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Hay fleas?

Feeding Horses Thread, Hay fleas? in Horses and Ponies; Since my new load of hay, I have noticed its absolutely riddled with tiny flea like looking insects and now ...
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Old 15-12-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default Hay fleas?

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?
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Old 15-12-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Yentle View Post
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?
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

I hope not

Cheers
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Old 15-12-2011, 07:08 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 15-12-2011, 07:15 PM   #4
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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

Last edited by kiraSpark; 15-12-2011 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 15-12-2011, 07:27 PM   #5
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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!!
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Old 15-12-2011, 07:34 PM   #6
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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?
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Old 15-12-2011, 08:03 PM   #7
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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?
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.

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Old 15-12-2011, 08:26 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 15-12-2011, 08:47 PM   #9
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Sounds very much like some sort of grain insect/weevil then.
Will wait for piccies tommorrow
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Old 16-12-2011, 06:00 PM   #10
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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
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