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Unidentified bug in eglu - please help!

(19 Posts)
seachange Sat 05-May-12 17:49:14

Hi, I've had two chickens for a month or so. They seem pretty healthy and free from lice/mites, but when I clean the eglu classic (wash and spray with DE once a week or so) I normally find a few bugs crawling round where the roof meets the base at the back, and on top around the handle to open the door.

They look a bit like v skinny woodlice with long anntenae, not like googled pics of usual chicken parasites. Any ideas? They might just be some garden bug attracted to the plastic house, but am so new to this so am a bit paranoid.

Thanks for your help.

mummymeister Sat 05-May-12 18:05:06

If you cant work it out on line then you can always take it in to your vet and ask them to identify. they will at least now if it is one of the nasties or not. if chickens are healthy then probably nothing but if you are worried then most vets do try and help.

seachange Sat 05-May-12 18:17:41

Thanks for the advice. Google seems to be letting me down in this instance! confused

silverfish?

seachange Sat 05-May-12 20:36:53

Ugh. Possibly! Thanks. The article mentions Diatomaceous (sp) Earth which is what I'm spraying around, so at least that's the right thing if it is.

If it's silverfish, you really have nothing to worry about. Red mite are what you need to watch out for and they look nothing like you have described smile

hellymelly Sat 05-May-12 20:51:16

Silverfish are rather sweet. And they are very silvery. And like fish... They like damp areas rather than dry so that may help rule them in or out. Earwigs like chicken houses, but i assume you know what they are like.

seachange Sat 05-May-12 22:00:08

Hmm. I'm pretty sure they're not earwigs. And I think they can jump, which silverfish can't, apparently. After hours searching google images, this looks like it might be pretty close:

Springtail

Which I'd never heard of before. The chickens are on wood chippings which of course are soaked at the mo (I have a cover for the run though).

hellymelly Sat 05-May-12 23:02:51

Springtails are very tiny. Are the things you have teeny? They are much much smaller than woodlice.

hellymelly Sat 05-May-12 23:03:16

Also springtails are harmless (as are silverfish).

seachange Sun 06-May-12 12:52:00

No. D'oh! They are smaller than woodlice but not that small. The interweb tells me Springtails can grow up to 6mm, which would be about right, but I think it is more usual for them to be minuscule.

Sigh. Will have to try and catch one.

Thanks!

hellymelly Sun 06-May-12 22:47:46

ok- am off to search through my insect books-I like a mystery!

hellymelly Mon 07-May-12 00:32:48

I can't find anything obvious. Woodlice aren't insects anyway, but there is nothing that's jumping out at me (snort) in the book, other than things already mentioned like silverfish. Are they grey like woodlice, and segmented?

seachange Tue 08-May-12 11:45:13

Ha, thanks for checking! I will look for them again next time I dismantle the eglu for cleaning and will try and catch one of the little blighters.

hellymelly Tue 08-May-12 23:00:15

that would be good, I am intrigued now, and want to know what the beasties are! (also have biologist DH, very good at identifying bugs)..

Viewofthehills Tue 08-May-12 23:05:32

Are you sure they're not earwigs?
If you flick them off do the chickens eat them like gourmet snackettes?

hellymelly Tue 08-May-12 23:12:01

My bantam will do anything for an earwig. (or a mealworm)

jennyftm Fri 07-Sep-12 18:58:25

sounds horrendous !!! If you wanted to avoid them, perhaps you could raise the eglu onto a wooden platform and put each leg in a pot containing water ? I have done something similar to rescue my plant pots from snails this year !

Also re: silverfish, the only time I have seen one was when I was in labour and arrived in the labour suite at the hospital ! and like another replier said, they really do look like fish swimming on the floor !!

redrighthand Tue 25-Sep-12 17:46:15

They could have been ladybird larvae which are hideous looking creatures.

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