Can Guinea pigs harbor flies?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sullen, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    I have this fly problem in our house, we kill about 30 a day, even here in the cold north. TG they are slow now and we get them easily. I am wondering, where are they coming from? The only thing different this year is the 2 Guinea Pigs. Could the flies be breeding in the bedding, and appearing that way? The whole house is shut up for the winter, and no food left out. It is grossing DH out, he already thinks I am a lazy housekeeper.
     
  2. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    If you clean your GP's out often enough, I see no reason why flies would be a problem because of their bedding. How often do you clean, and what do you do with the used bedding?

    Are they house flies or fruit flies?
     

  3. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Today's warm weather has flies out all over the place. Ick! Nasty things. We have two gp's in Rubbermaid bins. As long as the shavings are clean you shouldn't have anything for the flies to lay eggs in. My daughter dumps the bins every third day. Take a close look - do you see maggots?
     
  4. Spotted Crow

    Spotted Crow Well-Known Member

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    As part of my new job I get to clean out GP bedding and there's never any flies there. The ferrets on the other hand are just awful with flies everywhere.
     
  5. greenbean

    greenbean Well-Known Member

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    Not me. Change the bedding once a week though. Use pine shavings. They seem to be clean critters.
     
  6. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    They are house flies, pretty mature, not those tiny things. They never live long enough to get bigger, he he. :cool:
    I change the bedding aonce every two weeks, those two poop a lot more than one does. The bedding goes outside oon the fill pile.
    Hope that was enuf info.
     
  7. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is cluster fly season, and your description fits. It has nothing to do with the gp's. Cluster flies are hibernators that enter poorly insulated and poorly sealed structures to wait for spring. While repulsive and similar in appearance, they do not pose the same risk as garbage/filth flies. Your best defense this time of year is the vacuum. Spraying will not stop their daily appearance because they are likely between the inner walls and outer walls as well as new flies arriving on warmer days after fall starts.

    The problem will continue until spring when they leave to lay eggs in the soil. They are a parasite of the earth worm and spend the summer growing inside the worms until fall when they emerge and look for a place to winter. They can fly many miles in a day. They can detect heat oozing from the structure. Typically they will land on the warm southern walls and move into cracks between the siding or around window and door casings. There are many postings in the archives that would be worth reading and would take some time to completely repeat here.
    Gary
     
  8. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

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    Two weeks is a loooong time between changing the bedding for two guinea pigs. Change it at least once a week if for no other reason than the health of the GP's.
     
  9. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    Barb, I would but I am missing two things...time and tons of extra shavings. I said about 2 weeks, I change it when it gets bad, they are in the living room with us. Not too long. I have 3 kids and lots of other animals, everyone stands in line for neciccities (sp) like that. Even my DD has learned to get her own pepperoni when she wants it.
    Gobug, my house has no house wrap, is that how they are getting in? I like it that way, gets rid of the chemicals in the house, but we have been here 4 years, this is the first time we have seen flies. Actually, after a good week of almost 30 flies a day, there are only a few today. Did we get them all?
    Thanks guys.
     
  10. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

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    1. If they are your childrens' pets THEY should be cleaning the cage

    2. Why do you have them if you don't have the money to care for them? - find them a home
     
  11. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    Well, Barb, Mother's who love their children do things like that, they feed the puppies who turn into dogs to walk,water, and feed and they do the same thing with cats, or whatever. And they certainly deserve a hand and some praise to get the kids raised now a days. I took care over approx. 6 GP's I didn't need or want, why? Because the mother was dying of brain cancer and the little girl had to get rid of them, she had to move when her mom died, so I took them and cared for them for over 6 years. The last one died about a month ago, but the little (now big) girl came to visit and hold it for the last time. Why do mother's do these things? Because we have hearts, and we love not only our own, but other people's kids as well. If we don't have alot of money, we can cut weeds, grass to feed the critters.Kids love animals and will learn in time. Thank God for loving mothers and grandmothers.
     
  12. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    sullen

    I am sort of guessing on the identity of this fly. You said they looked a lot like house flies and were sluggish, plus you're getting some every day and they tended to die quickly. This is very descriptive of cluster flies.

    If they are cluster flies, you didn't get them all. They will probably keep coming.

    It could be "no house wrap" and loose fitting siding would provide nearly infinite entry points for these flies. Window screens are not effective, and they often get in through minute cracks around windows and doors.

    The problem occurs across the country. The timing, and such is probably based more on your specific climate. I'm not sure why you haven't seen them before, there could be many factors. Here in CO, the occasional warm winter days brings them outside and back in when the sun goes down. So some people get new batch or two every few days.

