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New rat owner here! I just bought a bag of rent a coop hemp bedding and was wondering if I should freeze it before using. I would have to put in small batches at a time but it’s doable. I read somewhere that hemp actually deters any mites or lice, not sure if that’s true. I believe rent a coop is very good quality although one review from amazon claimed their rats got lice/mites from it.
 

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Some websites claim that hemp bedding is a natural deterrent for mites. This may or may not be true? I run on the general assumption that anything that has been housed in a warehouse with rats might carry rat mites. Freezing for an day or two will kill mites. I generally don't bother, though. Sometimes I purchase large bales of bedding in the winter when it's freezing out and I'll leave them in my trunk for a couple days. Also, because I purchase large quantities of bedding, I'll quarantine new bales for upwards of a month or so before I start using it. Any potential mites will starve before the bedding even makes it into the cage.

Rats may also carry mites for some time before symptoms show up. Your rats might carry mites and be totally fine but stress or illness can weaken their ability to keep their numbers in check and the rat might start showing symptoms seemingly out of nowhere. It's easy to blame something like bedding even though the mites may have been there all along.
 
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