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Bugs in the litter box??

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
So last night I went to clean out the cat box, took off the lid, and oh dear... there are bugs. I'm assuming they were fleas because the were small and not flying. Just crawling all around in the litter. Needless to say, I have no idea how they got there. My cat is indoor only and no other animals have come in. Checked kitty really well, couldn't find a flea, flea dropping, or flea bite anywhere on her. Didn't see any bugs anywhere else in the apartment either. I cleaned out the litter box real well, vacuumed everywhere real well, and got some Revolution from the vet for her just in case they were fleas.

I was pretty disgusted, but I felt even worse for the poor cat. She knew that I wasn't happy with the litterbox the way I was acting, and she thought it was her fault. Sad that they only really understand emotions and not what you actually say. Does anyone have any ideas? I live in Texas now, but haven't for long. Moved from up North where bugs aren't such an issue. The vet said it's pretty common for fleas to come in on clothes, but also that they never heard of them infesting a litter box like that. I'm not the kind of person that cleans 15 times a day, but I like to think I'm pretty tidy, certainly not the kind that cohabitates with bugs. Does anyone have any ideas? Piper and I would really, REALLY, appreciate if the bugs don't come back.

Also, I got the Revolution from the vet, and the vet techs didn't say anything about her needing to go in, but I also don't really like the two that were there today. I've gotten wrong info from them before. Does anyone think she should be seen by the vet?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 64
they aren't fleas, they are just little bugs that appear when you don't clean the litter enough. Just clean it more often and you should be fine. Fleas wouldn't just be hanging around the litterbox, they suck blood on the animal, nothing from the litterbox.
post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 
really? That's it, I'm just dirty?? Huh... I normally scoop the box every other day and do a complete litter change about every week and a half or so. I only have one cat, so I thought this was enough. You think I should scoop everyday, I should change all the litter more often, or both??

Poor Piper, I made her a dirty kitty. Thank you for you response though, at least I know she's okay.
post #4 of 64
This happens when I let the box go too long. I don't know, a day or two shouldn't be too long. When was the last time you completely scrubbed the boxes with soap and water and bleach? Might want to do that. There is also a chance the bugs could be in the litter already, check the bag. If there are bugs stop using that litter.
post #5 of 64
What kind of litter are you using? I've found ants in the litterbox before, but that's about it. I did read about someone who had little larva in their litterbox--they were using a grain-based litter like World's Best or Swheat Scoop, and the bag had been punctured prior to purchase, allowing the bugs to invade the bag. Definitely check the container of unused litter to see if there are bugs in it as well.
post #6 of 64
I second what litter??
post #7 of 64
i bought litter that had weevils in it back around october. i got it at walmart and i think it had been there for awhile because the box looked kinda battered and dusty but the store was moving and i didnt have much of a choice. im in oklahoma, so maybe it could be the same thing?
post #8 of 64
That's weird....I've never heard of bugs inhabiting the litter pan. I use Ever Clean litter and we've never had this problem. Honestly, I can be somewhat lazy about diligently cleaning the pan but it hasn't happened here. Maybe it's a regional issue?
post #9 of 64
From what you say, I'd almost bet the bugs are/were in the litter when you bought it. It is better to scoop at least once per day (I do it every night before bedtime because our litter box is in our bedroom) but not scooping for just a day or two shouldn't IMO cause lots of bugs like you describe.
post #10 of 64
Thread Starter 
I use Tidy Cats Scoop with the Crystals. Unfortunately, this was the last of it, as I finished it up the last time I changed the box. I get the 20 lb jug from Walmart. Because it's plastic, I can't imagine something getting inside to lay eggs, unless it occurred at the packing facility, which I think (hope...) would be kept pretty pest-free. It also normally takes me about 2-3 weeks to get through the jug, and I hadn't noticed bugs until this last time. I'm not an entomologist, but I'm guessing the egg-larvae-adult transition is not this long, especially when you consider shipping and shelf time. The only way I can imagine they came from the packer is if there were a few bugs I didn't notice, that layed more eggs, and the ones I saw were second generation. That's probably a long shot though, and I'm guessing the larvae wouldn't have been able to survive eating whatever the heck Tidy Cats is made of.

