Hay fleas?

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Yentle, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Yentle

    Yentle Active Member

    Since my new load of hay, I have noticed its absolutely riddled with tiny flea like looking insects and now they are all over my buckets and floor, they are every where. Are they hay fleas, are they something I should be concerned about and is there a way to get rid of them?
  2. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    are you or the horses being bitten at all ? if so, then they're not Fleas..but Hay Mites #( from off Foxes..not good at all !! nausty little buggas they are:eek:

    I hope not

  3. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Here is my guess. Saw toothed grain beetle.

    It's a dark brown grain storage beetle, about 2-3mm long, with a head and abdomen (in 2 segments) and 6 legs. They like the dark, and are slow moving. They make weblike nests in the hay, which tends to look very dry and flakey when it's infested. Harmless to the horses, but will infest your hay, feed and household pantry. Easily killed with insecticides like Permethrin, or flea bombs, but usually have lots of babies waiting to hatch and reinfest.

    I posted here a couple years ago about some mystery bugs that came with my bulk annual hayload from York. I have seen it in some SOR stockfeeders hay this year, originally from Beverley way. Nobody could tell me what they were so I sent an envelope of them to the Ag Dept Pest division, they identified them for free. Check Ag Dept website by typing 'grain beetle' into search.
  4. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Yentle, can you post a close up photo of them?
    (I had a cat called Yentl, after the singer. Hehe)

    Blackbat, I mustnt have seen your post ages ago - Ive spent 11 years looking at sawtooth beetles and other grain storage pests, and could have told you what they were, lol :p
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  5. Cadabby

    Cadabby Well-known Member

    I used to look after some horses for people who kept their hay in a sea container and it was full of hay mites- impossible to get rid of completely without emptying the entire container and bloody annoying!! So I hope for your sake they aren't hay mites as you will be scratching yourself inside out!!
  6. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Yeah. Well my supplier denied their presence, but they came with the hay two years in a row. I'd fumigated my container etc but was reinfested. I thought it was an isolated thing, but this year have seen what looks to me like infested oaten hay at many stockfeeders, and seen the beetles on bags of chaff I am buying. Makes me think they are spreading? Is beetle controlled by hay growers via spraying at all KS? Or is it a bug that is hard to get rid of once it's in the paddock?
  7. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    No, the beetle is a pest of stored grain (or hay in this case). They are not present while the crop is being grown.

    They make their presence known when the grain/hay has been in storage (doesnt necessarily have to be stored long either, they reproduce extremely quickly and lay prodigous amounts of eggs also). Once they are in your shed etc they can be troublesome to get rid of. Fumigation is often the only way, sometimes for several seasons until all eggs have hatched also. Keeping the area swept clean and any grains cleaned up etc can help reduce their numbers.

    They are so small that they can hide in all the nooks and crannies, which makes physically removing them very tricky.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  8. Yentle

    Yentle Active Member

    Hey guys thanks for your posts. Tomorrow I will have a look close up and try and get a photo of them. Since I have brought the hay I havent had to feed it out yet so not sure if they are bities or not. So far I haven't been biten. They are really really tiny though and there is just millions of them. Will have a closer look tomorrow and will report back.
  9. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Sounds very much like some sort of grain insect/weevil then.
    Will wait for piccies tommorrow :)
  10. Ants

    Ants Well-known Member

    yep, i have them as well! they rely on warmth and humidity

    just had my second wave come back after hitting everything with permethrin

    i figure if i keep on the ball, ill get them in the end

    funnily enough, there only in one shed; with the new hay and my feeds etc, not the other shed 10m away with the old season hay
  11. Yentle

    Yentle Active Member

    Well I couldn't get a photo, they are just too small, the camera wouldn't focus on them and they are fairly quick moving too. I don't think they are making web like nests. They do have a head and a torso, but I can't work out how many legs as they are just too small. They don't seem to be penetrating into the bales, they are just hanging around the outside of them. I habe never had them before and I still have a half a round bale of last seasons hay in my shed next to the new stuff. The old hay has never had these in the 8 months it's been sitting in my shed but now it also is riddled with them. So they have either come in with the new hay or they are always in my soil but there is something about this years weather that has caused them to come inside and breed in massive quantities. I don't mind so much about them being in the hay because I'm sure they won't effect the horses but I hate that they are now climbing all over everything else in my tack room:mad: The mystery continues!!!
  12. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    THis year seems to bad for insects - we have ants by the million, and weird ass flying ants that dig into the soil left right and centre. And the spiders ..! Never seen them this bad before.
  13. Yentle

    Yentle Active Member

    Don't even get me started on the spiders!!!
  14. LisaJ

    LisaJ Well-known Member

    We have locusts & spiders at the moment, but the chooks snack on them if they are quick enough!!!
  15. dirtbug

    dirtbug Gold Member

    yeap we have been infested by normal fleas and spiders something bad...

    must be the unusual weather rain-sun-rain-sun
  16. mini magic

    mini magic Active Member

    omg! yep I have seen them in new seasons hay at SFs and I got oaten hay delivered last week and they are in that too?? i agree there not a mite as I havent been bitten either but im worried there going to get into my pellets ect so ive sprayed all my drums with repelx!!
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011

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