Raising mealworms
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There are many reasons why someone would raise mealworms, either to cut the cost of buying them, especially in large quantities, or to be independent from the local pet store availability, or maybe to have access to different size so small lizards or baby frogs appetites can be satisfied, and why not, just as an interesting school project. Raising mealworms is a very easy process and requires very little care.

The main things necessary to star a small colony are summarized in the following:

  1. • Some mealworms!
  2. • Three medium plastic containers, either opaque or transparent with or without lid.
  3. • Wheat flour,bran , oatmeal, corn flour, cats dry food and/or fish flakes, dry brewer’s east and powdered milk.
  4. • Potatos, apples, carrots.
  5. • A dark, quiet and worm place.

Bedding mix

Mealworms need food to grow, a mix of the above dry ingredients in my experience provided a excellent diet. I mix about 30% red bran, 20% oatmeal, 20% corn flour, 10% wheat flour, 10%dry cat food and 10% mixed dry brewer’s east, powdered milk and fish flakes . I use a grinder to pulverize the cat food making it easier to mix with the other ingredients and easier for the mealworms to eat.

adult

Fig.2

Put about 2 or 3 inches of the mix in a plastic container and add your mealworms, don’t forget to cut a potato in half and put it on top of the mix with the moist side facing up, this will provide a source of water for the mealworms, every couple of days check the potato for mold, remember mold in bad don’t let any fresh vegetable to rot, if it becomes too dry or the mealworms eat it all out replace it with a fresh one, mealworms also love apples and carrots, so make them happy.

mealworms

Fig.3 Baby mealworms

If mealworms are kept at a temperature in the range of 80-85 degrees they should grow up fast and turn into pupae in about 3 months, they can tolerate temperature up to 90 degrees but that would induce too much stress, temps below the 80s will slow down their metabolism.

pupa

Fig.1

The pupae phase could last from 2 weeks and up to few months, again the right temp is essential. As time passes the pupae turn color from a milky white to a yelloish tan, when their legs look brown and the eyes darker they are ready for the last molt, see fig.1

A white beetle will emerge, is gonna take about 2-3 days to become black, in this couple of days it’s movement are kinda goofy and often it would flip over and stays with its leg up in the air, nothing to worry about, you will see it will be very active.

Is extremely important to provide a source of water to mealworms. Adults will lay more eggs, larva will benefit in overall health. However a reduction of water when larva are about 1 inch long seems to induct worms to enter the pupa phase few weeks before the natural event.

More coming soon…

Monday May 15th 2006, 5:58 pm Filed under: Mealworms

5 Comments so far
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  • Thank you! Your information was very helpful!i just bought my mealworms today, I’m trying to raise them up. 🙂

    Comment by Bryan 03.22.13 @ 4:01 pm

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