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Hello I have found these insects (picture attached) around my rabbit's pen and specially in their food, I discovered a bunch of these insects in their big bag of pellets which i had to throw out. I've also seen the darker one around walls and all around the carpeted floor. are these harmful to rabbits? any safe way to get rid off insects without harming the rabbits?

thanks

Answer
Dear Lissette

These look like little weevils that are living and breeding in the bunny's food.  I would throw out those pellets and buy fresh, and maybe even bring those back to the store where you got them, as the food is obviously old and contaminated.  :(

Be sure you're not buying pellets with any colorful bits, seeds, corn, etc. as these not only attract the beetles, but also are very unhealthy for your rabbit.  Please see:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/diet.html

The weevils are probably harmless.  However, they can, in some cases, be the intermediate host for certain species of tapeworms.   If your rabbit eats the weevil, and it is harboring larval tapeworms (cysticerci), then your bunny *could* become the definitive host for the adult, intestinal tapeworm.  This is not common, but not impossible.

If you're concerned, please find a good rabbit vet here:

http://www.rabbit.org/vet

and ask about having a fecal exam done to check for parasites.  An overall wellness exam at the same time would be a good idea.

I hope this helps.

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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