If the container had a hole and bugs could have gotten in at Walmart, I'm guessing I would have noticed litter spilling out, unless it was really small and at the top. Although, I would be really surprised if my Walmart isn't bug infested... the one here isn't very clean...

I'm really at a loss though. I kind of wish I wouldn't have been so disgusted and thought enough to save a bug or two for reference. I still haven't found any of these bugs anywhere else, and my apartment doesn't really have a bug problem except for the giant Texas Cockroaches we get in August-September and the occasional spider. I don't ever bleach the litter box, I didn't realize that would be safe, but if it won't hurt her, by all means that box is getting bleached from now on. I give it a good scrub with hot soapy water when I change out the litter, which is every week and a half or so. I don't know, maybe it was just too dirty, I really can't come up with anything else
post #11 of 64
Courtney, was it the eastside store? The westside store is cleaner.
I'd even drive into the City before I'd go to the eastside store.
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyper Piper View Post
I use Tidy Cats Scoop with the Crystals. Unfortunately, this was the last of it, as I finished it up the last time I changed the box. I get the 20 lb jug from Walmart. Because it's plastic, I can't imagine something getting inside to lay eggs, unless it occurred at the packing facility, which I think (hope...) would be kept pretty pest-free. It also normally takes me about 2-3 weeks to get through the jug, and I hadn't noticed bugs until this last time. I'm not an entomologist, but I'm guessing the egg-larvae-adult transition is not this long, especially when you consider shipping and shelf time. The only way I can imagine they came from the packer is if there were a few bugs I didn't notice, that layed more eggs, and the ones I saw were second generation. That's probably a long shot though, and I'm guessing the larvae wouldn't have been able to survive eating whatever the heck Tidy Cats is made of.

If the container had a hole and bugs could have gotten in at Walmart, I'm guessing I would have noticed litter spilling out, unless it was really small and at the top. Although, I would be really surprised if my Walmart isn't bug infested... the one here isn't very clean...

I'm really at a loss though. I kind of wish I wouldn't have been so disgusted and thought enough to save a bug or two for reference. I still haven't found any of these bugs anywhere else, and my apartment doesn't really have a bug problem except for the giant Texas Cockroaches we get in August-September and the occasional spider. I don't ever bleach the litter box, I didn't realize that would be safe, but if it won't hurt her, by all means that box is getting bleached from now on. I give it a good scrub with hot soapy water when I change out the litter, which is every week and a half or so. I don't know, maybe it was just too dirty, I really can't come up with anything else
That's a pretty vigilent schedule so I doubt that you are responsible for bugs in the box due to lack of scrubbing and cleaning. As for the bleach, use a week concentration of it if you are going to use it.

I scoop everyday, but I don't scrub out the boxes every week. I use Swheat Scoop. I don't know what the Tidy Cat Crystals is made of but I'll go with the guess that the jar had the bugs in it before you bought it.
post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
Courtney, was it the eastside store? The westside store is cleaner.
I'd even drive into the City before I'd go to the eastside store.
i dont live in norman anymore but it wont let me change where im at or at least i cant figure it out hahaha. im in SE OK now; thats where i bought my critter-litter

i used to work at eastside!!! when i worked there (2005), the cleaning ppl (it was a very nice family, fillipino, i think) that cleaned and they cleaned nonstop. i cant say much about the night crew they had then lol. the ppl in westside are so f'in RUDE
post #14 of 64
sheesh i clean and change out the litterbox less than any of you and never done a full on scrubbing down with bleach. never had bugs.
post #15 of 64
Thats a little disturbing!
I never had this problem...ever and never heard of it before either.

