?? on Bugs in Sweet Feed & Fire Ants

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Windhaven

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1) I have had a problem keeping out the little tiny tiny white bugs out of my sweet feeds, so I have quit using it. But I have a couple of horses and my weanlings that need this feed.

Now these bugs are very very tiny. They almost look like a white dust on the inside of the lids (I keep my grain in plastic trash cans) but if you watch closely they move (crawl). I have had these bugs in the summer in MI and now have them down here in GA. How does every one keep these bugs out of their feed and what are they? If you haven't noticed them in your sweet feed look closely, they seem to stay in groups, so it appears as dust spots on the inside of the grain containers. It helps to have dark barrels and lids.

I didn't keep a lot of sweet feed on hand and always used up the old before opening up the new. Could these bugs be coming in the feed? It is probably nothing to worry about but I would like to know if I can prevent it.

2) This is for people who have fire ant problems. Has anyone had problems with fire ants causing scratches on their horses pasterns? I have had two horses with scratches and I know the fire ants bite them because I have seen it. These two horses are not in the same pasture either. Also what do you treat your barns and pens/pastures with to get rid of them? They are getting in my hay and are all through my stalls. Not only do they bite the horses but they get me too, they are so aggressive.
 

DrivinTime

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Re: #1: Well, I'm not sure if these are the same bugs, but a while back I had a bag of what looked like very dusty feed - except the "dust" kept climbing to the top of the feed bin - yikes! The owner of the feed store said that sometimes when the temperature/humidity levels are just right, these bugs - I think he called them grain mites - hatch out of the feed. My fussy horse wasn't eating it well (geez, neither would I!) so I dumped it in the compost, cleaned the feed bins and surrounding area with bleach water, and bought all new grain. (Fortunately, this was back before the big hikes in grains and stuff!) I haven't (knock on wood!) had a problem since.

The store owner's suggested, since I only have 2 minis, that I divide each bag of grain in half and put half in the freezer to keep it fresh, especially in the summer. I have kitty litter buckets that hold just about 25 pounds of grain, so that works pretty well. This store owner also said he's seen the problem more in Purina products, to the point where he won't carry them anymore... (I buy Poulin and Buckeye!)

Re: #2: Sorry, we don't have fire ants in Vermont! Although we do have lots and lots of mosquitoes and black flies and deer flies and june bugs and ticks... Hey, just had a thought: Would the old boric acid and sugar trick work on fire ants, I wonder? Works like a charm on our ant varieties...

Good luck!
 

cretahillsgal

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I am sorry I can't help you about the white bugs in the feed. I haven't ever noticed them in ours so don't know what they are. But we do have the larger black weevils that will get in the feed. Usually it is older feed that the feed stores have had around for a while. The only way to keep it out of the feed is to buy from someone who keeps their feed storerooms sprayed. Once they are in the feed, you can rarely get them out.

We do have fire ants here. Tried AMDRO, didn't work. What we do is find the mounds and spray them with Tempo. Tempo is what the exterminators use in buildings around the baseboards. I don't think there is any bug that it won't kill. And it is safe to spray around animals and people. I wouldn't spray it on your hay, but you could spray the ground around it to help with the ants. If I see an ant trail I just spray that and follow it back to the mound and douse it really well. It will kill them off, but I usually have to repeat in a couple of months.
 

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