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Breeding and Raising for Waxworms

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 Waxworms

Waxworms can be a popular feeder amongst reptiles, themselves, but they should only be feed as a treat. Waxworms are equivalent to candy to a human. They can be great when trying to fatten up an underweight reptile, but be careful, as your reptile may become addicted.

Once a reptile is addicted to waxworms, it can be hard to ween them off and onto a more nutrional feeder. It is not impossible to correct your reptiles eating behaviors, but it will take time and patience on your part..

But, if you do decide that your reptiles deserve a treat more than every now and then, try breeding.

Breeding Materials

  • Escape proof container with a lid
  • Bedding (Commercial or Homeade)
  • Wax paper (optional)
  • Waxworms

Waxworm Setup

Housing waxworms can be very simple. You can use a simple Cool-Whip container. Pour your homeade substrate, the waxworms, and a few crumpled wax paper balls.

To make the substrate, you will mix bran and honey in a double boiler until it was well blended. Spread the mix on a cookie sheet to cool and harden. When the mix is cool, crumble it into the container. The mix may still be sticky, but that's fine.

If you choose to buy a commercial bedding, any worm bedding will suffice. The generic mealworm bedding that can be found on cricketfood or wormman would serve the purpose just fine.

Add the waxworms and the waxpaper balls into the container.

Your waxworms should be kept at room temperature.

Breeding Waxworms

To breed your waxworms, keep them at an even room temperature, and eventually the waxworms will begin to spin cocoons. They will appear as bright orange ovals. Remove the cocoons into a separate container, that is also filled with wax paper balls and a small bottom layer of the substrate as bedding.

The waxworms will remain in the cocoons for about two weeks before moths will emerge.

Make sure to keep a lid on the moths, because they do fly, and you probably don't want moths flying about your home. The moths will mate and live for about a week or so.

They will lay their eggs in the crumpled waxpaper, so once they have died, wait a couple more weeks.

Then you will begin to notice tiny worms, which will grow very fast if kept at room temperature.

Once the worms are about half grown, you may want to put them in a container, with holes in the lid and bedding. Place the container in the refrigerator to stunt growth and reproduction rates.

Otherwise, if you leave them at room temperature, the worms will begin the cycle all over again.


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