As much as rabbits make delightful pets, they also pose some challenges for their owners.
While rabbits are pretty low-maintenance pets, you’ve got to ensure that their hutch is clean at all times. And that is quite a daunting task.
If you don’t ensure cleanliness, your rabbits will start to attract flies and you won’t like it!
Do Pet Rabbits Attract Flies?
Yes, pet rabbits can attract flies. Most of the time, flies are attracted to rabbits that don’t clean themselves properly. In other instances, flies are attracted to dirty cages.
Flies are attracted to rabbits’ urine and feces. If you don’t clean the cage, a fly infestation is inevitable.
If your rabbit is unwell or overweight, it impairs their ability to clean themselves, and flies may lay eggs on your rabbit’s bum because the rabbit is unable to clean the bum, and there are fecal deposits on it.
Can You Prevent Flies in Your Rabbit Hutch?
Flies pose a threat to rabbits’ health and wellbeing.
However, the good news is that you can prevent the flies from inhabiting your rabbit’s hutch. We’ll talk more about it in detail ahead.
Why Are Flies Attracted to Rabbits?
If you’ve got rabbits at home, you may have noticed flies. Flies are a nuisance that is hard to ignore.
You may keep a close check on your rabbit’s cleanliness, but flies can get attracted to rabbits even then.
There are many reasons why flies are attracted to rabbits. We’ve listed some of the most prominent ones below:
Urine and Feces
It’s not the rabbits that flies are attracted to but their urine and feces. Rabbit’s waste provides ideal conditions for the flies to lay eggs.
Even if you clean urine and feces from the rabbit’s cage, some of it may remain on the rabbit’s fur, and that’s enough to attract flies.
Also read: Why Does Rabbit Pee Smell so Bad?
Sticky Consistency of Poop
Rabbits with poop sticking to their fur are quite a treat for flies.
Another reason why flies may be attracted to rabbits or their cage is moisture.
If there’s water standing in a rabbit’s hutch or you’ve placed the hutch near a water source, be prepared for lots of flies.
Flies are also attracted to the rabbit’s litter for obvious reasons.
Rabbit urine and poop are the primary sources of attraction for flies, and that’s what the litter has in plenty!
Do Flies Pose a Threat to Rabbits?
Flies can be dangerous for rabbits. Rabbit’s poop and urine offer ideal conditions for the flies to lay their eggs.
While you can ensure there’s no urine and poop in a rabbit’s hutch, some of it always stays on the rabbit’s fur and bum.
If the flies lay an egg in rabbits’ fur, around their bum, or in the skin, it can lead to fly strike, which is a serious condition in rabbits.
If you don’t do something to get rid of fly larvae, it might lead to health issues and even death!
A fly’s reproductive cycle is quite fast. Eggs can grow into maggots in as less as 24 hours!
These maggots can feed on a rabbit’s skin and can lead to health issues!
Fly strike occurs most during the summer season (June to October), which means these are the months you’ve got to be most careful.
Which Types of Rabbits Attract Most Flies?
Not all kinds of rabbits will attract flies. If your rabbit is active, they’ll clean and groom themselves just fine, which means there will be no traces of urine or feces on their fur.
If you take good care of your rabbit’s hutch and they actively clean themselves, the chances of fly infestation in your rabbit’s hutch and your home are pretty lean.
However, some rabbits attract flies more. The kinds of rabbits that flies are most attracted to are:
- Wounded rabbits that have open wounds or sores
- Obese rabbits that can’t groom themselves actively
- Rabbits with sticky poop that sticks to their fur
- Rabbits that pee too often
- Rabbits with a poor diet
- Rabbits that live in dirty hutches
- Aging rabbits that don’t move around and groom themselves well
- Rabbits that have soiled fur and skin
If your rabbit is any of the above, you need to be extra cautious about their health and hygiene because your rabbit is a source of the major attraction for flies and at a high risk of getting a fly strike!
How Can You Tell if Your Rabbit Has Fly Strike?
In the summer months, a rabbit owner may become paranoid in fear of a fly strike. You can save your rabbit from dying from fly strike if you’re able to detect the disease well in time.
Look out for the following signs in your rabbit so that you can treat them for fly strike and save their life:
Rabbit Doesn’t Eat Properly
If your rabbit has suddenly stopped eating, inspect its fur for fly maggots. Rabbits are very sensitive creatures that will lose appetite if the disease strikes them.
You can’t expect your rabbit to eat well if they’ve got maggots eating onto their skins.
Your Rabbit Has Started to Lose Fur
If you notice your rabbit’s fur is getting lighter or there are patches of baldness on your rabbit’s body, there’s a possibility that your rabbit has got fly strikes.
The fly maggots feed on a rabbit’s skin and fur, which will result in patches of baldness on the rabbit’s body. The maggots will continue to feed till there’s no fur left on your rabbit’s body.
Your Rabbit is Dull and Itchy
Another sign that your rabbit may be suffering from ‘fly strike’ is the loss in their activity. If your rabbit appears duller, inspect their fur for fly eggs and maggots.
You’ll notice your rabbit appears to be itchy. That can be a sign of ‘fly strike’ too!
You See Maggots
If you see maggots on your rabbit’s body, you don’t need any further confirmation that your rabbit has gotten infested by flies.
The infestation is already widespread by the time you see maggots on a rabbit’s fur. You’ve got to act fast, or your rabbit will lose the race of their lives.
You See Wounds
Since maggots bite and feed on rabbits’ skin, you’ll see wounds and sores on their body.
How to Prevent Flies from Getting Attracted to Rabbits?
The good news is that you can prevent the flies from getting attracted to your rabbit.
Some of the ways you can protect your rabbit from flies are:
- Clean your rabbit’s bum regularly to ensure there are fecal deposits.
- Clean the rabbit’s hutch regularly.
- Keep a lookout on whether your rabbit is eating well or not.
- Don’t overfeed your rabbit. Overweight rabbits can’t clean themselves well and are at the highest risk of becoming an attraction to flies.
- Trim your rabbit’s fur regularly so they can clean themselves easily.
- Take your rabbit to the vet regularly for a thorough checkup!
Rabbits do attract flies, but you can prevent that from happening. You just have to ensure your rabbit’s hygiene and the cleanliness of the hutch.
As long as there’s nothing for the flies, they won’t come by!
Other articles you may also like: