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My first rat that I ever got,I bought from Petco.I named him Butler and he was very much tame.He died because of these red mites all over him that I just could not get rid of :( I tried fleaing him,treating him for ticks,I took him to the Vet,bathing etc.And about a week after he died,i went back to the petstore and noticed that the birds they had there had the same exact mites!Has anyone had these before and know how to treat them in case this happens again :(
 

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Mites are generally microscopic so my bet is you had lice. Lice are species specific, meaning that the birds had bird lice and your rat had rat lice. Lice is easy to take care of when you know how. Ivermectin or Revolution from your vet. Shampoos, sprays etc shouldn't be used, as they are either ineffective or can be toxic to your rat. I have heard of rat death's from a product from a petstore. :(
 

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Hi Mark and Gina,
You really need to pay a visit to the doctor. I can't tell you exactly what kind of Mite has infested your child, but it doesn't seem like a good thing.

Hi Bugman,
We solved the mystery...it's bird mites. It appears that when young birds leave the nest there is nothing to feed on so they migrate into the house. According to the University of Madison, they only live a few days & the best remedy is to remove the source (the old nest). Thanks for the help & quick response.
Mark & Gina

Update from Barry M. OConnor (05/23/2006)
Mites on newborn's head (6/21/05). Another Ornithonyssus. This is a parasitic mite in the family Macronyssidae, genus Ornithonyssus. These are the most common "bird" or "rodent" mites you mention. These are similar to the Ophionyssus mentioned above in living in the nest material and feeding on the host blood. Ornithonyssus sylviarum (the Northern fowl mite), O. bursa (the tropical fowl mite) and O. bacoti (the tropical rat mite) all occur in California; the first two are parasites of a wide variety of birds, the last parasitizes rodents, commonly commensal rats. All readily bite people when the normal host is no longer around. The remedy is to locate the bird nest or get rid of the rat problem.

http://www.whatsthatbug.com/mites.html
 

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I hate to say it, but the death of the rat was less likely the lice and more likely the products you used to treat them. :( As lilspaz68 said, Ivermectin or Revolution are really the only reccomended products for lice & mites on rodents.

She also said it, but I'll agree - lice are species specific.

When dosing a rat for mites or lites, you must give a through cleaning to the cage and dispose of (or wash, if it's cloth) bedding and wooden toys. Plastic toys should be cleaned well. Bleach works well, but let everything air before putting the rats back.
 

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I agree with Kimmiekins about the products you used... lice wouldn't kill a rat.
 
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