Flies are a common pest, but they don’t necessarily kill hamsters. They are more likely to attack when your hamster is stressed or has a weak immune system. To avoid an infestation, keep your hamster in a clean, well-ventilated, and dry space. Also, avoid keeping your hamster in a basement or a side room, where the humidity can increase the risk of fly attacks.
Flies are attracted to undigested food, so always make sure to clean the cage often. Flies also prefer food that is left out, which means that you should avoid putting leftovers in your hamster’s cage. You can also use flystrike protectors, which are a good way to prevent hamsters from being bitten by flies. Another good way to keep flies out is to use flytraps. These can be purchased at your local all-in-one department and should be chemical and odor-free.
To study the effect of flies on hamsters, scientists first had to find out if flies could kill hamsters. They used three to six-week-old male Golden Syrian hamsters as subjects. They were housed in pathogen-free conditions at the Harlan Laboratories, located in Indianapolis, IN. The research was also conducted under the supervision of the NIAID Animal Care and Use Committee.
In a study on sand flies, hamsters were exposed to ten uninfected sand flies at a single site for an hour in the dark. The hamsters were monitored using the dissection method. A study conducted by Secundino et al. showed that sand flies are able to transmit the parasites to hamsters despite their low parasite load.