Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Lice Infestation in Rats



Medicated powders and sprays are available for easy treatment of lice. As with other cases of ectoparasitic infestation, lice infestation is most often treated by topical (external) application of medicated lice-killing dusts and sprays. Sometimes the medication can be given in the form of a solution and administered orally through drinking water. Your veterinarian will advise you on what the best route of administration will be, depending on the severity of the infestation.


Living and Management


Follow your veterinarian’s advice regarding how to properly apply the medicated dusts and sprays to your pet rat. Re-infestation of lice is common unless you maintain a sanitized and hygienic living environment for your rat.


Even with conscientious care, some of the nits may be missed and recurrence of the infestation may be found. Check your rat’s skin for lice and nits on a regular basis, especially in the weeks following the initial infestation.




Cleaning and disinfecting the rat’s living area on a routine basis, and making sure that wild rodents cannot gain access to your rat's living environment are essential to keeping your rat free of this parasite. Another important routine is to wash your hands and clothes after handling another rat, especially before handling your own rat. Even if the other rat appears healthy and free of parasites, it is best to take precautions. Following these steps can help to prevent or control lice infestation -- as well as many other contagious disease conditions -- in your pet rat.