Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing
Good morning Catherine,
Last night when I was cleaning my cages I noticed movement in my parakeet’s seed container.
They look like niger seeds but obviously, they move.
I DID NOT BUY this seed from you so don’t panic.
My question is is the seed not able to be used and will it be not good to continue to use it?
I certainly don’t want my parakeets to get sick from eating it and I’m not real happy about having insects in the house.
I checked the original bag the seed came in and it has tiny holes all through it which I’m assuming is how these bugs are getting out.
I would really appreciate your input on this issue. Also, could I put the seed in the freezer and would that work, or would the insects come back to life once I took it out again?
So I would appreciate whatever light you can shed on the subject. Thanks so much in advance.
Catherine Tobsing replied
Sorry for the surprise in your bird’s food dish. Thank you for clarifying that it was not food purchased from us.
FYI, all bird seed grows outside. Because of this ALL bird seed likely has bug eggs in it. It is up to the bird food company to store it properly and package it quickly. Then it needs to be used up before life happens inside the bags or in your bird cage.
To slow the hatching of the insects, the bird food companies can treat the seed with CO2 or suck out the oxygen before sealing up the bags.
These processes slow down the hatching of the eggs but do not eliminate them entirely.
Once the customer buys the food it is best to be sealed up inside of solid clear plastic or glass containers so the contents can be viewed daily when used.
If movement is seen, then you can either discard it or you can put it into your deep freeze to kill off any live insects or larvae.
A 2 weeks stay in a deep freeze should do the trick and the container can then be returned to the counter or pantry.
Unfortunately, your kitchen refrigerator’s freezer does not get cold enough.
No, the insects will not harm your birds in any way. But they may not enjoy the movement.
So frozen, thawed buggy food is fine. However, if you see a lot of webbing and what appear to be deteriorated seeds and pellets, then the food has been feasted upon by the insects for too long and should be discarded or put out for the wild birds.
The main insects that can come out of birdseed are Weevils and Grain Moths.
The moths may first appear as larvae, then become moths.
If left uncontrolled, the moths can enter your pantry and set up in your pasta, cereal, grains, and beans and make a mess there.
Weevils also, but the moths are more pervasive. Weevils are tiny beetles with pinchers on their faces.
Some food brands are more likely to sprout life sooner than others.
Be sure to check expiration dates when purchasing and try to get ones with longer dates if possible.
Store in a cool dry place. Avoid warm sunny areas. You can store the food in the chest freezer if you have a lot.
But keep a week or two worth out in a sealed container so you don’t repeatedly expose the food to moisture every time you open it up. That will degrade the food prematurely.
We are thankful that we offer food brands less likely to sprout life than many others found commercially.
In over 20 years of selling bird food, we can count on one hand the number of buggy bags we have had. Please check out our quality bird food lines.
Perhaps you will find something new to try.
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