can also check with your local pet stores and ask about products they have in stock or can recommend. If you purchased your ferret from a ferret breeder, consider contacting him for product recommendations.
Note that some experts advise against treating ferret fleas with products designed for another kind of domesticated mammal, such as a cat or a dog. Others claim items like flea treatment products designed for kittens are safe for ferrets. Such products might include shampoos, collars, and medication applied directly to the pet’s skin. Flea powder is fairly common, but it’s best to avoid using powder with ferrets, as it can cause them to develop lung ailments. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian before treating ferret fleas with any product not created specifically for ferrets.
Treating ferret fleas involves more than just caring for your ferret. You must also kill the fleas in your home. Household flea infestations usually occur in fabric-covered areas, such carpets and rugs, upholstered furniture, bedding, and any blankets, towels, and other fabrics your ferret might have access to. Thoroughly vacuuming and laundering these items can take care of the bulk of the ferret fleas, though depending on the infestation you might need products like flea bombs or carpet spray. Remember to treat your ferret’s bedding and play areas, too. Always remove your ferret from the area before treating it, and don’t introduce him to the area again until both he and the area are flea free.
You can prevent future infestations of ferret fleas in a number of ways. If possible, keep your ferret away from other pets susceptible to fleas, such as cats and dogs who spend time outdoors. Generally, fleas can’t survive in cold climates, so pay special attention to vacuuming your home and bathing your ferret during warmer months. If your veterinarian approves them, long-term use of flea treatment and prevention products might be necessary.