You may ask why one would want to breed mealworms. There are many reasons I can think of why some might NOT be curious about breeding mealworms: They are worms! They’re smelly, slimy, icky, squirmy, worms! They can get out and infest my home! Or people that have a bit of experience using these insects might suggest they can easily be purchase them from a local pet store or even cheaper in bulk off the internet.
First, let me dispel the assumptions- they are not smelly, slimy, squirmy, and I don’t think these are icky. Their climbing skills are limited to non slick objects. They are slow moving if you do drop one, you can easily capture it.
Yes, you can order mealworms from a pet store. The Web also sells worms for as little as $12 thousands of! Kind I wish to go through the hassle of breeding them basically if i can purchase them so easily and cheap? Great question.
In the event you raise small reptiles like I really do, or have tiny hatchlings like viper geckos, pictus geckos, or even chameleons, you have to raise your own mealworms! You will find that breeding mealworms provides a great range of sizes perfect for these small reptiles. Young reptiles eat often! You must have a reliable supply of food just the right size for these particular young animals to enable them to grow with a healthy rate. By raising your own, you will possess several sizes available for your animals.
To begin raising your own mealworms begin with about 100 – 200 adult worms. Again, these can be bought with a local pet shop or even from an online company. A note that regular mealworms will metamorphoses to some pupa and then in to the Darkling beetle.
Prepare the bedding employed to keep the worms healthy by using a generic brand of oats as well as a dry baby cereal. The cheaper the better. I personally use the oats as a base for your medium. I like to include the cereal as an additional food source for your young mealworms.
Mix the 2 together – 2/3 oats to around 1/3 cereal. You should mix enough to have about an inch or two towards the bottom of the container. This will become the base food from the worms. Additional foods like potatoes, carrots, apples, kale, as well as other greens can be accessible to provide moisture to the worms. The container can be a plastic shoebox, sweater box, or another setup I’ll discuss later.
When the oats & cereal is mixed together, add the mealworms. Add an egg carton top and bottom and also you are ready to go. The worms make use of this egg carton to crawl around on and under. Although mealworms is not going to climb the plastic walls, I position the cartons out of the edges of the box.
Keeping the mealworms in a constant high 70’s low 80’s and you will definitely soon start seeing pupa developing. I have found with all the medium mix described above as well as other foods offered that the worms will not bother the pupa. Some pupa may turn brown and die but a majority of should become beetles. In order to increase the output, you can certainly separate the pupa through the worms.
After a couple of weeks of being a pupa, you will quickly visit a few Darkling beetles appearing underneath the egg cartons. Again, I have not noticed any predation within my groups, even of the softer pupa by the beetles should they be feed well. The beetles are ultimately what you really are striving for in a healthy mealworm colony. They lay the eggs to generate new mealworms. The eggs are very small and it is likely you are going to never discover their whereabouts since they are sticky and can follow the bedding.
Eventually the container will certainly be a combination of substrate, egg cartons, mealworms of varied sizes, maybe some pupa, and definitely beetles. From this slurry of activity you can selectively harvest how big mealworm you would like.
The above technique works well if you want to feed just a couple of animals. In case you have more than a couple of animals, the easiest method to go about starting a non-stop mealworm factory is to use among those plastic filing system found at the krlgof department shop. Setup each bin using a culture and you will be pulling all sizes of mealworms-more than you can ever use.
Within this setup, I have 6 drawers of mealworms going (the middle bin is utilized for vermiculite). I don’t use all the worms this unit produces. I let several bins mature to create pupa, beetles, and in the end more mini-mealworms.
I really hope you are trying this neat approach to provide your animals additional foods. Be considered a bit patient because it does take some time to find out those first micro mealworms.