Depending on where you live, gnats might be a real problem in your cavies’ cage.
Gnats can be eliminated by quickly disposing of uneaten fruits and veggies, hanging fly tape near the guinea pig cage, securing entry points in the house, keeping your cavies indoors, and creating a homemade trap.
Read the detailed guide below to eradicate gnats quickly!
Why does my guinea pig cage have gnats?
The main cause of gnats accumulating around a guinea pig’s cage is leftover fruits and veggies. Gnats are attracted to sweet smells, and if fruits and vegetables are beginning to rot, they will smell even sweeter to the gnats.
Rotting and molding vegetables might be disgusting to our guinea pigs and us, but gnats only love them more. A forgotten kitchen ingredient can also attract gnats. After the item is disposed of, they might shift their interest to the deliveries of fresh fruits and greens given to your cavies.
When guinea pig cages accumulate gnats, it can be very frustrating for pet owners. This is especially true of indoor guinea pigs because the gnats reside in the pet owner’s home. Luckily for pet owners, there are many ways to prevent and knock out a gnat infestation.
5 Steps to get rid of gnats in your piggy cage
Now that the gnats are in the guinea pig cage, how do you get rid of them? Follow the five steps below to discover different ways to rid your piggy habitat, and home, of gnats.
Step 1: Quickly dispose of uneaten fruits and veggies
The most common culprit of gnats in a guinea pig habitat is uneaten fruits and vegetables. There are several reasons your piggies might be leaving leftovers. Our piggies’ wheels are often bigger than their stomachs, which can be a source of unwanted leftovers.
Guinea pigs can be picky eaters when trying new fruits and veggies, creating food waste. Additionally, a guinea pig will often not eat any fruits or vegetables they sense are starting to go bad as it can make their stomachs sick. A vegetable that looks fine to us might not pass piggy standards.
The best way to avoid gnats, fruit flies, and house flies is to dispose of any uneaten fruits and veggies a few hours after feeding. This not only keeps your piggy cage clean and fresh but can avoid attracting gnats in the first place.
Step 2: Fly Tape
Purchasing fly tape is one way to eliminate gnats and other flying insects from the area around your cage. Remember, do not hang the fly tap directly above a cage where it might fall in or in any place where a guinea pig might come in contact with it. Guinea pigs are curious creatures and will try to chew or interact with anything new that comes into their vicinity.
Note: Fly tape is not a complete solution for a gnat problem. Fly tape is a great way to kill some of the gnats and capture other bugs, but it is not a fix-all for a gnat swarm dilemma.
Step 3: Secure entry points
If gnats find entry into your house, search for entry points the gnats might be using. Gnats are tiny insects and might enter your home in surprising ways.
If an open door is their primary way of entering the house, try to limit the amount of time you take before shutting the door. In a home with children, it might be advisable to stress the importance of walking in and out of the house only when necessary and not keeping the door open for an extended amount of time.
Make sure the screens in your windows and doors are not torn in any way and that they are appropriately caulked. Caulk windows or install new screens in areas where you suspect gnats might be creeping in. Some gnats are sure to get through regardless of your endeavors, but limiting entry points can be a great way to avoid a gnat infestation around your guinea pig cage.
Step 4: Keep cavies indoors
If your guinea pigs live in an outdoor cage, then fruits and vegetables will immediately begin to attract gnats and other insects regardless if they are starting to rot or not. It is impossible to keep gnats and other insects away from a guinea pig cage if they are outdoors. Guinea pigs who are kept outdoors are also susceptible to flystrike.
Guinea pigs are susceptible to temperature and weather changes and are meant to be indoor pets. A guinea pig kept outdoors is exceptionally likely to contract an upper respiratory disease, often fatal in cavies.
If your guinea pig is kept outdoors, it’s strongly urged to provide a space for them in your home. A guinea pig must be kept inside if they are going to live long, happy, and healthy lives.
Step 5: Homemade Traps
There are various styles of homemade traps you can use to get rid of gnats quickly and without spending a lot of money. A simple homemade trap can include adding water, dish soap, and sugar or honey to a bowl.
Vinegar may also be added to this concoction. The gnats will be attracted to the sweet smell of sugar and drown in the bowl or die after consuming the dish soap.
What types of bugs do guinea pigs attract?
Apart from gnats, fruit flies, and house flies, (typically attracted by a cage that needs more frequent cleanings) guinea pigs can attract a host of dangerous insects. Two of the most dangerous and common of these are mites and lice.
If you have reason to suspect one guinea pig of having mites or lice, be sure to do a complete cage cleaning and take all guinea pigs who may have come in contact with the infected guinea pig to an exotic veterinarian at once.
Mites constitute a significant danger to guinea pigs. Mites are most often contracted from infected bedding and hay. Sarcoptic mange mites bury under a guinea pig’s skin and lay eggs which can cause the guinea pig to itch and bite.
Guinea pigs may even contract mites at the pet store where they’re purchased, and it’s not easy for them to be identified. Mites aren’t visible on your guinea pig’s skin and are sneaky inhabitants. These mites can lay dormant for years and frequently wait until the guinea pig is stressed or ill to terrorize them.
Mange mites can cause hair loss, scabs from scratching and biting, and eventually seizures in guinea pigs. If your guinea pig shows an unusual amount of scratching and biting, take them to an exotic veterinarian as soon as possible.
Lice can be another reason your guinea pig is itching and biting. Lice are contracted through contact with infected guinea pigs, bedding, or objects.
Lice, unlike mites, are visible on the skin. Running a comb through your guinea pig’s hair might reveal small, crawling lice in their fur. Lice can create blood loss and cause anemia in guinea pigs, so they should not be taken lightly. If lice are sighted on your piggy, immediately make a call to your veterinarian.
Will gnats hurt my guinea pig?
The first question of many pet owners when they see gnats around their guinea pigs’ cages is if gnats will cause any harm to their beloved pets. Gnats, though they may be extremely annoying, are mostly harmless to a guinea pig. Most species of gnats are unable to bite, and they will show a much larger interest in the leftover fruits and vegetables than your cavies.
Gnats can still cause stress and irritation to your cavies, so they should be eradicated as soon as possible. Guinea pigs are susceptible animals and can be easily stressed by unwelcome guests in their environment. Following the steps above will be your best bet for stamping out the gnat invasion.
Can my indoor guinea pig get flystrike?
Although much more common in outdoor guinea pigs, indoor guinea pigs can get flystrike. Flystrike is a condition in which a guinea pig, usually in a wet or damp environment, is victim to flies laying their eggs on or around their bodies.
Flies are particularly prone to accosting guinea pigs that are injured or have cracks in their skin. Once the eggs hatch, the maggots will feed on their guinea pig hosts.
To avoid flystrike, keep your guinea pigs indoors and always keep their environment clean. Soiled bedding and rotten vegetables will quickly attract flies to your piggy habitat. Securing entry points in your home is an additional measure that should be taken if flies persist despite a clean, indoor cage.
A wide variety of insects, including gnats, flies, mites, and lice, find guinea pigs attractive. Gnats can best be eliminated by disposing of uneaten fruits and vegetables, using fly tape, securing entry points in your home, keeping cavies indoors, and making homemade traps. The overall best solution to limit contact with insects and your piggies is to keep your pets indoors and keep their cage clean.