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What to Do When Your Natural Chew Shipment Has Bugs

PETS+ readers share how they keep their stores from being infested when bugs hitch a ride on natural chews.

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  • We open the boxes while the driver is still in the building. If we see bugs, the box goes into a trash bag and is sent back with the driver. All chews, no matter what, are frozen for a minimum of 48 hours. — Nancy Guinn, Dog Krazy, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Throw them in the freezer overnight. Bugs are dead. Problem solved. It will happen with natural products. The bugs are harmless, but nipping them in the bud before they have a chance to reproduce is key. Even if you don’t see adults on the chews, eggs are likely there. So throwing them out is a total waste when freezing them quickly solves the issue. The red-legged ham beetles are tropical bugs and don’t survive freezing. — Krysta Fox, Bruce & Willy’s Natural Pet, Geneva, IL
  • We received some last year with bugs, put them in a sealed bag in a closed plastic tote, called our rep and sent pics. Company sent a call tag for return and sent new non-buggy ones. No issue at all. — Cindy Blish, Pawprint Market, Darien, CT
  • We document everything, call immediately. If I must, I throw them away and request a refund. I sometimes can stick them in the freezer until I get a pickup scheduled from the supplier. I ask for either new chews or credit. We’re very careful now because once we get bugs, it’s months of battling, and they get into my apartment upstairs! — Annabell Bivens, The Dog Store, Alexandria, VA
  • This didn’t happen to us for over 12 years. Then it did, and OMG they were insidious! Eggs, larvae, crawlies, the works. Because we had four different brands and every one pointed fingers at the others, we stopped everything to focus on total elimination of the infiltration, which included bagged treats. We threw everything away, billed every brand back. They all paid, and we slowly worked to get back to our clean normal. I’m a big no to freezing. I don’t think I should have to do that at the retail level. I didn’t have to for the first 12-plus years; it’s not acceptable moving forward. If I saw bugs in a shipment now, pics would be taken, chews would be triple-bagged and stowed in a plastic container, the company contacted, and I would expect to be refunded on the spot. Then they’d be thrown away. Bugs are not acceptable. — Lorin Grow, Furry Face, Redlands, CA

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