Red bugs in the chicken coop

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by ebunny, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. ebunny

    ebunny Junior Member

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    I seem to have a mini plague of red bugs in the chicken coop. The coop has sugar cane mulch on the floor with lime mixed in it but these bugs still seem to crawl all through it.

    They don't seem to bother the chickens, who don't want to eat them, so I'm just curious to see if anyone else has them and knows what they are? And if you do, are they playing some useful role like eating mites??
     

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  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    The chooks don't eat them?
    Sorry never seen it before.
     
  3. Fernando Pessoa

    Fernando Pessoa Junior Member

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    Pumpkin beetle.Boiling water on the main clusters should knock em back,chickens not always fond of them.
    Best wishes
     
  4. ebunny

    ebunny Junior Member

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    Hi Fernando

    Just did a little search on Pumpkin Beetles and I'm not sure that's what they are

    https://australianmuseum.net.au/Pumpkin-Beetle

    The colours are in reverse and we don't have squahes or zucchini in the garden (have done in the past) so not sure what they would be eating and breeding from. They don't seem to be anywhere but the chicken coop, so they must be eating something in there (poo or lice, if there is any).

    The chickens don't eat or seem affected by them and they don't crawl on them, only in the litter and around the coop. Very stange. :think:

    Many thanks for the suggestion though and I'll watch out for these with the next crop of squashes....
     
  5. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Aparently they dont taste too good
    They are supposed to look like this[​IMG]
    Maybe you have discovered something new?
    According to Darwin god was especially fond of beetles
     
  6. Susan Girard

    Susan Girard Junior Member

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    Good to have a photo but still a little difficult to see a lot of detail. i think your insects look more like they are from the bug Family not the beetle Family. I know that many insects are called bugs colloquially but they are in fact an insect type in their own right.
    And I think yours may be Assassin Bugs, they are sometimes used as a biological control for some of the pests in sugar cane.
     
  7. Fernando Pessoa

    Fernando Pessoa Junior Member

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    Yes bunny good eyes,I rushed to an early diagnosis based on the front cover of the good old Allan Searles pest and diseases.Good luck.
     
  8. Adam

    Adam Junior Member

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    I agree that they are not pumpkin beetles. They look very familiar to me, I feel like I've seen them before but I don't know the species. Can you get a close-up picture?
     
  9. ebunny

    ebunny Junior Member

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    lol Michaelangelica - I'll remember that in future (in case God strike me down if I step on one)

    I'm attaching a close up for the entomoligsits amongst us. Looked at images of the Assassain bugs and am not sure about that either....
     

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  10. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Yes certainly an Assassin bug shape
    I think the Sydney Museum may have an identification service on line (?)
    https://australianmuseum.net.au/Beetles-order-Coleoptera

    https://australianmuseum.net.au/What-are-the-differences-between-bugs-and-beetles

    I once had an entomologist set traps on my small farm, as she knew I was organic.
    A week later she bounced up to me TERRIBLY excited as she had found a bug unknown to science!
    I rejoiced with her, but later began to wonder if this was really a good thing for me ?!
     
  11. geoff

    geoff Junior Member

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  12. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day ebunny

    Welcome to the PRI Forum.

    Have you tried to 'key' it out?

    Here's an 'easy key', to help begin the process.

    Cheerio, Marko.
     
  13. ebunny

    ebunny Junior Member

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    Hi Geoff

    You could be right as they do look like the one in the bottom right hand corner (and they do mate like that 8)).

    and Marko, I'll give the keying a go as well - I haven't seen that before (lloks like fun)

    Just been off looking up Harlequin bugs and we've actually had two different kinds around the chickens, the red and black ones I've shown you and the blue ones as well. Here is what an expert from Gardening Australia says about them:


    WL: “I've got hundreds of harlequin bugs in my garden and I would like a homemade recipe to get rid of them. Thank you.”

    Peter answers: “You’ve discovered the supreme Australian pest - the harlequin bug or B double so called because of the way they get around when they're courting. They’re covered with a kind of wax that repels normal sprays. The answer is to get the cheapest possible detergent and make a strong solution with water. Spray it on the clusters in the morning when they're out in the sun. It gets into their breathing tubes at the sides of their body, blocks them up, and they are so brilliantly dead.”


    I'll let you know how we go....
     
  14. floot

    floot Junior Member

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    Looks like what we called christmas beetles or harlequin bugs. Dunno what they would be doing in a chook pen. Most birds wont eat them as they are also known as a stink beetle and produce some sort of defensive acid/juice.

    https://au.images.search.yahoo.com/...&p=harlequin+bugs&rd=r2&fr2=tab-web&fr=opera2

    The first image listed looks like your type.

    Is the chook pen located under a eucalypt, this seemed to be where we found them in any numbers.

    cheers,
     
  15. JoH

    JoH Junior Member

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    I saw one very similar in my sugarcane mulch the other day as I was tipping it out. It was in the box I put my rooster in at night (yes, sad but true). All that goes in that box is sugarcane mulch and the rooster! Didnt think anything of it tho - hopefully wont see any more but will keep a look out.
     

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