You may ask why one may wish to breed mealworms. There are many reasons I can think about why some might NOT be interested in breeding mealworms: They are worms! They are smelly, slimy, icky, squirmy, worms! They can get out and infest my home! Or people that have a bit of experience with these insects might suggest they can easily be purchase them from a local pet store or even cheaper in big amounts off the internet.
First, let me dispel the assumptions- they are certainly not smelly, slimy, squirmy, and that i don’t think these are icky. Their climbing skills are restricted to non slick objects. These are slow moving so when you do drop one, you can easily capture it.
Yes, you can order mealworms coming from a pet store. The Net also sells worms for less than $12 thousands of! So why would I would like to browse through the hassle of breeding them should i can purchase them so easily and inexpensive? Great question.
In the event you raise small reptiles like I really do, or have really small hatchlings such as viper geckos, pictus geckos, or even chameleons, you have to raise the own mealworms! You will notice that breeding mealworms offers a great range of sizes great for these small reptiles. Young reptiles eat often! You should have a reliable flow of food just the right size for these particular young animals to allow them to grow in a healthy rate. By raising your very own, you will get several sizes available for your animals.
To begin with raising your own mealworms start with about 100 – 200 adult worms. Again, these can be purchased at a local pet store or even from a web company. A note that regular mealworms will metamorphoses to a pupa then into the Darkling beetle.
Prepare the bedding utilized to keep the worms healthy simply by using a generic brand of oats and a dry baby cereal. The cheaper the higher. I use the oats being a base for that 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 will want to mix enough to get about an inch or two in the bottom of the container. This will end up being the base food in the worms. Additional foods including potatoes, carrots, apples, kale, as well as other greens can be accessible to provide moisture to the worms. The container can become a plastic shoebox, sweater box, or another setup I’ll discuss later.
After the oats & cereal is mixed together, add the mealworms. Add an egg carton top and bottom and also you are all set. The worms use this egg carton to crawl around on and under. Although mealworms is not going to climb the plastic walls, I position the cartons away from the edges from the box.
Keeping the mealworms in a constant high 70’s low 80’s and you will soon start seeing pupa developing. I actually have found using the medium mix described above and other foods offered that this worms is not going to bother the pupa. Some pupa may turn brown and die but many should become beetles. If you wish to increase the output, you can certainly separate the pupa through the worms.
After about 2 weeks of being a pupa, you will quickly visit a few Darkling beetles appearing beneath the egg cartons. Again, I actually have not noticed any predation within my groups, even from the softer pupa through the beetles if they are feed well. The beetles are ultimately what you are actually striving for in a healthy mealworm colony. They lay the eggs to generate new mealworms. The eggs are usually small in fact it is likely you may never discover them since they are sticky and can follow the bedding.
Eventually the container will be a combination of substrate, egg cartons, mealworms of varied sizes, maybe some pupa, and positively beetles. Using this slurry of activity you can selectively harvest the dimensions of mealworm you desire.
The above mentioned technique works well if you wish to feed just a couple of animals. In case you have over a handful of animals, the best way to begin starting a non-stop mealworm factory is to apply among those plastic filing system found at your krlgof department store. Setup each bin having a culture and you will be pulling all sizes of mealworms-greater than you could ever use.
In this setup, We have 6 drawers of mealworms going (the middle bin is utilized for vermiculite). I don’t make use of all the worms this unit produces. I let several bins mature to create pupa, beetles, and ultimately more mini-mealworms.
I really hope you are trying this neat method to provide your animals additional foods. Be a bit patient as it does take some time to find out those first micro mealworms.