Guinea pigs are cute pets with massive popularity.
They live longer than the average pet rodent, too, so you will enjoy their company for years to come!
However, those happy years shouldn’t include memories of gnats and flies.
At times, guinea pigs can attract flies. However, this is often linked to hygiene or even health factors, not just the nature of the guinea pig. Noticing gnats, flies, mites, or lice in a guinea pig cage requires immediate action to resolve the issue. Some pests pose a serious threat to the guinea pig’s health.
As such, it’s important to know about guinea pigs and the pests they may encounter.
Keep reading, and we’ll go over everything you need to know.
This includes answering whether these treasured pets attract pests, what they mean, and what to do.
Do Guinea Pigs Cause Gnats And Attract Flies?
In short, yes, they can attract flies at times.
Yet, it’s usually certain conditions that cause them to attract flies.
A few environmental factors lead to pests in a guinea pig cage.
Pests are often a sign of mess.
You’ll want to keep a clean cage to avoid problems like a gnat infestation.
If the cage has items like uneaten food or pet waste, it’s more likely to attract flies just like those items would anywhere else.
This means keeping a clean and well-maintained litterbox for them and picking up any uneaten bits of veggies or fruit your pet may have left lying around.
If you have a long-haired guinea pig or even a rabbit, don’t forget to groom them properly.
It’s not hard for something to get caught in their fur and cause a problem.
Another environment that can lead to pest issues is a damp environment.
This doesn’t necessarily mean wet with water either.
Any sort of dampness will cause a problem.
To avoid this, you’ll want to keep both your guinea pig and their bedding dry.
It’s good to make sure water bottles aren’t leaking or refreshing stagnant water bowls.
Outdoor Guinea Pig Cage
Naturally, it’s easier to control a guinea pig’s habitat if their cage is inside.
You’re opening the equation to the elements and introducing a few variables if it’s outside.
For one, an outdoor cage isn’t as protected from pests.
After all, you probably already aim to keep pests generally out of your home.
In addition, it makes it harder to control the other environmental factors considered here.
There’s not much to do to stop the rain from keeping things dry or doing anything about a humid day.
But to be honest, you probably won’t have this problem since most guinea pigs are kept as indoor pets.
Most of the time, animals do a great job of taking care of themselves.
For the most part, they make sure they’re clean enough.
In some cases, they may not have the chance to keep themselves as clean as usual.
If a guinea pig falls sick or gets hurt, they might fall behind in grooming themselves.
In these cases, they’ll need more help from their owners than usual to ensure they don’t attract harmful pests.
Pets like pet rabbits or guinea pigs will likely need help as they reach old age.
Before you break out the old dish soap to clean your guinea pig, learn more about why it’s a bad idea and what to use instead.
Another factor that can lead to unhygienic conditions is overcrowding.
According to The Humane Society, you need to offer about 7.5′ square feet of space per guinea pig.
Yet, this doesn’t necessarily mean housing these pets alone!
They’re very social animals and do want friends.
As a rule, keep at least two together at a time, but make sure they have enough space and keep the cage clean.
What Is Flystrike?
Flystrike is a particularly severe case of pests in pet cages.
It refers to when flies – usually blowflies – start to lay eggs on an animal.
If you see eggs on guinea pigs or, even worse, maggots, you’re likely dealing with flystrike.
This is a serious problem with potentially fatal results.
You’ll need to take steps to rid the area of flies and immediately take your pet to the vet to treat any potential damage or threats to their health.
Flystrike moves fairly quickly since flies have such a short life cycle.
If you notice it, it’s not a problem to ignore or put it on the back burner.
It’s a good idea to take a trip to the emergency vet when flystrike occurs.
What Types of Flies Can Guinea Pigs Attract?
It’s a good idea to take a moment to understand what kind of flies you’re dealing with.
What are you keeping your guinea pigs safe from?
The food in a guinea pig cage is likely to attract fruit flies.
Leftover bits of fruits and veggies starting to decompose are a surefire way to attract fruit flies.
The more harmful companion here is blowflies.
These are the types of flies often associated with flystrike.
It’s important to recognize these as these pests will lay eggs on your pet.
Can Flies Harm Guinea Pigs?
A problem like flystrike is more than just a nuisance.
It can prove a fatal problem for your pets for a few reasons.
Flies, in particular, pose a risk when you’re talking about full-fledged flystrike.
In these cases, the flies can lay eggs on guinea pigs.
These eggs later hatch, which can lead to maggots on your pet.
This is typically a sign of severe flystrike.
In incredibly severe cases, problems like blood poisoning can come up.
If you notice flies or full flystrike in your pet cage, it’s good to take them to the vet, just in case.
If you notice maggots or even just eggs, it’s worth an emergency trip to the vet to prevent harm.
Especially in the latter situation, it’s best to get them in as soon as possible.
Are Gnats Harmful to Guinea Pigs?
The good news is gnats aren’t nearly as dangerous to a pet’s health.
Most types of gnats don’t bite, and they’re probably more interested in whatever waste attracted them than your pet themselves.
Still, they’re a sign the environment is potentially open to flies.
So, you’ll need to take action when you see them all the same.
Plus, just like you, your pets can get annoyed.
While they may not cause serious health issues, they probably don’t enjoy having gnats buzzing around them all the time.
Since these are easily stressed animals, it’s best to get rid of any gnats in your guinea pigs enclosure as soon as possible.
How Do I Get Rid of Flies Around My Guinea Pigs Cage?
If you see flies or gnats around your pet’s cage, don’t panic.
There are a few things to do to get rid of flies around a pet cage.
Keep the Guinea Pigs Enclosure Clean
Keeping the cage clean is one of the major responsibilities involved with owning one of these little rodents.
All in all, keeping the cage clean will help reduce how many flies it attracts.
If you notice you have flies around, it’s a good idea to clean the cage and make the area as inhospitable for these pests as possible.
Don’t forget to clean the litterbox and check for any uneaten food while cleaning.
Check the water bottle to ensure it isn’t leaking, dampening the bedding below it.
Check out our guide on how to clean a guinea pig cage.
Look Into Fly Traps
When it comes to traps, you have to exercise caution.
After all, these little furry friends are curious!
You’ve probably noticed they investigate and nibble new things in their cage.
As such, when you’re placing fly tape around the cage to catch flies during flystrike,
A fly trap as simple as fly tape is a handy tool to tackle problems like fruit flies.
These likely won’t address gnats as much.
We recommend using a non-toxic fly tape like this one.
Build a DIY Gnat Trap
Gnats are easily taken care of with the right DIY solution.
To create this solution, you’ll need 1/2 cup of warm water, a handful of drops of dish soap, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and finish it off with a tablespoon of sugar.
This will help draw in gnats and even a few wayward fruit flies.
Once they’re in the mixture, they’ll get stuck and won’t be able to fly back out.
Once again, this mixture shouldn’t be kept directly in the cage.
You probably don’t want your pet to taste this bug-trapping concoction.
Since this is a trap, you may have to wait a couple of days to see lasting results.
Can Bug Spray Kill Guinea Pigs?
Don’t reach for the bug spray if you notice pests in your pet cage!
These are often laced with chemicals to kill the bugs, and those same chemicals are dangerous to other animals too.
While it might seem like a quick solution to keep your guinea pigs safe, the DEET in bug spray can pose a real danger to guinea pigs with serious health effects.