Fleas are a common problem with lots of different types of furry pets, and they can be extremely frustrating to deal with. 

If you are going to get a chinchilla or already own one, this is an important subject to learn about. Fleas might not seem like such a big deal, but they can quickly become a real pain very quickly.

Do Fleas Affect Chinchillas?

It is very uncommon for fleas to become a major issue with chinchillas. These animals’ fur makes it difficult for these parasites to survive long enough to multiply. The fur essentially smothers the fleas so they cannot breathe. The sheer thickness of their fur makes getting to the animal’s skin a real challenge.

How Chinchillas Can Catch Fleas

While chinchillas usually don’t catch fleas, it is still a possibility. This typically happens as a result of the chinchilla being in close proximity to another pet in the house that is already infested. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to be careful when it comes to letting your chinchilla interact with other pets.

If you allow your chinchilla to spend time around a cat that you let outside sometimes, they could get fleas from them. Outdoor cats are far more likely to get fleas because of the time they spend wandering around outside. The main reason that chinchillas don’t typically get fleas is because they are kept inside all of the time.

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It is even possible for people to give their pet chinchilla fleas. These parasites often get cozy on people’s clothes, hair, and possessions. The more pets a person has, the more likely they are to experience an infestation at some point. This is especially true of those who don’t get their pets treated for fleas.

fleas close up

Signs Your Chinchilla has Fleas

It is important that you are able to recognize the signs of fleas with your Chinchilla. It is possible to see these parasites with the naked eye, but there are other things you should keep an eye out for. The sooner you spot the fleas, the easier it will be to deal with them.

You can also look for flea droppings, which have a very dark coloration and are about half the size of the parasite itself. You might be able to see it in your pet’s fur, but you have to look very closely.

If your chinchilla is infested with fleas, you will most likely notice them scratching themselves a lot more than usual. It’s also fairly common for animals with this type of infestation to have bald patches on their body. These furless patches are caused by constant biting and/or scratching due to discomfort.

Make sure that you give your chinchilla a dust bath every once in a while. This will help you to spot any fleas that might be on your pet. It is also a good way to prevent a full blown infestation, which is the last thing you want.

Treating Your Chinchilla’s Flea Problem

If your chinchilla is infested with fleas, you will need to take the right approach to getting rid of them completely. A lot of methods people use for doing this only partially work, so the infestation inevitably returns.

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1. Avoid Fleas Collars

While you might be tempted to try using a flea collar on your chinchilla, this isn’t recommended. The poisonous nature of these collars can make them dangerous. There are a number of far safer methods that you can employ when combating a flea infestation with your pet.

2. Give Your Chinchilla a Dust Bath

The dust that you use to bathe your chinchilla won’t actually kill fleas, but it is great for removing them from your pet’s fur. The great thing about this flea removal method is that your chinchilla will do all the work, rolling around in the dust. These animals love taking dust baths. Once the dust is on their fur, the fleas lose their grip and quickly begin falling off. The dust can also suffocate these parasites pretty effectively.

3. Using a Flea Comb

You can also try using a flea comb to get rid of your chinchilla’s fleas. These combs can be found at just about any pet supply store, and they are usually pretty effective. The only thing to consider is that grooming these animals can be a real chore due to the thickness of their fur.

chinchilla with kid

4. Cleaning the Cage

If you want to avoid dealing with this problem again in the near future, you’ll need to clean your chinchilla’s cage from top to bottom. Fleas can hide out in lots of different things, including your pet’s food bowl and toys. Make sure that you are extremely thorough in cleaning their cage before putting them back in.

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You can use a vacuum attachment to suck up all of the fleas and eggs in your chinchilla’s cage. This is by far the easiest way to go about ensuring that your pet doesn’t pick up these parasites after being put back in their enclosure.

It is a good idea to use bleach when cleaning the cage, as this will make eliminate the possibility of any fleas or eggs being left behind. You should make a point of cleaning your pet’s cage on a regular basis, as it is important to their overall health.

Conclusion

  • While it is pretty uncommon for chinchillas to get fleas, it is still a possibility you should be aware of.
  • The reason these animals usually don’t have fleas is that their fur is so thick. This makes it almost impossible for these parasites to survive for very long.
  • Excessive scratching biting are two common signs that your chinchilla has fleas. You might even notice bald patches on their body.
  • It is not a good idea to use a flea collar on your chinchilla, as they are poisonous.
  • A dust bath can help with removing fleas from your pet’s fur, but it won’t kill them.
  • You can try using a flea comb on your chinchilla, but this can be difficult due to their thick fur.
  • Make sure that you thoroughly clean your pet’s cage after treating them for fleas.
  • Use bleach when cleaning the cage to ensure that no fleas or eggs are left behind.
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