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 Post subject: Weevils!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:12 am 
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Seems like I'm terrorising the forum at the moment with all my rat related issues! Just gone to feed and noticed a tiny little bug on the side of the container. Turns out the tub is infested with weevils. I threw away a large amount in a separate container last week because it was absolutely crawling with them and was too horrified to deal with it.

Have looked online but can't seem to find if they're safe for rat consumption and if there's a way to stop them infesting food. Freezing seems like the best idea but I don't know if this kills the eggs also? I don't mind the rats eating them if they're safe but ideally I don't want them crawling all over the place :sick:

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Leah


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 Post subject: Re: Weevils!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:56 am 
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I had trouble with them a couple of years ago - my rats survived, so I think they are safe, just creepy. :luck:

I think freezing kills eggs too, but it wasn't an option for me, I'd have needed to use the whole freezer, lol!

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 Post subject: Re: Weevils!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:39 am 
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Thanks for the reply, that's a relief! I think as long as I've got space I'll start freezing when the bags arrive from RR.

Accidentally buying several kilos of banana brunch by mistake and having to make up a massive mix for what was then only 2 rats meant that it was sitting there a while :roll: Hoping this was the issue rather than a problem with RR in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Weevils!
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:57 pm 
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Are they reddish and oblong, like this? http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/beetles/red_flour_beetle.htm I've had issues with them a few times now, each time originating with some sort of pet food. Once it was some herby treats I got from PAH, once some grain from RR, and once some dried dandelion (!) from Zooplus. Apparently they're an extremely common pest in food storage facilities so it's not just RR. They're not harmful as such, just annoying! I've only ever had them infest one thing at a time so I've just thrown out the infested food. Never tested freezing; I'll try that next time I'm hit. :roll:

I reckon, based on my experiences so far, that what happens is food ships with flour beetle eggs hidden in amongst it, and when the weather gets warm enough the eggs hatch:
- The grain from RR was perfectly fine for months; bugs only appeared in the summer, after the weather warmed up. The grain had been in a reasonably well-sealed bag in a completely airtight tub, and the tub contained other foods which were totally unaffected, so the bugs must have been in the one bag of grain, and it's highly likely that they'd come with the bag in the first place.
- The dandelion similarly was fine for months. It came in a big bag so I left most of it downstairs in a cool cupboard, and made up a smaller bag to keep upstairs where it's a few degrees warmer. The upstairs bag erupted with bugs months later; at that time, the downstairs bag was fine. I experimentally brought the downstairs bag upstairs and soon thereafter it also erupted with bugs.

If they've gotten out into the house you'll probably see them around for a while after you deal with the source. I personally kill the ones I see, it can take a few weeks or months but eventually they stop appearing.

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 Post subject: Re: Weevils!
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:12 pm 
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They were more this sort of thing: http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/eafrinet/maize_pests/key/maize_pests/Media/Html/images/Sitophilus_granarius_(Linnaeus_1875)_-_Granary_Weevil/Sitophilus_granarius.jpg

I've also not ever noticed/had a problem with them before the summer, so I'm assuming it was either the warm weather or the fact that the tub had been sitting there untouched for some time. I accidentally bought a 5 kilo bag of banana brunch by accident and made up an insanely large mix for just the 2 rats I had at the time :oops:

From the sounds of it, they do exist in pretty much all grains (even human grade :sick:) so I'm not blaming RR at all! A lot of sites I looked at say that it's only really something that becomes a problem when buying in bulk because the eggs have time to hatch and the adults can colonise. So yeah, at some point I suppose we've all eaten weevil eggs!

Luckily I think I caught it in time before it spread anywhere else in the house (all their food is kept in boxes in my room) plus the amount of food they were living in probably could have sustained them for much longer before they decided to move anywhere else! Have been freezing all my new bags of food for at least a week just to be sure, now I've got more than 2 rats again they should get through the orders more quickly so it won't be sitting there as long.

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