Insects in Livestock Feed and Hay

Posted December 4, 2018 in the Kentucky Pest New Blog

Insects show great promise AS sustainable food sources for fish, poultry, and swine. Some species can efficiently convert organic waste to nutritional supplements while significantly reducing its mass and making it unsuitable as a breeding site for pests.

However, insects and mites IN livestock feed are a different matter. Their activities can reduce nutritional quality, acceptability, and palatability of feed. In addition, some may serve as hosts for internal parasites. Early recognition of arthropod infestations in feed may prevent establishment of chronic infestations, further spread of the pests, and additional feed loss. Often, the best short-term recourse is to destroy infested feed and implement strong sanitation and prevention practices to prevent a recurrence.

Follow this link to see the effects of  some of the insects and a mite that can be found in livestock feed.


Chiggers have little to do with forage, but the following article is interesting about these tiny nuisances. They are the immature stage of certain mites that live in overgrown brushy or grassy areas, especially where small rodents are abundant. People pick up chiggers while in shady, humid areas near stream banks, under or around trees, or in berry thickets. Chiggers are more active in early summer but can persist much later.
Once on board, chiggers attach and feed where the skin is thin, tender, or wrinkled, or where clothing is tight. Their digestive enzymes liquefy skin cells causing small red welts and intense itching that begins a few hours after chiggers have fed. Chiggers do not burrow into the skin or feed on blood. If undisturbed, these mites may remain attached and feed for 3 or 4 days. Read about personal protection, reducing discomfort from bites and controlling chiggers outdoors online at ~ Lee Townsend and Mike Potter, UK Entomology Dept.