What to sanitize

Discussion in 'Habitat' started by Jessica marie, Mar 26, 2018.

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  1. Mar 26, 2018 #1

    Jessica marie

    Jessica marie

    Jessica marie

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    Hi! I recently got two adorable ratties and already had to treat them for lice they got from their bedding. I want to build them a playpen and jungle gym out of cardboard boxes, but I'm kinda terrified of having to deal with the lice again. Will they be OK with the cardboard boxes or should I sanitize them or do I not need to worry about it with those types of things? Is there even a way to sanitize cardboard? Some kind of list of what I should freeze or whatever I have to do before giving to them? I feel so completely clueless right now, please help!!!
     
  2. Mar 26, 2018 #2

    SqueakingJellybean

    SqueakingJellybean

    SqueakingJellybean

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    Switching to cloth bedding may help. That way, you know where it's been. You can toss it in the wash (unscented detergent only) so it's reusable, and pieces with too many holes can eventually become nestmaterial.

    So long as the cardboard boxes aren't ones they were playing in while they had lice, they should be okay. Cereal boxes, soda boxes, and some shipping boxes work wonderfully. (Mini-wheats, at least in Canada, have some of the best boxes for rats.)
     
  3. Mar 26, 2018 #3

    Kaelyn Mahoney

    Kaelyn Mahoney

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    Cardboard would not have lice in it. Lice cannot survive without a host (a living animal that they feed off of) so they would not survive in cardboard. Rats can only get lice from other rats as it's a species-specific parasite. You have nothing to worry about. I recommend either buying large moving boxes from Home Depot and cutting them open/ taping them together to make a playpen, or do the same thing with trifold display boards from a craft store.

    If you're worried about bedding, though, putting a bag of bedding in the freezer for about 24 hours should kill any parasites living in it. If your rats already have lice and you're worried about their toys having lice in them, you can also put those in the freezer or the dishwasher (without soap) if they're plastic. Luckily though, lice rarely stray far from their host and you usually don't have to worry about their cage being contaminated. I would probably only put their food and bedding in the freezer before using it to be safe, and that's just an extra precaution, not necessary.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
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  4. Mar 26, 2018 #4

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

    Senior Member - Vegan for the animals

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    If you want to sanitize cardboard, then freeze it for at least 48 hours, just as you need to do with new bedding
     
  5. Mar 26, 2018 #5

    Jessica marie

    Jessica marie

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    Thanks for your quick responses guys, I feel so much better now!!! I was sooooo excited to build things for my babies, then incredibly disappointed when I thought I would have to wait....back to excited now...YAYYYY!!
     
  6. Mar 26, 2018 #6

    SQ

    SQ

    SQ

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    BTW you might want to consider using chloroplast panels for building a playpen and they can be too tall for rats to jump out of and can be attached to one another using zip/cable ties or stick-on velcro
     

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