You may ask why one would want to breed mealworms. There are several reasons I can think about 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 those that have a bit of expertise by using these insects might suggest they can be purchase them from a local pet shop or even cheaper in big amounts 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 restricted 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 shop. The Web also sells worms for less than $12 thousands of! So why would I want to glance at the need for breeding them if I can purchase them so easily and inexpensive? Great question.
Should you raise small reptiles like I actually do, or have very small hatchlings including viper geckos, pictus geckos, or even chameleons, you have to increase your own mealworms! You will see that breeding mealworms provides a great range of sizes great for these small reptiles. Young reptiles eat often! You must have a dependable flow of food just the right size for such young animals to enable them to grow with a healthy rate. By raising your personal, you will possess several sizes designed for your animals.
To start raising your own mealworms get started with about 100 – 200 adult worms. Again, these can be bought with a local pet store or even from an online company. A note that regular mealworms will metamorphoses to your pupa and then in to the Darkling beetle.
Prepare the bedding utilized to keep your worms healthy using a generic make of oats as well as a dry baby cereal. The cheaper the higher. I use the oats as a base for the medium. I like to include the cereal being an additional food source for the 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 your own container. This may become the base food from the worms. Additional foods like potatoes, carrots, apples, kale, as well as other greens can be provided to provide moisture for the worms. The container can be a plastic shoebox, sweater box, or any other setup I’ll discuss later.
When 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 from the box.
Keeping the mealworms at a constant high 70’s low 80’s and you may soon start seeing pupa developing. I have found with the medium mix described above as well as other foods offered that the worms will never bother the pupa. Some pupa may turn brown and die but a majority of should develop into beetles. If you wish to increase the output, you can certainly separate the pupa from the worms.
After about 2 weeks for being a pupa, you will quickly view a few Darkling beetles appearing beneath the egg cartons. Again, I have not noticed any predation in my groups, even of 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 produce new mealworms. The eggs are quite small in fact it is likely you will never see them as they are sticky and can adhere to the bedding.
Eventually the container will be a combination of substrate, egg cartons, mealworms of numerous sizes, maybe some pupa, and certainly beetles. From this slurry of activity you can selectively harvest how big mealworm you desire.
The aforementioned technique works well if you want to feed just several animals. For those who have greater than a handful of animals, the best way to begin starting a non-stop mealworm factory is to apply among those plastic filing system found in your krlgof department store. Setup each bin having a culture and you will be pulling all sizes of mealworms-more than you might ever use.
Within this setup, I actually have 6 drawers of mealworms going (the center 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 ultimately more mini-mealworms.
I hope you try this neat way to provide your animals additional foods. Become a bit patient because it does take some time to find out those first micro mealworms.