While I don't mind bugs and insects in general,I do get rather disturbed when there is an infestation in pet supplies or human foods and whatnot.What did the bugs look like?
post #16 of 64
That is really strange. I use Tidy Cats scoop (with crystals downstairs, and the red bucket upstairs). I've never had problems with Tidy Cats, and we've used it for years. We've tried other litters and always end up back at Tidy Cats.

Maybe you should try and contact purina about it? Especially if you suspect they were in there on purchase. They probably don't want bugs in their litter.
post #17 of 64
I had termites in my clumping clay litter once...
it was when they were the wing stage and were moving their nest.
It was just a few but unsettling---
then they were gone.
post #18 of 64
i think i've seen something like this... but mine, i thought, were a type of fruit fly they showed up in the littermaid receptacle one summer, about the same time actual fruit flies showed up - i guess i just connected the two! thinking back, i don't think the litterbox ones were flying... they seemed very attracted to the used clumps & poos, too!
weird!
post #19 of 64
I got some litter that had weevils in it once. It was a bag though, and I don't remember the brand. It was in Oklahoma.

I would guess they came in your litter. It seems like you keep the box pretty clean and I don't know of any bugs that would just show up like that and start living in the litter box. Weird. I do scoop once a day though, with one cat, but I only scrub/bleach out the box about once a month.
post #20 of 64
oklahoma has weevils REALLY BAD! kinda how you think of roaches and NY, you should think of OK and weevils (and ants)

i have bought dry groceries (cereal, flour, etc) and found weevils in them so many times that i dont even pretend to be surprised anymore lol
post #21 of 64
Been using Swheat Scoop and never ever had this problem before but it happened today...well actually, it started since I opened the brand new 15lb box of swheat scoop a couple of days ago. Everytime I scooped out litter, I noticed that there's couple of gnats like bugs which I first thought was ants(we've ants everywhere). Today, I saw it everywhere in the litter box so I started literally scooping them out. No matter how many I scooped, it just came out one after another...really disgusting, ended up discarded entire litter out and poured new from the box, hoping that would solve the problem.

Well...it didn't. I discovered that the bugs were ALREADY IN THE BOX.
Although I only used tiny percent of it, I had to throw away the entire box, after examining and seeing the bugs were actually coming out NOT ONLY FROM THE OPENING OF THE BOX but also from the bottom between the tiny glued parts!
I was really disgusted. No wonder Ku Ku didn't go into litter box often, she knew there was bugs in it...

It's almost 1AM, I just finished off cleaning the litter box(disinfected, of course), then refilled with feline pine I got from walmart. Yes, I had to drive to walmart to get whatever they had - luckily they had feline pine on-sale

I usually purchase swheat scoop from Target(or wholefood) and never ever had any problem with bugs. This concerns me whether I'd be keep using the product, OR purchasing it from the same store. I like swheat scoop & its concept but getting bugs from it...no thanks.

I picked the samples & am going to send it to the company along with the barcode I cut off from the bottom of the box.

It's waaaay over my bed time and I'm soooo exhausted.
I'll try posting the photo tomorrow...
post #22 of 64
Any sort of grain product, or dry food product, can have problems with this. It's probably not the manufacturers fault - they usually make and move stuff out of their warehouses as fast as they safely can (otherwise they run out of room) and regularly Vapona the warehouses. But at the store end it can sit in their warehouses a little longer. Your stuff probably goes through even more handling from plant warehouse to store giving pest more time and chances to get in.

Make sure you tell the store itself.

