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5 minutes ago I was getting ready to refill my rats' bowl with the grain mix when I saw movement in my peripheral vision. I took a closer look and realized it was a beetle of some sort. It was brown and almost as long as a grain of rice. I immediately took it out and PRAYED that it was an isolated situation and i started to sort through the mix. Unfortunately, it was INFESTED.

There's quite a lot of food in the container, and it's so upsetting because I literally just added hemp seeds which are really expensive. I wanted to add it before filling their bowl. Is there ANY WAY I can salvage their food?? I put the container in the freezer, but if it won't work I guess I'll get a new container and more ingredients tomorrow for a new mix. I just really don't want all that food to have gone to waste. My only consolation is that I KNOW that none of the beetles have actually gotten into their food bowl because their bowl is rather shallow with a white bottom and I fill it barely enough to cover the base.

I've been using this same mix for about a month, and I keep it in a SUPPOSEDLY airtight container. I refill the bowl about twice a day. I only refill it when they've finished most of their food. Because I refill their bowl twice a day, it also means that I check the container twice a day. I give the mixture a good shake and a thorough mix for sure because the puffed grains tend to rise to the top, and I've NEVER seen a bug. I always examine it through the (clear) container and have NEVER seen any movement! Yet there it was today. Basically, I just don't think that they've been there for that long. Or maybe I'm just trying to convince myself.

I hope you guys can help me.
 

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This is a common issue with bird food. Funny I don't see more people bringing it up over here. Anyways, they were most likely larva or eggs already in the seed or grain you added to the mix. The most common ones are seed moths, but their are weevils and other little ickies. Even the best most fresh seed can have these guys! They are harmless to the rats or you, but gross. Freezing is a good method of killing them and keeping them from multiplying. I'd pick out as many as you can prior to freezing. There are little moth house things you can buy as well if you have any flying adults. They stick to a ceiling and have some smell to them so they go in and don't come back out. The adults will build webs in your seed and grain as well which is really gross too.

Your bugs probably did come in on something you added to the mix later. I doubt you had weevils or seed moths already in your home awaiting for seeds to arrive. :) I make fresh mixes each time however because of bug worrys (plus fresher food is probably better). I make a mix that lasts a month. New seed/grains that will be added get froze over night prior to my monthly new mix up. (there are a few bugs who's eggs may survive being frozen) I haven't found anything yet in my rat mix. But I have had brand new bags of parrot food that when I opened had moths already in it.
 

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i expect the rats would probably quite like the weevils lol though it would freak me out a bit too.

I'd freeze it and try and keep the tub cool. Weevils tend to be a problem in mixes kept around room temp. If you can keep it outside or in a sealed box somewhere cold then they won't ever hatch.
 
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