You may ask why one would like to breed mealworms. There are many reasons I can think of why some might NOT be interested in breeding mealworms: They are worms! They’re smelly, slimy, icky, squirmy, worms! They can get out and infest my home! Or those that have a bit of expertise using these insects might suggest they can be easily 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 are icky. Their climbing skills are limited to non slick objects. They are slow moving so when you do drop one, you can easily capture it.
Yes, you can order mealworms from a pet shop. The Internet also sells worms for less than $12 thousands of! Kind I want to go through the need for breeding them should i can purchase them so easily and cheap? Great question.
Should you raise small reptiles like I really do, or have really small hatchlings such as viper geckos, pictus geckos, or even chameleons, you need to raise the own mealworms! You will notice that breeding mealworms supplies a great range of sizes perfect for these small reptiles. Young reptiles eat often! You need to have a dependable flow of food just the right size for such young animals to allow them to grow in a healthy rate. By raising your very own, you will have several sizes available for your animals.
To begin raising your own mealworms start with about 100 – 200 adult worms. Again, these can be found at a local pet shop or even from a web company. A note that regular mealworms will metamorphoses to your pupa then to the Darkling beetle.
Prepare the bedding utilized to keep your worms healthy simply by using a generic brand of oats and a dry baby cereal. The cheaper the higher. I personally use the oats being a base for that medium. I like to include the cereal as an additional food source for the young mealworms.
Mix both together – 2/3 oats to about 1/3 cereal. You will want to mix enough to get about an inch or two in the bottom of your own container. This will end up being the base food in the worms. Additional foods like potatoes, carrots, apples, kale, as well as other greens can be accessible to provide moisture towards the worms. The container can be considered a plastic shoebox, sweater box, or any other setup I’ll discuss later.
Once 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 will not 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 soon start seeing pupa developing. I actually have found using the medium mix described above and other foods offered the 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 from the worms.
After a couple of weeks of being a pupa, you will begin to see a few Darkling beetles appearing beneath the egg cartons. Again, I actually have not noticed any predation inside my groups, even in 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 produce new mealworms. The eggs are very small in fact it is likely you will never discover their whereabouts since they are sticky and can adhere to the bedding.
Eventually the container is 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 the dimensions of mealworm you want.
The above mentioned technique works well if you need to feed just a couple of animals. In case you have more than a handful of animals, the best way to begin establishing a non-stop mealworm factory is to use 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-a lot more than you could ever use.
Within this setup, We 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 generate pupa, beetles, and ultimately more mini-mealworms.
I hope you might try this neat method to provide your animals additional foods. Become a bit patient since it does take some time to find out those first micro mealworms.