Does anybody else breed mealworms? If you don't, you should consider it.

Cheesecake

I was just curious if anyone else breeds mealworms for their pets. I breed em for my bluegill and toads, and my turtles enjoy them as a snack. I can't be the only one, given how much cheaper it is than continually buying them from a pet store or LPS.

If you DON'T breed them, you should, as the thread title says, consider it. Like I said before, it's vastly cheaper than buying them from a pet store chain or LPS. It'll set you back about $15-$20 to get your first mealworms plus the cost of housing.

If you are interested in breeding them, here are some instructions.

1) Pick up your mealworms from wherever, whether it's Petco or your LPS. I started off with about 150 from Petco and now I have about 2,500-3000. The beginning quantity doesn't really matter. You'll also need somewhere to store them. Any plastic container with straight, smooth sides will work, however I recommend using something like this:

1582734146597.png

2) Once you've got your container and mealworms, fill the first drawer you intend to use with about an inch or so of oats. You don't want it too deep or else the mealworms will bury themselves. I also recommend spray painting the outside of the drawers, as that will keep light from entering and will keep production and breeding levels high. Store the mealworms in a warm, dark place, like a closet.

3) For feeding your mealworms, any kind of thinly sliced potato will work. Some sources also tell you to use carrots, but I've found that my mealworms don't seem to care for them. You'll need to change out the potatoes every so often once they either dry out or the mealworms have eaten them, whichever comes first.
Remember not to give them too much, because they won't eat it all and it will start to smell.

4) You'll have to pick out pupae once your mealworms get old enough to change into adults. If you don't the mealworms can and most definitely will feast on their brethren.

5) Transfer any pupae to the next drawer. You won't need any oats here, as this will just keep them separated from the worms. Once they molt into adult darkling beetles, you'll need to transfer them to the next drawer with about 1.5-2 inches of oats.
Most sources tell you to feed the adults on potatoes, but this doesn't work at all. The beetles will ignore potato and carrot. Feed them on lettuce, and you can wait about a week or so between feedings, as the beetles will quickly eat the lettuce.

6) Wait about 4-5 weeks for the beetles to breed, then transfer the beetles to a separate container. Dump the oats containing the young worms and eggs into the drawer that holds the rest of your mealworms. Then just return the beetles to their original drawer with more oats.


And just like that, your mealworm factory is under way !

This is the result of about 7-8 months or breeding them, about 400 beetles. You can feed these to your pets as well to keep the number down.

1582735213360.png
 

Jaquatic

This reminds me of when I was a kid I had something similar.

I had set up an old aquarium with red wiggler worms and my family would place organic waste under the substrate.

In turn the worms would decompose the waste into nutrient rich dirt as well provide worms for fish food or bait. The term for this is Vermicompost.
 

CichlidJynx

I was just curious if anyone else breeds mealworms for their pets. I breed em for my bluegill and toads, and my turtles enjoy them as a snack. I can't be the only one, given how much cheaper it is than continually buying them from a pet store or LPS.

If you DON'T breed them, you should, as the thread title says, consider it. Like I said before, it's vastly cheaper than buying them from a pet store chain or LPS. It'll set you back about $15-$20 to get your first mealworms plus the cost of housing.

If you are interested in breeding them, here are some instructions.

1) Pick up your mealworms from wherever, whether it's Petco or your LPS. I started off with about 150 from Petco and now I have about 2,500-3000. The beginning quantity doesn't really matter. You'll also need somewhere to store them. Any plastic container with straight, smooth sides will work, however I recommend using something like this:

1582734146597.png

2) Once you've got your container and mealworms, fill the first drawer you intend to use with about an inch or so of oats. You don't want it too deep or else the mealworms will bury themselves. I also recommend spray painting the outside of the drawers, as that will keep light from entering and will keep production and breeding levels high. Store the mealworms in a warm, dark place, like a closet.

3) For feeding your mealworms, any kind of thinly sliced potato will work. Some sources also tell you to use carrots, but I've found that my mealworms don't seem to care for them. You'll need to change out the potatoes every so often once they either dry out or the mealworms have eaten them, whichever comes first.
Remember not to give them too much, because they won't eat it all and it will start to smell.

4) You'll have to pick out pupae once your mealworms get old enough to change into adults. If you don't the mealworms can and most definitely will feast on their brethren.

5) Transfer any pupae to the next drawer. You won't need any oats here, as this will just keep them separated from the worms. Once they molt into adult darkling beetles, you'll need to transfer them to the next drawer with about 1.5-2 inches of oats.
Most sources tell you to feed the adults on potatoes, but this doesn't work at all. The beetles will ignore potato and carrot. Feed them on lettuce, and you can wait about a week or so between feedings, as the beetles will quickly eat the lettuce.

6) Wait about 4-5 weeks for the beetles to breed, then transfer the beetles to a separate container. Dump the oats containing the young worms and eggs into the drawer that holds the rest of your mealworms. Then just return the beetles to their original drawer with more oats.


And just like that, your mealworm factory is under way !

This is the result of about 7-8 months or breeding them, about 400 beetles. You can feed these to your pets as well to keep the number down.

1582735213360.png
I’ve had a mealworm burrow out of a fishes gills so I never recommend them. If your looking for a worm I would suggest waxworms
 

StarGirl

I'm sorry but .......no.
 

Cheesecake

I'm sorry but .......no.

Lol.

I’ve had a mealworm burrow out of a fishes gills so I never recommend them. If your looking for a worm I would suggest waxworms

Wow. That's crazy! Fortunately bluegill are pretty robust and large enough to take on these little worms.

This reminds me of when I was a kid I had something similar.

I had set up an old aquarium with red wiggler worms and my family would place organic waste under the substrate.

In turn the worms would decompose the waste into nutrient rich dirt as well provide worms for fish food or bait. The term for this is Vermicompost.

That's cool. I've always loved systems that do multiple things for you at once.
 

goldface

I used to breed them when I owned a leopard gecko. They don't have that awful smell crickets have.
 

Cheesecake

I used to breed them when I owned a leopard gecko. They don't have that awful smell crickets have.

Yeah crickets smell nasty :yuck:.
 

smee82

I breed dubia roaches for my daughters beared dragon I don't think my wife will let me breed anything else.
 

zorianak

For some reason, crickets have never bothered me... but meal worms? *shudders*
 

MissNoodle

Yep I breed them

I feed them to wild birds, my parrots, and I even cook them into homemade fish food. I feed super tiny hatchlings to the fish live sometimes as a treat too.

When I have too much, I donate some to wildlife rescues as they can use them too.

I toss scrap veggies in. End of the carrot we won't use? The bugs get it. Apple peels? Enjoy! Mine go nuts most for the carrots though
 

Cheesecake

Yep I breed them

I feed them to wild birds, my parrots, and I even cook them into homemade fish food. I feed super tiny hatchlings to the fish live sometimes as a treat too.

When I have too much, I donate some to wildlife rescues as they can use them too.

I toss scrap veggies in. End of the carrot we won't use? The bugs get it. Apple peels? Enjoy! Mine go nuts most for the carrots though

I've been wondering what to do with surplus. I wonder if my LPS will take any.
 

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