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Old 08-10-2019, 07:20 AM   #1
Courtflash
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Default Small brown beetles in cages

As the title says, I've found these tiny brown beetles in my hamsters' cages. Here's the weird part. No fur loss, no red patchy skin, everyone is eating and drinking. They're not anywhere in particular either. Not in their food, not in their sand, not in their nests. They're just there. They're also not anywhere else in my house. My usual vet isn't open on weekends, and the practice I just spoke to on the phone tried to tell me that it's because I'm not cleaning their cages thoroughly every week... I don't really feel like giving a place like that my money, especially since the woman said "we probably can't identify it anyway". I initially found a bunch in their treat container, which had dried apple rings in it, but once again nothing in their actual food, if that helps. I've caught one and can do my best to take pictures.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:52 AM   #2
alpacassei
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Default Re: Small brown beetles in cages

They could be weevils or another similar small species. They’re probably attracted to the cages by the food or other smells. Its the time of tear where they start flying indoors. Theyre harmless though and if anything your hamsters will just eat them but I recommend doing a full clean out to get rid of them still
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Small brown beetles in cages

Check all your treats and food supplies. As above, they could be weevils. I've had them from sealed bags of hamster food before
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Small brown beetles in cages

If they look like anything in this URL you probably do have a weevil infestation which can be brought in with brand new food and especially grains/seeds/etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weevil

There's no telling exactly what brought them in to be honest. You could even have brought them in with your own food and they can easily get transferred into the hamster food, so the best thing to do is freeze any food and ideally only take out a day's worth of food/treats/etc at a time.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:30 AM   #5
Courtflash
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Default Re: Small brown beetles in cages

Thanks for the replies guys. Other hamster owners have said it might be weevils but they don't look like the one on the wikipedia page. I found some in their treat box last week, which had dried apple in it at the time (which I've now thrown away and cleaned out), but their actual food is fine. I went through the entire container. They also show no interest in the food in their bowls, even when I give them fresh veg and fruit. It's really weird. They haven't made their way back to the treats since I got rid of all the dried apple. I also don't store seeds or grains in their treat box which makes me think even more that they're not weevils. Would weevils also show interest in millet? If so the millet I hang in their cages are also beetle free. I've caught one in a jar and took a picture on my phone, but it's dead at the moment, so when it's charged a bit I'll post a pic.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Small brown beetles in cages

The one on the wikipedia page looks different to the weevils I've had. Do yours look like this? (Obviously it's a blown up pic)
122521-004-E6EC7489.jpg
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:16 AM   #7
Courtflash
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Default Re: Small brown beetles in cages

Are weevils cockroach size? Because these things are smaller than ladybirds, but bigger than mites. I can't get a good picture with my phone unfortunately, but they definitely don't have that big horn. If anyone's familiar with carpet beetles, that's the size and shape they are, except they're dark brown.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Small brown beetles in cages

weevils are the size you described! Bigger than mites but smaller than ladybirds
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:23 AM   #9
Courtflash
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Default Re: Small brown beetles in cages

OK, so I went to my vet yesterday and took one of the beetles. My vet agreed that it didn't really look like a weevil, and probably isn't one based on how they've been living. He admitted that he has no idea what it is, but doesn't think I should worry too much because it hasn't harmed any of my hamsters.

I decided to do a little research on weevils found in the UK just to be sure, and found a picture on Rentokil's website that looked just like the beetles I've been seeing, called the Rust Red Flour Beetle. https://www.rentokil.co.uk/stored-pr...sects/species/
I have no idea if they are actually are that species, but apparently they only eat grains that have already been ruined by weevils, which might be why they've shown no interest in my hamsters' food. The only other thing they eat is dried fruit, which makes me think even more that they are indeed Rust Red Flour Beetles.

There are apparently some species related to Rust Red Flour Beetles that are harmful and destructive, but because these ones haven't done anything, I don't think they're that kind. As for how to get rid of them, I haven't been able to find anything.

But I'm not too worried, because they're not swarming the cages. Just in case it does become an infestation, I'm going to give Rentokil a call to see what ways I can get rid of them. Thanks to everyone's replies, you've been a big help!
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