What Are These Bugs in Cat Food?

While serving food to your feline, you might notice bugs, the creepy-crawly creatures in your feline food, especially in dry ones.

Some of the commonly noted bugs in kibbles include flour beetle, ants, beans and maize weevils, saw-toothed beetle, and grain storage mites. So the bugs you saw may be:

1. Grain weevils

Grain weevils especially maize and beans weevil may be noted. It is common to notice them during hotter seasons, especially in winter and spring.

Bugs in cat food
Bugs in cat food

Their larvae are white and legless while adults cannot fly, are dark in color, usually brownish to black.

Vetsallnatural.com, advises you to “rest assured that this does not place your dog or cat at risk in any way, and it is, in its own way, a guarantee of the fact that we do not use any pesticide-treated grains or nasty chemicals.”

2. Ants in cat food

Ants may be attracted to pet feeds especially if they spill, have holes, or even to feeding bowls.

Using plastic containers, keeping the bowl clean, using some essential oils that repel them, and ensuring the feeding area is clean will reduce their occurrence.

3. Grain storage mites

Known to thrive in areas with moisture and high humidity, grain mites are “ most frequently found in dry food items such as flour, grains, dried fruits, cereal, and dry dog and cat food.” [1]

They resemble a tan or white flea with 8 legs and belong are arachnids together with spiders and ticks.

These mites are known to cause allergies to these pets as well as in dogs and must be controlled.

4. Flour beetles and saw-toothed grain beetle

Flour beetles are scavenger beetle the eat on grains after their outer coat has been broken. Female flour beetle leg eggs into cereals, flour or dry pet foods.  Adult ones have “ have shiny, reddish-brown bodies that are about 1/7 inch long, flattened, and oval” notes Pantrypets.com

On the other hand, characterized by their six projections that are a saw-like tooth, these saw-toothed grain beetles are slender, brown in color and common in dry cat and dog foods.

Controlling these bugs

In most cases, contamination occurs during feeding. Therefore, proper handling and safe storage are key in ensuring there big or tiny bugs in cat food are no longer there.

Some of the ways include:

  • Avoid stockpiling. Instead, buy food for shorter cycles such as for a month. Small purchases are expensive but might reduce this problem.
  • Check for any tears or holes in their bags before buying them.
  • Store them in airtight plastic containers or sealable ones if possible and in dry, cool areas.
  • Wash storage containers and keep them away from entry points such as windows, doors or outdoors.
  • If you have large piles, divide them into weekly portions. Consider freeze-storing the rest to reduce contamination during feeding.
  • Store your breakfast oats, cereals, pasta and so on away from your pet foods.
  • Consider the use of pet-friendly means to keep the various bugs away from your home. Avoid using pesticides or insecticides that may harm your cats, dogs, other pets or animals.


Poor handling or use after they expire may cause some maggot-like bugs.

See also

We are passionate pet and animal enthusiasts bringing insightful information to ensure your furry, flying or finned friends are happy and in good health. Feed them well and love them always.

  1. I’m having the worst time of being bite and am itching intensely and I don’t know what it is it’s getting my eyes and hair as it seems to be on my cat as well

  2. I just found some in my cats bowl and around. Sounds the same as yours. There is good info here I don’t believe they are in my cat container but I’m checking and will probably freeze the food .

  3. I have flea like bugs around my cats food and they appear to be fleas as they don’t fly . What are they as they are very small & quick.

Leave a reply

Pet Care Advisors