In any sort of grain/dry product one way to kill pests is to freeze it. If you had a large deep freezer you could put the litter in there for a week or two and that would take care of them.
Everyone who uses a grain based type litter should be on the look out for grain mites, weevils, and meal moths as they're the most common - inspect every box and bag and store appropriately.
post #23 of 64
We had bugs when we used SwheatScoop too, its just an issue of using a natural litter, I haven't had the issue using bags of WBCL but I think its because its sealed better as a bag (the boxes have handles which allows them in)

I would let SwheatScoop and the Store where you bought it know, so they can try to pinpoint the source of where they are getting in
post #24 of 64
Bugs or no bugs, I can't imagine cleaning out the litter box every two days. When my cats were inside, I scooped everytime they pooped in the box. I realize some folks work and can't do that, but most folks could do it once a day.
post #25 of 64
Even working, we scoop 2-3 times a day, before we go to work, when we get home and before bed as needed - if I am working from home and one of them uses it, I scoop if I smell it but generally don't check them during the day

When we go away, my neighbour cares for the cats, but generally doesnt scoop unless we are away longer and I specifically ask her to, the boxes seem so dirty even after we have a night away (usually 2 full days) I cant imagine leaving them that long on a regular basis
post #26 of 64
2 pix of the bugs. First one is closer to the actual size, the second one is enlarged. Not the best quality but you can clearly tell that they are definitely NOT ants. Also, by comparing them with grains of swheat scoop right next to it, you could see how tiny they are. What could they be? Weevils?

Yeah, I was thinking about bringing this sample to Target as well but the only problem is, out of 3 boxes of 15lb swheat scoop I purchased, this is the only box that had bugs in it, also the last box that I had. They may say, "well, you've stored it longer at your home, that's when these bugs got in" or something like that...
LL
LL
post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
Even working, we scoop 2-3 times a day, before we go to work, when we get home and before bed as needed - if I am working from home and one of them uses it, I scoop if I smell it but generally don't check them during the day

When we go away, my neighbour cares for the cats, but generally doesnt scoop unless we are away longer and I specifically ask her to, the boxes seem so dirty even after we have a night away (usually 2 full days) I cant imagine leaving them that long on a regular basis
Same here... I have to scoop at least 2 times a day: first thing in the morning, and before going to bed. Ku Ku usually wakes me up when she pooed anyways(regardless of how late/early it is, even in the middle of the night!).
post #28 of 64
I have let ours go as long as 2 days(with 2 cats) because I was sick and Paul won't clean the boxes and get mad if I even ask him to. I also never do a full litter change unless the litter gets nasty and it really doesn't doing it at least once a day and having to go 2 before.

I will say even the outside cats box doesn't have bugs but I think you got weevils. Luckily it's still a little too cold for many creepy crawlies but even in the dead of summer the outside boxes didn't have bugs.

Taryn
post #29 of 64
Three of our cats were his before I met him so he has no choice but do litterboxes (actually while I do scoop, its rare I do the litterbox changes etc - he usually takes care of litter and I do feeding)

Nasty looking bugs, I would squeal and run away! I would still tell them just in case it was a warehouse issue - do you still have the packaging on the last box to see if they were different lot numbers, one may have been at the store a lot longer as well as in your home a lot longer
post #30 of 64
Looks like some sort of four beetle. Hm, apparently the adult beetles can live for up to three years?! Pretty amazing for a tiny little beetle.
Life cycle at it's shortest is ~ 7 weeks. It could have sat in the store warehouse and on the shelf that long.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Taryn View Post
I have let ours go as long as 2 days(with 2 cats) because I was sick and Paul won't clean the boxes and get mad if I even ask him to.
My DH wusses out on it too - says it smells. If it's been more than two days, he will do it.
I've had to let mine go a day or two before - there isn't a thing I can do about it when hospitalized or when my back is really acting up. When the latter happens I cannot even roll over in bed, bend, and usually can barely walk.
If anyone wants to look down on me for that... just remember that your health is not guaranteed to last. Some day you could be in the same place or worse.

Of course I also have 5 litter boxes and the cats always have one completely clean box because they don't use the 5th one.
Due to raising mealworms for my reptiles, I do have a problem with mealmoths (not the same thing). They've never gotten into my litter boxes. I think just stirring up the boxes, and especially cat urine, will keep a lot of grain pest from infesting used litter.
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