    There is no simple solution to this problem, especially if you have chosen to not have a tight house. Is this a single story house? Is it on a hill with good southern exposure?

    By the way, any insect with wings is a full grown adult. They don't start small and get bigger.
     
  13. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

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    Well, Granny, taking care of a dying woman's child's pets is very commendable but it is hardly the same as "I'm too busy".
    Part of loving your children is teaching them responsibility. :soap: Off the soapbox - for now
     
  14. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    Thanks, Granny, for trying to stick up for me. I should have known someone would try to attack me, happens all over this board no matter what the posters say.
    1. My kids are 8.5 and under, I can barely clean the cage without a huge mess and loose GP's, I am not dumb enough to let them do it. GP poop allover my lining room, oh boy thats sanitary. If I did that, someone would yell at me for making my kids clean the GP cage.
    2. I got them as rescues from someone whose kids were bored, I got them, I clean the cage. The kids do help, the baby is a good carrot fetcher.
    Gobug, they seem to be down to a few a day, thanks for the info.
    I have seen little flies, and medium flies, and huge flies in my lifetime, I thought they were just stages of the same fly. What is the difference??
     
  15. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    I know how it is with my grandkids, in spite of the efforts you make. I had to really get onto K. Bug as she was coming back to our place when we left for church and riding my goats like they were horses ! We kept the guinea pigs outside and they were cute little critters, would always whistle when you walked into the barnyard. They loved to eat weeds and we would cut big batches of them and they were such messy little critters, would mess every day in their drinking water bowls, so they require alot of cleaning. I found that I could buy a big block of pineshavings at the feed store, so much cheaper than anywhere else. The feed on those little critters was terrible, almost $5.00 for a little bag, so we went to feeding lots of weeds and they thrived on them. You gotta admit, they are cute !
     
  16. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a small fly that looks just like the regular house fly and it is called a Lesser House Fly. Until I got into professional pest control I didn't know that bugs with wings are full grown adults. There are also more than a million different bugs, so it is often difficult to identify something with words alone. I can't tell you how many times I have talked with a customer over the phone and thought I had the bug identified, only to show up and find something different. I learned quickly to look for a specimin before I got out the equipment.

    Generally, fly control has to do with sanitation. But cluster flies are one of the exceptions. They are a true nuisance. In consideration of the volume dropping, and this being the first time you have seen them, it is possible something died in the walls or nearby and spawned a burst of regular flies. It just is too coincidental to eliminate the cluster fly, though. It could be the reduction in numbers has to do with the outside conditions.

    In any case
    Best regards
    Gary
     
  17. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    How can something die in the walls? We are way above the ground, in a daylight basement, the only thing touching the ground is cement. It's not the Turkey pen int he backyard, the one we had to move because the stink and the flies?
    And we have noisy dogs who tell us when a bug if nearby. One even eats the fly bodies we swat. :happy:
    So what are those REALLY big flies you see around?
     
  18. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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  19. greenbean

    greenbean Well-Known Member

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    What ae you feeding the piggies? maybe the flies are after that. Even if you have a bag of regular GP chow open they AND MICE will get into it.
     
  20. Fujiko

    Fujiko Well-Known Member

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    I seriously recommend rehoming your guinea pigs in something other than a rubbermaid container, and changing their bedding at least once a week. Their waste produces fumes, and since the walls of their cage are solid and not made of wire, they don't get any air circulation and they just breathe that in 24/7. Also, a guinea pig's sense of smell is much better than a human's so that compounds their problem. They get respiratory infections easily that can kill them in just a few days.

    I currently have seven guinea pigs. I started out with two, in a Rubbermaid container the same as you. (I can't imagine only changing the bedding once every two weeks; it got horrible after seven days!) It was never meant as a permanent cage. I built them a much bigger cage (for CHEAP, you can use scrap materials from sign shops and garage sales), and they are MUCH happier. I offset the costs of bedding by using fleece (50% off at fabric sale, or use old garage sale blankets), old mattress pads or towels, and newspaper. I sweep the poops out daily and change the bedding once a week. If you don't want to use fabric, I recommend using aspen shaving or wood stove pellets. DO NOT use cedar, as it is toxic to small animals (it should be banned from being sold in pet stores!).

    Here's two WONDERFUL links for great guinea pig care, everything you ever wanted to know:
    Medical and general care: www.guinealynx.com
    Cages: www.cavycages.com
    And if you have any other questions, feel free to PM me.

    Edited to add: if you clean out the pigs' cage twice a week for awhile (while taking other fly precautions) your fly problem should diminish, if not be eliminated.

    Edited AGAIN to add: Sorry, I got confused and thought that two different posts were from the same person, so the above kinda doesn't make sense anymore, but the advice still the same. :rolleyes: