Thrymskvida

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Hello everyone - I live in an area heavily populated by mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus). Luckily they don't carry any diseases here, but they bite constantly and the itching is enough to drive you mad.

When I put my guinea pigs out on the lawn to graze, they're immediately swamped by a swarm of mosquitoes that go straight for their ears.

Tabard and Peaceful Sleep are topical mosquito repellants I use on my own skin, but even I find the smell overwhelming and my skin reacts poorly, so I'm extremely hesitant to try them on my pigs. Does anyone have any ideas for how to keep the mosquitoes away from my pigs? I know most members are UK-based, so your experience with mosquitoes might be limited, but other biting insects behave similarly!
 

Thrymskvida

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That's a good idea! Their outdoor cage has no solid sides, so it'll have to be a net roof as well, but that might make things easier. I can't believe I didn't think of it - thank you very much!

(as an aside, I just learned that the UK in fact has many indigenous species of mosquito - I apologise to them for my assumptions)
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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Good luck hope nets will keep the mosquitos away from your piggies!

Yes we do have mosquitoes here in the UK, but they are nowhere near the problem they will be in Southern Africa and tropical countries, because they need water for their breeding cycle and ponds etc aren't that common in the UK. I tend to worry more about wasps finding their way from the flower beds into my outdoor run 🐝🐝🌺
 

Thrymskvida

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I tend to worry more about wasps finding their way from the flower beds into my outdoor run 🐝🐝🌺
Oh, wow, wasps! That's certainly a lot scarier! Luckily I don't think they'd be too aggressive towards piggies (unless one decided to suddenly become insectivorous), but the possibility would certainly worry me too! Bees and spiders coming into conflict with my herd is another fear...

When I was on holiday in the Karoo with my girls, I saw a scorpion "near" (about 20m away) their cage, and just about had a heart attack. Again, though, I doubt any sensible wasp, scorpion, spider, or bee would bother or be bothered by a Guinea pig. Too big to eat, and too silly to pose a threat!
 

dan3008

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Too big to eat, and too silly to pose a threat!
And that will be the title of my autobiography lol

On a serious note, insect nets are your best bet to keep the mosquitoes and other bugs away. And keep a close eye on them for bites and infections
 

Siikibam

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What is their outdoor cage made of? Do they live in or outside? You have to watch the temperatures. Though you’re quite south of the equator so I don’t know how hot it can get there.
 

Thrymskvida

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What is their outdoor cage made of? Do they live in or outside? You have to watch the temperatures. Though you’re quite south of the equator so I don’t know how hot it can get there.

Their outdoor cage is made of wire (very narrow bars, spaced around 7mm apart). It doesn't have a bottom, and I shift it along the grass over the course of the morning and evening. Most middays are too hot, so they come inside, then go out to graze again when it's cooler. They live inside in a C&C, where it's a nice ~25°.

I won't take them out if it's too hot for me, and have a strict cut-off of 28°. They always have a big shady umbrella thing over the cage, and I sit out with them so if it gets hot we go in. Mid-summer (Jan/Feb) regularly has 40°+ days, so we probably won't be outside much for the next couple of months.
 

Siikibam

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All precautions are in place so all good. I’m originally from east Africa. It’s a pity I can’t take the piggies with me when we go on holiday. They’d have a fabulous time with all that grass!
 
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