We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are Hamster Mites?

By Debra Durkee
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
AllThingsNature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AllThingsNature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Hamster mites are tiny insects that live on the skin of hamsters. They are spread through contact with other infested animals or feed, so mites are not uncommon to find on new hamsters recently purchased from pet stores. While the mites are not lethal, they can be uncomfortable for the hamster and cause permanent damage if not treated.

There are two different types of hamster mites, and both have the same end effect on the animal. Some mites live on the skin and feed off microscopic particles that collect near hair follicles. The ears are the most common place for these types of mites to congregate, as they can then survive on particles that collect inside and around the ear. Others burrow under the skin, and these can be more difficult to get rid of.

When a hamster is infested with mites, he can show some of the same signs as an animal infested with fleas. The hamster will generally scratch incessantly at the itching the mites cause, and can do so enough that it will cause the development of bald patches throughout the fur. A close inspection of the hamster and the fur will determine whether or not mites are the problem. Mites will be visible as tiny black dots that may appear to move on the surface of the skin.

A hamster infested with hamster mites should be isolated until the mites are gone, as they can easily spread. Treatment can include the application of a spray designed to kill mites while not harming the hamster. The spray should not be applied to the hamster's head, but instead applied to the body and the entire cage.

Hamster mites can also be introduced to a cage through hay, feed, or wood chips that have been infested. If the hamster has long been a pet without any problems with mites, the insects were most likely introduced on something placed in the cage. In order to ensure that the hamster is not reinfested, it can be necessary to throw out all hay and wood chips. The hamster and the cage may have to be sprayed several times, according to the directions on the spray, which will kill any new parasites that have hatched from eggs as well as existing hamster mites. In case this does not take care of the mites, a veterinarian may need to be consulted before the hamster develops mange and permanent loss of fur.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are hamster mites and how do they affect my pet?

Hamster mites are tiny arachnids that can infest the fur and skin of hamsters, causing irritation, itching, and even hair loss. These pests can lead to a condition known as mange if left untreated. They are usually visible as small, moving specks on the skin or in the hamster's bedding.

How can I tell if my hamster has mites?

Signs of mite infestation in hamsters include excessive scratching, red or inflamed skin, patches of hair loss, and visible tiny white or black dots on the skin. In severe cases, hamsters may develop scabs or infections from persistent scratching. A vet can confirm mites through skin scrapings and microscopic examination.

Can hamster mites spread to humans or other pets?

Most hamster mites are species-specific and do not typically infest humans. However, some mites can cause temporary irritation if they come into contact with human skin. It's less common for these mites to spread to other pets, but cross-infestation is possible, especially among other small rodents.

What treatments are available for hamster mites?

Treatment for hamster mites often involves topical or oral medications prescribed by a veterinarian. Ivermectin is a common treatment, and it's crucial to thoroughly clean the hamster's cage and accessories to prevent reinfestation. Always consult a vet before using any treatment, as some over-the-counter products can be harmful to hamsters.

How can I prevent my hamster from getting mites?

Preventing mites involves maintaining a clean habitat for your hamster. Regularly change bedding, sanitize the cage, and avoid overcrowding if you have multiple hamsters. Quarantine new hamsters before introducing them to others and check for mites regularly. Providing a stress-free environment also helps keep your hamster's immune system strong.

Are there any natural remedies for treating hamster mites?

While some natural remedies, such as diatomaceous earth, are touted for mite control, their effectiveness is not scientifically proven and they can be harmful if inhaled or ingested by your hamster. It's best to rely on treatments recommended by a veterinarian to ensure the safety and health of your pet.

AllThingsNature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By ddljohn — On Oct 13, 2013

Keeping the immune system strong is also important when treating hamster mites. The immune system can fight them off if it's strong. This is why I give my hamster vitamin drops on a regular basis.

By ysmina — On Oct 12, 2013

@turkay1-- You can mix a tablespoon of witch hazel and a tablespoon of antiseptic mouth wash into two cups water and spray it on the hamster once a day to kill mites. Avoid the face and spray lightly. Don't make the hamster totally wet and don't spray it too frequently. Small animals can catch a cold if they get wet.

This remedy worked with my hamsters when they had mites. I also sprayed their cage with this solution to avoid a re-infestation. It can be difficult to spray it on without getting some in their eyes and mouth. So it might be better to spray the solution on your hand and apply it to the hamster's body while holding him.

By candyquilt — On Oct 12, 2013

Is there a safe hamster mite treatment that I can prepare and use at home?

I'm quite sure that my hamster has mites. I actually saw little white things on my hamster and he is scratching and losing hair on his back.

Unfortunately, I can't afford to see an exotic vet right now so if I can treat him at home, that would be great.

AllThingsNature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AllThingsNature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.