December 18, 2020
Rats may be infected with three types of mites. Radfordia ensifera, the fur mite of rats, is very similar to the fur mites of mice. They won’t cause problems unless the infestation is heavy or the rat is ill with another disease. Symptoms will be the same as those of mice, patches of hair loss with possible skin ulceration or lesions. These also are not known to infect humans.
Burrowing mites of rats are Notoedres muris. These are the ear mange mites. A skin scraping and a microscope are needed to see these mites. They attack the ear pinnae, tail, nose, and extremities. Lesions caused by this mite are reddened, crusty, itchy areas. These mites are spread by direct contact, so it is important that you keep wild mice and rats away from your pets. They may also infect other rodents, but are not known to infect humans.
The bloodsucking mites that infect rats and may also infect mice are Ornithonyssus bacoti. They are the most dangerous to your pets. This one is closely related to ticks and is especially common in tropical and subtropical areas. This is the one that will feed on rodent blood, then drop off to hide in wood products, cracks, and crevices in or near the cage. O. bacoti will cause anemia, and, like the lice, it will also transmit rickettsial blood parasites. These may be seen without a microscope in the bedding or in and around the cage. This mite has a wide range of hosts that includes other rodents, and this one will attack humans. It is transmitted by direct contact with an infected animal, but also may arrive in contaminated bedding or wood products. Be careful not to buy open bags of bedding for this reason.
To learn more about how Envirotechnics can treat rats and mice, as well as the mites they carry, contact us on 6461 5700