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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation Beetles - SOS!

Hi guys! Soooo I have a disgusting and slightly embarrassing problem to admit - we have a flour beetle infestation in the bird room. Turns out when we boxed everything up for our move in January, I didn't realize I put an opened, loosely sealed bag of birdseed in a box of toys... today, months later, I opened the box for the first time because I'm clearing house of old toys to donate to a newly founded bird rescue and I found this bag... I kid you not, there were more beetles than seed!

I have noticed maybe 3-4 of them at nights in the bathroom, saw one in the bedroom, and once saw a few in the birdseed over the last 2 days and was planning on calling pest control to find a pet-safe way to spray the house, but now I've discovered the source. The best I can figure is they've been pigging out on that bag all this time and now that the food is finally gone, they've gone in search of more food. It was like a weevil exodus when I opened the bag, they scattered. I vaccuumed the floor like 6x... when I changed Goober's papers (only 3 days old) there were dozens! All in the carpet, crawling on my feet... it's pretty much the most disgusting thing I've ever dealt with and I can't believe between 3 days ago when I cleaned the whole room and now there's so many of them!!! It's like they have been hiding in a box in the closet for months and decided over the last few days they all needed to migrate en masse...

Rant aside, does anyone have any tips on what I can do to get rid of them? I spent the last 3 hours cleaning and bombing the entire bird room, throwing away every crumb of food I could find and cleaning everything. The birds are in their travel cages and I even rolled their cages outside overnight to hose off in the morning. I bought new food at petsmart to tide them over until I can get their normal food online and have it in the freezer. I'll be buying airtight food storage bins for their food tomorrow and replaced the dog/cat food bins with proper airtight, pest preventing bins... spend a good $200 today on bins alone

Is there any pet safe pest control measures I can take? I plan on changing papers daily now, throwing out food at night, vacuuming daily until it's under control but I'm terrified they'll spread into my kitchen and house and I'll never get rid of them D: HELP MEEEEEEEEEE



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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 01:05 AM


 
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I have been battling a small infestation of meal moths all year,, haven't seen any for a few weeks so hopeing I got them all. I placed a lot of bay leaves in and around the food in my pantry and luckily they never got in there... Just stayed around my bird cages. I actually gave them places to feed by dumping all leftovers in a garbage can under the bird cages and hoped if I missed one it would feed or lay eggs in there and it is tossed once a week. I also kill any moths I see... Vacuum well around the cages and make sure all food is replaced at least weekly in my cages.. I have never heard of these beetles but maybe some of what I did will help you.. Oh make sure to remove bay leaves before using the product.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 02:48 AM


 
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Pantry Moths can be a real pain.
As long as you have found their main breeding site you should be able to get on top of them.
Make sure all flour grains are in air tight bags and I know some bags the maggots can chew through. One trick I use is to use two bags one inside the other. If any eggs hatch the maggots can only go so long before they need to eat. So they die.
Putting things in the freezer will kill any bugs. Air tight bins are always a good idea.
Buying seed from a known source is any key to not bringing them home.
Don't forget to throw out the dust in the vacuum cleaner often. as they can hatch in there as well. The rest of it to me sounds like you have already sorted. If you can move the birds out of the room you can use a fly spray on the moths. It will do no good against the eggs and maggots. Weevils if you prefer to call them that.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tips, guys. I did some research on the bug types, and it looks like they're a type of flour beetle. So thankfully, no moths to drive the cats crazy but almost a worse problem. They eat anything, not just flour and seed, and they breed year round. Bleach, ammonia, or other cleaners do not deter or stop them. They can also chew through most plastic bags and since they are so small and flat can get into many closed containers... I'll try the bay leaf thing - it can't hurt. I'll buy an off brand cheapo bottle tomorrow when we go buy tupperware to put everything in our kitchen in lol

Just since I've posted, they're abandoning the bird room and I'm seeing them in the bathroom... next step is the kitchen, which will make life horrible for me since that's where litter boxes, dog/cat food, all our food... ugh. I've got way too much cleaning in my immediate future!



