How to Get Rid of Fleas on a Ferret?

Ferrets that live with other pets such as dogs and cats generally can get infected by fleas which are popularly known as Ctenocephalides.

How to get rid of fleas on a ferret? You can get rid of fleas by bathing your ferret weekly with flea shampoo and by using sprays, topical powders and creams to control the flea infestation in your ferret. Your vet might prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine if your ferret suffers from skin irritation.

Getting rid of fleas from ferrets is actually a much different process then eliminating fleas off dogs or cats. The first thing that you need to do is to kill all the adult fleas that your ferret as well as prevent the fleas that are already in your environment from redeveloping and infecting your fuzzy friend.

Like other animals, ferrets can also suffer from a case of dermatitis so it is best to get rid of the fleas as soon as you can.

How to get rid of a ferret flea infestation


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Symptoms of fleas

The most common symptoms that have been associated with fleas include scratching, chewing, biting and licking the infected area. The ferrets do such things in order to dislodge the pesky creatures from its body. Flea dirt or dried blood left behind on the skin of the ferret by the fleas are both good indicators of fleas. Ferrets are also known to develop skin lesions that are similar to acne, experience hair loss and scabs can be seen on their body.

When there are a lot of fleas on the body of the ferret and are constantly drinking blood, the ferret begins to suffer from anemia. The ferret might even develop a secondary infection if it frequently scratches, bites or chews at an area and breaks its skin. All of this can lead to many severe cases such as tachycardia which is an abnormally rapid rhythm of the heart.

Causes of fleas

The development of flea species is linked to many different sources. For example, if a ferret spends a lot of its time outside the house, then it may come into contact with parasites present on wild animals. Ferrets usually contract the fleas from dogs and cats.

Here are some ways you can get rid of fleas on ferrets

Flea Prevention

Flea prevention is very important as it obstructs the fleas from making a home on the body of the poor ferret. Periodic flea deterrent will help protect your fuzzy friend from fleas. You can easily purchase many different kinds of products from your local pet stores that aid in the prevention of fleas on ferrets.

Apple cider vinegar

Adding apple cider vinegar to the water of the ferrets is one of the best ways to prevent flea infestation as after drinking the diluted vinegar the ferret’s blood becomes repellent to ticks and fleas. This is a great home ready that is not hard on the pocket and is very effective in controlling fleas on ferrets.


You need to make sure that the surroundings of your ferret are hygienic and clean in order to get rid of fleas. Insects tend to prosper in uncleanness and dirt. You should clean the cage of your fuzzy mate about twice a week and wash the bedding of the ferret with soap and warm water so that germs do not get a chance to develop in the cage. Make sure that the cage is free from any remaining flea eggs.

You also need to pay attention to the tidiness of your house as the ferrets do not stay in their cages all the time. They should also be protected after they leave the cage. Fleas are able to enter your home too and can easily spoil the whole environment.

Make use of a vacuum cleaner to clean your furniture and the carpets so that fleas do not get a chance to reside there. You can also spray flea killing product in your house in order to eliminate the fleas from every nook and corner. This will ensure that your ferret does not contract fleas when it roams around freely in your house.

Give the ferret a bath

Give your ferret a bath if you find adult fleas on its body. Make use of dawn dish soap or ferret flea shampoo and warm water to clean your fuzzy mate. You can use the flea comb to remove any fleas you find on the fur of your ferret. Dry your ferret after giving it a bath.

The bath will definitely help to terminate the fleas, but there is a chance of contracting the fleas again when the air touched the fur of the ferret. So besides bathing, you should also use products that help to reduce the chances of a recurring flea infestation. Remember to make sure that the disinfectant has killed all the fleas.

Using chemicals

You can make use of chemicals such as Program (lufenuron), Advantage (imidacloprid), Frontline and Revolution (selamectin) to prevent the growth of fleas in ferrets. All of these products can be easily found in the market, or you could even order them online from any ferret web store.

You can also use pills to kill the fleas on the body of your ferret. To feed your ferrets, the pills easily try crushing the pills and adding them to your ferret’s food. Significant results can be achieved if your ferret consumes a large portion of the pills its food.


This is a pill in which the active ingredient is inferno which interferes with the development of the hard outer layer of the flea and thus induces early death of the immature flea. It does not kill the adult flea and is in no way an insecticide, but it does aid in the prevention of immature fleas from reaching maturity so overtime the fleas in the household die.  You can give this product orally to your ferret once a month.

It is actually a very safe drug for your pet and has rarely shown any side effects such as itchy skin, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite and lethargy. The program does not kill ear mites or heartworm. The pill takes about 6 to 8 weeks to eradicate the household fleas completely.

Revolution is a product in which the active ingredient is selamectin. Selamectin is actually an avermectin. After the product is applied to the fur of the ferret, it gets absorbed into its bloodstream and is ultimately distributed back into the skin where it is consumed by the fleas and causes their death. Revolution is known to act both externally as well as internally.

Do not worry about bathing your ferret after applying revolution as bathing does not reduce the effectiveness of the product. Revolution keeps a check on heartworms, fleas, ear mites, tick, and sarcoptic mange mites.

Home or natural flea products do not effectively kill fleas, but they do act as good repellents and keep the fleas away from your pet.

Some of the products can be added to the food of your ferret such as garlic. Sulfur and brewer’s yeast are absorbed by the body and they may have a hand in altering the smell or taste of the skin of your ferret making it repulsive to the fleas. Some products are made use of only topically such as lavender oil, melaleuca oil, pennyroyal oil, lemon oil, and citronella oil.

These products can actually trigger allergic reactions if the ferret licks or swallows too much of them. They may cause a toxic reaction.

These products are actually not preferable when it comes to dealing with fleas as they might cause more harm than good. If you do end up using these products then keep an eye on your ferret to catch any allergic reactions and use environmental flea control to further reduce the household flea population.

Related Questions

Do I need to wash the couch pillows and blankets? Washing your couch pillows and blankets is not really that necessary. You can invest in a high-quality flea treatment spray which is suitable for your household. The product will most probably eliminate fleas living in couch cushions, blankets, and carpets, etc.

There is a red swollen bump on my ferret that sometimes oozes fluid or blood. Could the sores be due to fleas? The irritation from the fleas might have caused the sores. In order to get the situation under control, you need to treat the fleas on your fuzzy mate and possibly for an infection that is related to this kind of sores. The best thing is to take your ferret to the vet as soon as possible.

Can fleas lead to the death of my ferret? Fleas may not be fatal at first, but they cause many health problems such as anemia. The more time the fleas get to stay in your ferret’s body the more damage they cause. The skin infections or other flea related health issues can greatly affect the health of your ferret and in severe cases even lead to its death.

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