With my ferret in my lap, I got all hyper and started searching frantically about how to get rid of fleas on ferrets. You may ask why?
As I was peacefully reading my book with my ferret beside me, I heard a painful sound of my ferret and saw weird black spots on its fur. I knew those were definitely not ear mites as they just attack the ferret’s ears.
Unable to hear the anguish in my ferret’s voice, I read all about the fleas. I was surprised that they could grow and multiply so fast. Since I wasn’t aware of this, I ultimately had to resort to professional flea control services.
If you want to save yourself from all this hassle, read on, so that you can know all about how to get rid of fleas on ferrets, and prevent fleas at the very beginning, unlike me, whose whole house was infested with fleas!
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are small flightless insects. They survive as parasites on the skin of other animals and your ferret is no exception. So, ferrets differ from intestinal parasites like tapeworms, that enter the intestine and breed.
Fleas will usually bite your ferret and lay eggs on it, to complete its lifecycle. Hence, if you want to know how to get rid of fleas on ferrets, firstly, you should know about their lifecycle.
Understanding Flea’s Lifecycle
A flea’s lifecycle is pretty easy to understand. A typical lifecycle involves:
- An adult flea, when residing on your ferret will begin to lay its eggs within two days.
- These fleas eggs will fall from your ferret’s skin to all the surrounding environment, like your furniture, rugs, your ferret’s hammock, or cage.
- After two days, the eggs hatch and are converted to larvae. This larva will form a cocoon which will then hatch to form an adult flea.
Hence, it is important to select a method that works to get rid of the adult flea, eggs, larva, and cocoons.
What Are The Causes of Flea In Ferret?
Ferrets can get fleas. Below are the two main reason your ferret is infested with fleas:
1. Fleas From Inside Your Home
If your furry friend lives with other pets like dogs and cats, they can get infected by fleas, which are known as Ctenocephalides felis.
2. Fleas From Outside Your Home
If your ferret is exposed to an outdoor environment or comes in contact with other pet animals infested with fleas, your ferret can also suffer from flea infestation.
How To Know if My Ferret Has Fleas?
Ferret, of any age and gender, is susceptible to a flea infestation. Hence, it is important to look out for the signs that indicate the presence of fleas on your ferret. Below are few symptoms you should look out for to determine a ferret flea problem:
1. Your Ferret Might Seem Irritated
Irritated with pesky fleas, your ferret might constantly lick, scratch, bite or chew the infected area. Your poor furry friend does this in an attempt to remove the fleas from its fur and stop the flea bites.
You might also see hair loss in your ferret.
2. Appearance Of Flea Dirt
Flea dirt is basically the flea droppings or feces of fleas that they leave on your ferret’s skin. They appear in the form of small, black debris and are of the size of small pepper grains. The appearance of flea dirt is a sure sign that your ferret is infested with fleas.
3. Appearance Of Skin Lesions
Due to the constant bloodsucking by the fleas, your ferret might develop skin lesions that appear as acne on its fur. You can also see small red bite marks or scabs on your ferret’s fur.
If not treated quickly, this can also develop into a secondary bacterial skin infection. In some cases, the ferret might also suffer from tachycardia. In this condition, the rhythm of the heartbeat is rapid and seems abnormal.
4. Anemia in Ferrets
If your ferret is infested with lots of fleas, they will continue to suck blood from the ferret’s body and this can lead to your ferret suffering from anemia.
If your ferret is itching continuously, it is best to consult a veterinarian. With proper examination, you can know if your ferret is infested with fleas, or there is some other reason for your ferret’s itching.
Other common reasons your ferret might have itchiness include:
- Ear mites
- Adrenal gland disease
Can Your House Be Infested With Fleas?
If your ferret is infested with fleas, it is also possible that other areas of your home are also infested with fleas or their eggs.
The reason is that the eggs that the fleas lay can fall off wherever your ferret goes. Some common places include:
- Ferret’s hammock
- Ferret’s cage
- Moist and damp areas in your backyard like shaded trees or bushes
Hence, it is also important to regularly clean your home to avoid flea infestation.
Ways To Get Rid of Fleas on Ferrets
If your ferret is infested with fleas, you should get working to get rid of those external parasites. Once your ferret is flea-free, you should then get started to clean your home.
Take a look at the below essential steps to get rid of fleas on your ferret.
1. Treating Your Ferret for Fleas Immediately
If you have successfully determined that your ferret is infested with fleas, the next thing should be to treat your ferret immediately.
A. Use A Flea Comb to Get Rid of Fleas
Use a flea comb to get rid of as many fleas as possible. You should ensure that you put the fleas in a tight ziplock bag, as you do not want the fleas to infest your ferret again or spread in your house.
B. Give Your Ferret a Bath
Give a warm bath to your ferret with a ferret-safe flea shampoo. Once done, you should try it completely and treat your ferret for fleas by using a disinfectant.
C. Use Vet Recommended Medications or Chemicals on your ferret
We recommend using the Advantage Multi II Flea Prevention For Ferrets. It is a topical flea treatment product. Make sure that you dry your ferret completely before using this product.
You can also give flea prevention pills to your ferret. Put the crushed pills in your ferret’s diet, and in this way, your ferret can take the pill regularly.
However, you should never give the medications or use chemicals without consulting the vet.
D. Add Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Ferret’s Water
If you are looking for a cost-effective home remedy to control fleas, this one just might catch your attention.
Add apple cider vinegar to the water that your ferret drinks. The diluted vinegar in your ferret’s bloodstream works as a great repellent to fleas and keeps them away.
2. Clean Your Ferret’s Cage
Since your furry friend will be spending most of its time in the cage, you must clean the ferret’s cage deeply to avoid re-infestation of fleas.
While you are deep cleaning your ferret’s cage, make sure that you palace a ferret at a safe spot, without any bedding or blanket.
You should deep clean your ferret’s cage at least twice a week. You should remove all the bedding, hammock, or any other accessory while cleaning the cage.
Scrub and clean the cage properly with soap and warm water.
Moreover, it is also essential that you air out your ferret’s cage once a week, to get rid of any dampness or moisture.
Once you have cleaned the cage, you can use a flea-prevention spray in the cage.
You should select the best cage for your ferret that ensures that you can easily clean the cage.
3. Get Rid Of Fleas from Your House
Female fleas can lay around 50 eggs a day. That’s a lot to increase the flea population, isn’t it? Hence, if you do not get rid of those fleas from your house, you can expect a major flea infestation on your pet as well as your home
A. Vacuum Daily
If your ferret has a flea infestation, you should vacuum your house every day for at least a week. Make sure you clean all the carpets, rights, furniture, any cracks or crevices on the floor. These little details will ensure that you vacuum all the flea eggs before they hatch and convert to flea larvae.
DO NOT FORGET to empty the vacuum bag daily. You can wash out the vacuum’s canister with warm and soapy water, to ensure no eggs have been left behind in the vacuum.
B. Wash the Bedding and Covers Once a Week at Least
Wash all the bed covers, sofa covers, blankets, or any other fabric that your furry friend has used or touched. Make sure to use hot water so that the bugs do not survive after washing the fabrics.
4. Use Flea Control Products to Prevent Fleas from Coming back
Once you have treated your ferret and your home from the fleas, you need to make sure that they do not come back. You can use professional pest control services for this.
Apart from that, you can also make use of flea control powders, flea sprays , and flea bombs to prevent the fleas from coming back.
An important thing to note here is that you should keep your ferret away, ideally out of your house when you are using these chemicals. The ferret’s delicate respiratory system can get adversely affected.
You can carry out the process of using bombs and powders for 2 weeks or if the fleas return, for 3 weeks.
Products To Avoid For Flea Treatment on Ferrets
You should avoid the below treatments as they can be hazardous for your ferret:
- Flea collars
- Permethrin sprays
- Permethrin spot-on treatment
How Long Will It Take To Get Rid of Fleas From Your Home?
Usually, to completely get rid of the fleas, it takes around 2 to 3 weeks. However, if your house is terribly infested with fleas, it might also take more than a month.
So, it is best that as soon as you see a flea on your ferret, you consult a vet and immediately start treatment. Also, make sure to clean every nook and corner of your house until the fleas are gone.
Fleas are most active during summers. Hence, it is best to use flea treatment on your ferret before the warm days begin. A good option is the Advantage II, specially designed for ferrets.
If you use a flea prevention treatment, it will also lower down the chances of heartworm disease in your ferret, as both fleas and ticks can cause heartworm infection.
FAQs on How to Get Rid of Fleas on Ferrets
1. What Are The Home Remedies to Get Rid of Fleas?
Dealing with fleas can sometimes get out of hand. Below are some home remedies that you can try:
- Dish soap
- Herbal flea killing spray
- Using salt and baking soda while vacuuming
- Using Rosemary powder for lesser flea infestation
- Sprinkle some salt on the affected areas, let it sit there for 1-2 days before vacuuming
2. Why is My Ferret So Itchy?
Itching may indicate flea infestation in ferrets. This is the most common sign that your ferret is attacked by fleas. Since the fleas continuously drink your ferret’s blood, it can irritate your ferret, leading to itchiness.
Another reason for your ferret being itchy can also be the presence of ear mites.
3. Do Ferrets Carry Fleas?
The answer to this question is, YES, ferrets can carry fleas. Just like any other animal, cat, or dog, ferrets can also be affected by fleas. A ferret with a flea infestation can pass on the infestation to other pets and also at your home or outdoor area.
In a nutshell, a flea-infested ferret will carry fleas wherever he goes.
Now that you know the answers for how to get rid of fleas on ferrets, the next thing you need to do is keep a close watch for signs of flea infestation on your ferret.
Look out for signs that we have discussed, and try to get a flea prevention treatment before summers for your ferret. After all, prevention is better than cure.
It can be a grueling process to get rid of fleas, but with patience, you can definitely achieve this!