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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/grain bugs found in rabit pellets

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Question
My daughter bought some rabbit pellets and we didnt know where the bugs came from. They are little brown bugs that fly sometimes but mostly crawl. We have put borax all over the rugs and beds. Threw out bedding. we found a couple in the living room. I understand vinegar can help get rid of larva. We bought bug bombs but have not used them. I saw one in her room again today. I dont want any. Can you make any suggestions. Thank you.

Answer
Kathy:

First, without at least an image of what you are talking about (and preferably a specimen), I cannot make a responsible identification.

There are many, many "stored product pests" that infest all manner of dry foods, including pet foods.  You should always store such products in glass, metal, or durable plastic containers with tight-fitting lids so insects, if present, will be contained; and new infestations will be eliminated because insects can't get through those kinds of containers.

Second, I do not ever suggest methods of pest control, let alone chemical controls like "bug bombs."  This is an accident waiting to happen.  Most people never read the instructions for proper application or deployment of over-the-counter devices.

Third, you should NEVER begin *any* control method BEFORE you have identified what you are dealing with.  You need to take intact specimens of the insects to a local entomologist at a university, natural history museum, state or provincial department of agriculture office (you did not disclose where you live, so....), or public health department (vector control division will have at least one staff entomologist).  He or she can then put the specimen(s) under a microscope and render an educated verdict on their identity.

Lastly, if you believe the insects came from pet food (entirely possible), then you need to notify the store where you bought them, and possibly the manufacturer, so that they can take measures to improve product quality.  You would deserve a refund or replacement item.


Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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