Mealworms serve to be excellent at their purpose of feeding reptiles. Through this article you may garner a cost-effective method to feed reptiles such as lizards, toads and turtles. Learn to raise mealworms all by yourself.
Mealworms, in the actual, stand true to their name. They are indeed worms on which reptiles such as lizards and toads feast. Mealworms are holometabolic insects that have four transitional phases; that is they come into being in the form of an egg, become larvae, transform into a pupa further leading to its transcendence into adult form. Mealworms are smooth ocher brown colored creatures having a high protein content making them a staple diet for reptiles and birds. Mealworms are thus bred by home owners and hobbyists to feed their slimy pets. Mealworms are widely available in the market or stores that are dedicated to catering amphibian needs. To extend its utility sector, it should be mentioned that mealworms are helpful victims of fish baits. When fishermen fish for whitefish or perch, the mealworms serve to be virtual seducers for a hefty catch. When you purchase mealworms, you may notice that they have cushioning or a bedding of sorts of either oatmeal or bran. This serves to be the mealworms’ meal. This purchase may pry on your pocket and urge you to look out for a better, more user-friendly option. One option that you must sincerely consider is that of breeding mealworms all by yourself.
How to Breed Mealworms
Breeding mealworms may be a cost-effective method to cut down on the extra expenses. However, to say that mealworms are game to thrive on neglect is a prospect pushed too far. Raising mealworms requires maintenance and substantial mealworm care. ‘There is no food for free’… heard of this adage, right! Apply this theory in here as well! For your convenience, here is a list of all that you need to make the task come to life.
What You Need:
- Mealworm Larvae
- Carrots and potatoes
- Pen knife/ Scissors
- Tissue Paper
- A container of bran or oatmeal
What You Need to Do:
Setting the Breeding Grounds …
When you are set and ready for the entire process to begin, you may bring out your chosen containers. Preferably look out for rubber containers. Take the material of the container into consideration as it becomes bothersome to spike holes through tin containers or containers that have an extremely tough material. Also make sure that the container has a rubber cover. You have to spike a hole through the cover so that there is adequate ventilation.
Furnishing the Container
When you are done preparing the breeding base for the mealworms, it is time to equip the container with a survival kit of an inch of two of bran or oatmeal. Chicken feed may be considered ideal as well. If you are in the opinion of offering mealworms with vegetable skin and shreds of paper, just one reminder; you are preparing for disaster!
Introducing the Moisture Control Agent
The purpose of asking you to keep a potato or carrot by your side is to help the container maintain moisture. All you need to do is cut the potato or carrot into two rough halves and cover it with a tissue paper. When you are done you may place it into the container. Ensure that the potato or carrot is moist and has not dried out. Replace it with a fresh piece when you find the optimum condition is not being maintained.
Addition of Mealworm Larvae
Pour in the larvae after their bedding of bran is ready. After a few weeks, the larvae must have been developed into mature beetles. They need to be transferred into another container, a rubber or even a plastic one would serve the purpose. You may arrange the bedding and the feeding in this container similar to the former one. When the beetles have stayed there for over a week, you may cease them to remain as convicts in the container. They can be distributed to the reptiles as their feed. By the time you transfer the beetles outside as feed, you may find that they have left behind eggs that could be bred into mealworms.
How to Care for Mealworms
- Always check the moisture content of food that you have placed in the container. If you do not and leave it as it is for stretched periods, you should not be surprised to find your container eliciting fumes very much the like of a trash truck!
- If you have mealworms in bulk, you could refrigerate them at 45 degrees. This will let them last for a couple of months for usage but keep in mind that keeping moist food with the worms in the refrigerator may enhance the moldy smell.
- Keep the worms at room temperature or where the temperatures do not sore. Exposing them to direct sunlight or heat through any mechanism is not a good idea.
- Ensure that you buy bran or oatmeal from a reliable source. If you are using bad wheat bran, you may invite trouble in terms of infestation by other insects and ants.
- Spray a line of salt in the peripheries of the bran. Ants will stay away.
These were certain guidelines beneficial when you are breeding mealworms. Take them well into account before you start with the process, because caring for them is a necessity.