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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 08:05 AM


 
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Good tip on the vacuum Clive...I had forgotten that one. Jenny good luck... I hate bugs in my house too and having pets makes it so difficult to eradicate food sources cuz the pets need too eat... That's exactly why I left a food source by the cages.. To hopefully keep them from migrating thru the house... Then tossed that source every week to toss out any eggs that may of been laid. Crossing my fingers for you!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 07:57 PM


 
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AIL (avian insect liquidator) kills all bugs and is safe to use around birds and other pets--although NOT fish (and I think reptiles too). They also sell a sticky trap with bug pheromone in Home Depot, I think it's called Pantry Pest trap--or something like that. That is also safe for use near animals, as long as they can't fall in the trap (it's not super sticky, like the mouse ones, but I wouldn't want the birds to fall in it.)

Store all your food products in air tight containers--I store my flour in a rubbermaid cereal keeper and I've had the pasta, rice, and oatmeal attacked by beetles and they couldn't touch the flour. Now I just keep that stuff in the freezer/fridge because I don't buy enough to fill up the cereal container.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 01:29 AM
 
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AIL is very good. We used that on mites. 90% rubbing alcohol will also kill any
bug but, you have to place it directly on the bug. We used that on the mites before we used AIL. The alcohol does really smell for a short while. I think you are doing every thing you can to keep those suckers under control. Keep doing it!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyrinth View Post
AIL (avian insect liquidator) kills all bugs and is safe to use around birds and other pets--although NOT fish (and I think reptiles too). They also sell a sticky trap with bug pheromone in Home Depot, I think it's called Pantry Pest trap--or something like that. That is also safe for use near animals, as long as they can't fall in the trap (it's not super sticky, like the mouse ones, but I wouldn't want the birds to fall in it.)

Store all your food products in air tight containers--I store my flour in a rubbermaid cereal keeper and I've had the pasta, rice, and oatmeal attacked by beetles and they couldn't touch the flour. Now I just keep that stuff in the freezer/fridge because I don't buy enough to fill up the cereal container.
Thanks for the tips! I've only seen maybe a dozen since the cleaning... so that's very reassuring. I think I still have some AIL, I'll have to research to make sure it's safe around reptiles and fish, since I have both in the same room



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 01:59 PM


 
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I think finding out the exact species is the key to get rid of them if you can't use AIL because of your fishes and reptiles.
In this case you could post detail pictures, perhaps one of our members knows them.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 07:51 PM
 
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It is not recommended to be use around fish.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 06:46 PM


 
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NO, it's highly TOXIC to fish. That I'm sure about, I'm not sure about reptiles though. I believe they recommend covering the fish tanks--it's only toxic if it falls into the water, it's not the fumes or anything...but I don't know if you want to risk the fine spray

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, guys. The cleaning up seemed to have done the trick... I keep finding a few in the bathroom, but they are very sluggish and dying. Also found some in the cockroach trap in the kitchen, dead. So at least something is killing them. We'll see in 7 weeks if I was successful... I do feel a lot better knowing that what most likely happened was the bag of food I had was contaminated and had eggs in it but those eggs take 7 weeks to hatch, so it's not like I had beetles in my closet for two months Makes me feel like less of a slob! The eggs, once laid, take 7-10 weeks to hatch and the beetles lay the eggs on the food item they are currently eating. Definitely going to freeze my food from now on, but it just surprises me. I stopped freezing my food once I switched to Goldenfeast because I've never seen bugs in their food and know they keep it clean. Guess there's a first for everything!



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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 06:07 PM



 
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I can't offer any better advice than what has already been said, but good luck! I had a darn fruit fly festival as soon as the lories moved in. The weather got warmer and any food left for an hour or so would be prime target! Yucky
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