There are many pests that enjoy feeding on bird seed. Below is information to help you identify an infestation and what type of pest you may be dealing with.
Granary and Rice Weevils
Commonly referred to as ‘snout weevils’, Granary and Rice Weevils often infest bird seed in grain storage facilities before the seed is processed. Due to the fact that the larvae feed inside the grain, infestations are often only discovered when the adult weevils are seen exiting the grain through tiny holes. Granary and Rice Weevils are not harmful to humans and will not bite or sting. In addition to bird seed, Granary and Rice Weevils may also infest whole grains, rice, corn, millet, rye, beans and caked meal.
To check for an infestation of Granary or Rice Weevils, use a flashlight to exam your bird seed closely for any adult insects.
The Maize Weevil is a very common pest found in bird seed. This insect often infests the seed at the processing factory or pet store. Adult Maize Weevils have long snouts. They are reddish brown or black in color and often have tiny red spots on their backs. In addition to bird seed, Maize Weevils may also infest whole grains, rice, corn, millet, rye, beans, bird seed, and caked meal
To check for an infestation of Maize Weevils, use a flashlight to exam your bird seed closely.
Adult Cigarette Beetles are very small and oval in shape. They may be observed flying around when the light is low. In addition to bird seed, they may also infest rice, ginger, raisins, pepper, dates, various drugs, seeds, spices, dried flowers and other dried botanicals, tobacco products, upholstery, pasta, and cereal products.
Indian Meal Moth
An infestation of Meal Moths may occur in stores, feed companies, manufacturers or originate at home. The moths lay their eggs in the seed where the larvae will consume the feed before turning into adult moths. These larvae look like tiny worms with black heads and will often leave the food and climb walls where they may be found suspended on silk webs. The adult moths will often fly around in the dark. In addition to bird seed, Indian Meal Moths may also infest grain and grain products, dried fruits, seeds, crackers, nuts, powdered milk, candies, dried red peppers, meal, cracked corn, flour, graham crackers, pasta and dry pet food.
To check for an infestation of Indian Meal Moths, look closely for the fine silk webbing that the moths spin in the feed.
In the case that your bird seed is infested, it is best to dispose of it immediately, as these pests can travel from your bird seed to flour, grains and other stored food products.
Image by M.D. Photos