Extremely tiny (darkling-like) beetles in chick starter. ID?

Anira

Songster
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
746
77
151
Fossil, OR
I have a bag of chick starter that is around a couple months old. There was just a tiny bit left in the bag, which I mixed with new feed to get rid of it. I scooped out some the other day (before I got the chicks and new bag of feed) and had it in a container in the laundry room (leads to the back door) for a little rooster that was under weight from being picked on (I now have some turkey/gamebird feed for him). In this little cup I found two tiny darkling beetle-like bugs, but extremely tiny. I do raise mealworms and superworms, but in a completely different part of the house. And these guys are just too tiny to be some of them.

Needless to say, I immediately removed the feed from the chick brooder and cleaned the feeders. I've moved the rest of that bag to the back to be fed to the adults tomorrow. I poked through the feed from the brooder before I dumped it outside and didn't see any more of these bugs, so hopefully they were just in the laundry room. Also poked through the newly bought and opened bag of chick starter and didn't see any there, either (just got my chicks and new feed yesterday).

So any ideas on what these are? They really do look just like mini darkling (mealworm) beetles. Nor does it seem like they can climb or fly (as darkling beetles cannot either). I'm sure they're harmless, but I would really like to know what they are.

Size comparison with index finger:


Underside (accidentally dropped it on its back):


Topside:


Thanks in advance!
 

sarnold1

Chirping
Feb 12, 2015
192
9
61
The chickens would probably enjoy the beetles honestly! Bugs always find their way into feed if it is accessible.
 

dabaholic

Hatching
Nov 22, 2015
2
0
6
They are Grain Weevils I actually asked my feed store and they told me a while ago haha, had the same problem just a bag sitting out for a while and they appeared. Oh well the chickens went crazy for them :).
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
57,049
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I agree - chickens love those critters - double whammy for them. A bit like being given a cold glass to tonic with lemon, and then stumbling across a bottle of gin
big_smile.png


CT
 

Anira

Songster
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
746
77
151
Fossil, OR
I will be feeding the rest of the bag to the adults outside, but I'm not going to feed them to the baby chicks.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Mix some food grade DE into the rest of the feed bag and any other feed bags that might have bee infiltrated by the beetles.......
......will kill any remaining and/or emerging larvae.

Or you could put the whole bag into a zero freezer to kill all stages.

Keep bag in tight metal can to keep those beetles from laying eggs anywhere else.

ETA: Great pics BTW!
 
Last edited:

Anira

Songster
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
746
77
151
Fossil, OR
There was hardly anything left in that bag so I just fed it to the turkeys. I only keep one bag open at a time, so none of the others should have anything in them.

I don't have any metal cans, nor have I ever needed one. I don't usually have a bag sitting open and unused for very long.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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There was hardly anything left in that bag so I just fed it to the turkeys. I only keep one bag open at a time, so none of the others should have anything in them.

I don't have any metal cans, nor have I ever needed one. I don't usually have a bag sitting open and unused for very long.
Good chance those bugs came in with the feed.
I keep my feed in metal cans with tight lids to keep mice out of them.
 

Anira

Songster
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
746
77
151
Fossil, OR
Chick feed is the only thing I have that doesn't get used in a day, and it is kept inside the house. The feed for the adults go into the 10 gallon feeders, so the bag is emptied as soon as it's opened. I don't need cans. I have three cats and the neighbors have several cats running around so no mice.

I just wanted to know WHAT they are. I'm sure they came in with the feed as there aren't any running around the house anywhere (that or the spiders are eating them all).
 

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