Bugs in the grain...what are they?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Dances In Woods, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Dances In Woods

    Dances In Woods Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    Opened the rubbermaid container yesterday to feed ducks/geese and the hen scratch had all these black bugs in it. Are these weavils or what?
    We sprayed around the container to keep ants and such away. But these bugs have came out of nowhere it seems. I know birds eat bugs and stuff but will eating these hurt anything? The grain didn't have any bugs until yesterday.

    I have some cracked corn for them to eat until I get to feed store.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    They will love the extra protein. Won't hurt them a bit. There prob were eggs in the grain when you bought it. They hatched. If you want to try to save the grain, dump it out onto a big tarp and call the chickens over. They will gladly pick out and eat the bugs. Then put the grain back in the bin.
     

  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It sounds like one of a dozen or more kinds of grain beetles. Depending on exactly which beetle it is, other natural products stored near this stuff may be at risk. These most likely came with the "hen scratch." (By the way, what is hen scratch?) If the lid to this container is air tight, you have less risk of this insect spreading to other foods. You can use air tight containers to protect other at-risk foods. While the chickens may eat the adults and larvae, they may not find the eggs, or pupae. So it is unlikely the chickens will get rid of the problem unless they eat everything in the bin. It is also possible that something near the bin is, was, or will be infested. In any case, your best strategy is to closely inspect food products near the problem. There is no harm, as mentioned, to eating these bugs; a protein bonus. You can kill all life stages with alternating freezer and room temperatures with each stage of the cycle lasting at least 24 hours. The bugs can't adjust to the large variation in temperature, back and forth. You could need several cycles. Its easier to just get rid of the infested food. You must meticulously clean all food debris from the storage area, as this is a major area for continued re-infestation.

    good luck
    GObug
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Chicken scratch is a mixture of grains. Usually some milo mixed with cracked corn etc.

    No, the chickens won't get rid of the eggs, but they will remove the egg laying adults. Then D in W can salvage that grain.

    You can mix DE with grain when you first put it into the bin. It will at least help in keeping weevils in control. I gather you don't buy huge amts at a time?
     
  5. Dances In Woods

    Dances In Woods Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    We only have 4 geese & 4 ducks so a 50lb bag lasts us for awhile, we always keep the container closed (it snaps shut) .

    Well, at least there's not much grain left anyway. :)

    thanks for advice
    chris
     
  6. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    I mix about 3-4% diatomaceous earth in all the feeds I buy. No bugs in the feed and the animals (chickens, pigs, goats, dog, cat) are pretty much worm free and the added bonus of the fly population is WAY down (maggots can't handle the DE in the animals' manure). I also dust the animals and their living quarters with DE to reduce/eliminate mites, ticks and fleas. Controls some garden pests, too.