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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings rat lovers!

Well..I have a question. I posted rat age accesories sometime in...January or somthing. One person had the idea of putting a box of dirt in your rats cages(I thought it was a totally AWESOME idea, until.....) for them to dig in. Does anyone know if they meant totally new dirt they bought, or just dirt from your I am REALLY stupid. I have a smal pile of dirt in my front yard and....guess what....I used it for my rats cage!!! I made sure there weren't any huge bugs like, beetles, or worms, and then I realized there were ants...ants...ants...*the word keeps echoeing in my head* and..I put the box of dirt in my cage and my rat got dirt everwhere so..that meant ants in his cage (there weren't so many....mabe I am exagerating). Is that okay? I am guessing its not so, Could someone give me an answer? But don't wory everyone! I took the box of dirt out and I took all of the bedding that was covered with dirt out! I refiled the cage with knew beddding. Please give me an answer.

By the way everyone, Templeton went CRAZYwith the dirt. He was digging in it and spreading it in about half of his cage! Of course though..I ruined his fun :oops: !

bye! :D
 

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i don't think that the ants will be a huge problem. they are generally just great protein and fun to eat. ants can't survive without their colony so unless the ants figured their way back to their anthill and told the colony that there was something delicious in your room thee probably won't be back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have TONS of Valentines candy stashed up in my room. Although, you are right , ants can't survive without thir colony, and they are fun to eat. (to the rats).

thanks for telling me!!

:)
 

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I have read that rats aren't suppose to eat any wild insects because of bacteria/disease but perhaps it's referring more to flie, mosquitoes, and other flying insects.
 

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if you want to try that again & be completely bug free.... spread the dirt out in an over proof cantainer & bake it

that will kill all the creepy-crawlies in it for sure
 

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mmmmm baked dirt :)

edit to be useful and not just silly :roll:

Couldn't she freeze it as well?

mmmmmm frozen dirt lol

ok I'm done I swear :)
 

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yup but I don't think freezing would be as effective as baking since bacteria will survive a hard freeze but a fire will sterilize an environment with a much longer recovery period


besides... I rather clean a dirt oops from my over than out of my freezer if ya knows what I mean
 

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The problem with wild insects is that they can carry bacterial and protozoal diseases that could potentially be transmitted to your rats. I personallly would clean the cage right away, but that's me.
 

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Other than their lungs, rats have a high tolerance for bacteria. Their body temperature is higher than a human's and as such when bacteria enter the bloodstream they do not work to maximum efficiency. If the rat then raises its body temp to fight off the infection then its pretty much toast. The only exception to this is a brachial or lung infection where they are very weak, or a high scale infection which would not likely be introduced by eating a few ants! Over-zealously protecting your lovvies from any source of bacteria is bad for them and results in sickly ratties, but I'd not recommend doing it again ;)
 

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That thing about having higher body temperatures is actually not true... most animals (cats, dogs, etc) have higher body temperatures but are just as susceptible to bacterial infections as we are. Trust me, I'm a microbiologist that works in a vet clinic and we see a lot of infections.

It is true that being overprotective about sources of bacteria can actually be a detriment to your rat's immune system, but I'd also be very upset with myself if my rat came down with a protozoal infection just because I thought it'd be "just fine" to leave them with the ants. You have to prioritize. Think about it this way: there's a reason why the books, vet clinics, and ASPCA recommend not allowing your pets to eat wild insects.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ohhhh..so it was okay yet not okay for me to put the dirt with ants inside my rats cage? soo.......if my rat got an infection then it COULD fight off the infection. And, your also saying I guess its okay for you to lout the dirt in the cage but some of you say you wouldn't becasue domesticted rats are not really supposed to eat ants???!!!

So, I should be extra careful of the ants in the dirt and bake it in the oven? I am sorry but that so funny!!!! lol!! mmmm......cooked dirt, like MopyDream44 said. If you just imagine cooking lots of dirt spread out on a cookie sheet pan..so funny. dirt cookies anyone??? okay...sorry..I am done.

but I am considering backing the dirt. What degrees should i put it on??
 

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In all the years, about 20!, that I have had mice, their bedding was dirt, a 4 inch layer, along with grass sods, deciduous tree branches, some hay, etc and they have a ball; digging tunnels, making an under ground fort. And the natural microbes "digest" mousy odor (the females have to be changed once a MONTH) and I am planning to do the same with rats as soon as Harriet and her new, 5 week old buddy will live together.
None of the mice has ever gotten sick; most died of old age. I think it's like as with us, some exposure makes a healthy immune system.
And, it 's tons of fun to observe them work and escavating.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
but, what about ants? Do ants do anything to your mice/rats? :/
 

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Discussion Starter #14
please keep posting!
 
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