You may ask why one may wish to breed mealworms. There are several reasons I can consider why some might NOT be curious about 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 expertise with these insects might suggest they can 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 i also don’t think they may be icky. Their climbing skills are limited to non slick objects. These are slow moving if you do drop one, you can easily capture it.
Yes, you can order mealworms from the pet shop. The Web also sells worms for as little as $12 thousands of! So why would I want to go through the need for breeding them basically if i can purchase them so easily and inexpensive? Great question.
In the event you raise small reptiles like I really do, or have very small hatchlings such as viper geckos, pictus geckos, or even chameleons, you need to raise the own mealworms! You will see that breeding mealworms provides a great range of sizes ideal for these small reptiles. Young reptiles eat often! You must have a dependable availability of food just the right size for these particular young animals to allow them to grow at a healthy rate. By raising your own, you will get several sizes designed for your animals.
To begin raising your own mealworms start with about 100 – 200 adult worms. Again, these can be found in a local pet store or even from a web company. A note that regular mealworms will metamorphoses to your pupa and after that to the Darkling beetle.
Prepare the bedding utilized to keep the worms healthy by using a generic brand of oats and a dry baby cereal. The cheaper the better. I personally use the oats being a base for that medium. I like to add the cereal being an additional food source for your young mealworms.
Mix both together – 2/3 oats to around 1/3 cereal. You should mix enough to possess about an inch or two towards the bottom of your container. This will end up being the base food of the worms. Additional foods such as potatoes, carrots, apples, kale, along with other greens can be offered to provide moisture to the worms. The container can become a plastic shoebox, sweater box, or any other setup I’ll discuss later.
After the oats & cereal is mixed together, add the mealworms. Add an egg carton top and bottom and you are all set. The worms make use of this egg carton to crawl around on and under. Although mealworms will never climb the plastic walls, I position the cartons away from the edges in the box.
Keeping the mealworms with a constant high 70’s low 80’s and you will definitely soon start seeing pupa developing. We have found with all the medium mix described above along with other foods offered that this worms will not bother the pupa. Some pupa may turn brown and die but many should become beetles. In order to maximize the output, you can certainly separate the pupa from the worms.
After a couple of weeks to be a pupa, you will begin to view a few Darkling beetles appearing beneath the egg cartons. Again, I actually have not noticed any predation in my groups, even of the softer pupa through the beetles when they are 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 usually small which is likely you may never discover their whereabouts because they are sticky and definately will 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 want.
The above technique works well if you need to feed just several animals. In case you have greater than a couple of animals, the simplest way to start establishing a non-stop mealworm factory is to use among those plastic filing system found at the krlgof department shop. Setup each bin having a culture and you will be pulling all sizes of mealworms-greater than you can ever use.
In this setup, I have 6 drawers of mealworms going (the middle bin can be used for vermiculite). I don’t utilize all the worms this unit produces. I let several bins mature to generate pupa, beetles, and ultimately more mini-mealworms.
I am hoping you might try this neat method to provide your animals additional foods. Be considered a bit patient because it does take a little time to find out those first micro mealworms.