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Breeding and Raising for Mealworms

Updated on August 18, 2015
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Whitney has raised and bred different species of geckos, snakes, lizards, tortoises, and other exotics since 2003.

Raising Mealworms

In addition to crickets and other feeder insects, mealworms are a great source. They are a wonderful feeder insect and staple diest for any gecko and lizard species.

Buying mealworms in small quantities can become expensive, so you may want to consider buying in bulk numbers, which can save you a few pennies.

Unlike, crickets, personally, I find that mealworms are better roommates; they make no noise and they have virtually no smell. Also, with mealworms, they don't escape their plastic containers.

It is important to provide your reptiles with a varied diet of feeder insects, but you do want to keep a main staple, whether that be crickets, mealworms, or another feeder insects. But, throwing in other feeder insects such as silkworms, roaches, or other feeder insects will better assure the health of your pet.

Breeding Mealworms

If you choose to breed mealworms, you will need to get a few things.

Materials Needed

Plastic storage containers- Rubbermaid works great Bedding Starter mealworms

Basic Setup

The basic setup of a mealworm bin is simpler than that of a cricket bin. In the storage container, place the bedding material, either commercial bought mealworm bedding or a homemade mixture or grain, oats, gutload, and other dry materials.

That's basically the gist of a mealworm setup. Now, it's just time to add the worms.

Feeding the mealworms, is just as simple. Just add slices of apples, carrots, and potatoes. Replace the vegetables at least every other day, if not every day to prevent molding.

Maintaining A Breeding Colony

Maintaining a large mealworm colony is very simple. Have the basic mealworm setup for the breeding colony. Try not to dip into that stash for feeders. Feed the worms as you normally would to keep them growing and healthy.

The mealworms will pupate into "aliens," or larvae. Remove the larvae into a tub by themselves. Within about 5-7 days the larvae will change into beetle; at first white, tan, then dark brown in color. Place the beetles. The beetles will then breed.

Continue to check the substrate with the beetles for baby mealworms. Once you notice baby mealworms, remove the beetles into another container with more substrate. Feed the baby mealworms just as you would adult worms. Once the worms have reached a larger size, you can put them in the bin with the larger mealworms.

For the most part, the worms will cycle themselves as long as they are kept at room temperatures.

In order to keep your breeding colony and you may want to separate some of the mealworms so that you will have some to feed your reptiles with. Otherwise, you may feed off all your breeding mealworms before thay are able to pupate and turn into beetles.


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