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Brought hay bale home- could this be fleas??

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Gelly

Gelly
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I bought a hay bale from a local feed store (big mistake as I have nowhere to store it) and I found 3 little brown bugs. The bun has been shaking his head in a weird way but that could be just lazy binkies. Could these bugs be fleas?? I found 2 around his pen and 1 around the area where I put the hay bale down for like a day. I'm so nervous! I'm a new rabbit owner and am petrified of the bun getting fleas!! PLEASE HELP!
 

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Ariana

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From the picture I can’t tell but it kinda seems like these brown beetles that we get here in Ohio, since you got it from a feed store it could be either but I would think maybe less flea since they seem a little longer and bigger than fleas.
 

Gelly

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Since you have some experience with hay, would you be able to tell me if the hay is good quality? I'm knew at this!IMG_8116 (1).jpg IMG_8114 (1).jpg IMG_8117 (1).jpg IMG_8114 (1).jpg IMG_8116 (1).jpg IMG_8117 (1).jpg
 

Bunny_Mommy

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Yikes. I buy bales from feed stores, and never saw bugs, but perhaps it varies by state. I do hope they are harmless Beatles... You are very smart for going that route, though. I have mine flaked and in a HUGE plastic container (like 5 ft long), if that helps.

Hope your bunny feels better soon, or that it is a coincidence.
 

Ariana

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Personally I’m not to certain on the hay quality. But for future notice chewy maybe for expensive but I get the 50lbs for 50 dollars, plus free 1-2 day shipping. It let a while and it’s pretty good . Walmart stores have bins in the tub section and I have one from there. I have a huge one that’s black and it can be locked, I think it’s considered heavy duty. I can’t find a picture on the website but if I do I’ll link it. If you have any questions about anything I can try my best to help! So just shoot me a direct message and I’ll see if I can help :)
 

Imbrium

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Honestly, I can't tell if it's a flea or not from the picture... but if you're worried your bunn might have fleas, part his fur and look near the skin for dark flecks that look like tiny bits of dirt. If you see this stuff, he probably has fleas. Depending on how bad a flea infestation is, it's possible to look for fleas and not really see any or only see maybe one or two on a bunny that has them. Fleas can hide when you're looking for them, but their poop can't! (When our Nala got fleas last month, I found a single flea but a distressing volume of poop. Within 24-48 hours of applying topical flea treatment, there was ZERO flea poop to be found - they groom it out pretty quickly, making it a very accurate way to gauge a flea infestation.)

You can safely treat fleas with Advantage or Revolution for cats. Walmart sells a cheaper generic version and other places probably do too - don't buy name brand from vets or pet stores 'cause it's a rip-off. Make sure that you read the ingredients. Advantage and Revolution for cats (and their generics) use selamectin, which is rabbit-safe. Frontline (including the cat version) uses fipronil. Fipronil should never be used on rabbits - it can make them extremely sick and/or cause fatal seizures. Ivermectin is also safe for rabbits, but that's for mites and internal parasites rather than fleas. Never bathe a rabbit for fleas (or any other reason) or put a flea collar on them.
 

majorv

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The bug looks more like a beetle. Make sure you shake out the hay before giving it to your rabbit. The hay looks okay...how does it smell? It should not smell musty.
 

Preitler

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Definitly just some beetle. Although, I would think beetles need some moisture to thrive. Check the bale on several places, inside and out, not just on one end.

It should smell "good", not musty, moldy or damp, and it shouldn't be too dusty. Stowage sometimes is a problem, like when it's stored touching a cool wall moisture can condense there, so if something is off have a close look and sniff on how it's stored where you buy it.


The hay looks like the stuff I get here from a farmer, there's everything in it that grows on the meadows, so there's always some small stuff like seeds and small leaves falling out. Quality can vary from year to year, weather and time of cut have a huge impact.
 

Niomi

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I have never found bugs in a new bale of hay, and I buy it from a farm and garden store. It is hard to tell the quality of a bale from the outside of the bale, because if the sun hit the bale, the outside can turn brown while the inside can be green. There is always some brown in the hay, but my rabbits pick out the good hay, leaving the brown hay behind. Every bale has some hay dust in it. Even when I buy Oxbow at the pet store, there are always a lot of crumbs at the bottom of the bag. If there is any moisture in your hay and you put the hay in an air tight container, it will get moldy. If you suspect moisture, it might work to put the hay loosely in a container and leave the cover off for about a week before putting the cover on, with the hope that the hay will dry out completely.
 

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