Meal Worm Care

Contain Your Excitement

By following these guidelines, you can create a suitable environment to keep your mealworms securely contained.

  • Choose a container: Select a glass, metal, plastic, or wax-coated container. These materials have smooth and slippery surfaces that make it difficult for the mealworms to climb out.

  • Avoid certain containers: Stay away from containers made of cardboard or lined with fabric, as these materials provide a grip for the mealworms to climb.

  • Container depth: Ensure that the container is at least 8 centimeters deep. This depth helps prevent the mealworms from crawling out.

  • Lid or no lid: If you prefer to have a lid, make sure to poke small airholes in it. This allows for ventilation and ensures the mealworms have access to air. Alternatively, you can use cheesecloth as a lid, as it serves the dual purpose of allowing air circulation while keeping other insects out.

What's it Like to Live in Food?

By following these steps, you can establish a suitable substrate and food source for your mealworms in the container.

  • Line the bottom of the container: Prepare the bottom of the container with a lining material that will serve as both substrate and food for the mealworms.

  • Lining material options: Consider using oatmeal, grain cereal (like Cheerios), cornmeal, or ground-down dog food as suitable options for the mealworms' container lining.

  • Mix different items: Experiment with a mixture of these different food options to provide variety and nutrition for the mealworms.

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  • Grinding larger pieces: If necessary, use a food processor to grind up larger pieces of food to create a more consistent texture and size for the substrate.

  • Layer the lining: Create layers of the lining material, aiming for a depth of approximately 4 centimeters within the container.

Worms Aren't Tourists

By providing a warm and controlled environment for your mealworms, you can promote their growth, development, and potential breeding if desired.

  • Maintain a warm environment: Ensure that the container housing the mealworms is kept in a warm location.

  • Room temperature: A standard room temperature is generally sufficient for the well-being of the mealworms.

  • Optimal temperature for breeding: If you intend to breed and increase the population of mealworms, maintaining a temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) is more ideal.

  • Consider location: If you live in a region with milder temperatures, you can try keeping the mealworms in a garage or similar space.

  • Garage as an option: Garages often provide a slightly warmer environment compared to outdoor temperatures, making them suitable for housing mealworms.

You Are What You Eat

By following these guidelines, you can provide mealworms with adequate water and moisture while avoiding potential risks associated with standing water in the container.

  • Provide moist foods for water: Offer slices or pieces of fruits and vegetables such as potatoes and apples to the mealworms, as they serve as a source of moisture.

  • Potatoes as a good option: Potatoes are particularly beneficial because they take longer to mold and dry out, providing sustained moisture for the mealworms.

  • Avoid water in the container: Do not add water directly into the container, as mealworms may crawl into it and drown. Rely on the moist fruits and vegetables as the primary source of water for the mealworms.

  • Replace dried or molded food: Regularly replace dried or molded pieces of fruits and vegetables with fresh ones to ensure a continuous supply of moisture.

  • Choose non-soggy options: Opt for fruits and vegetables that are less likely to become overly soggy, as excessive moisture can make the bedding too wet or damp.

  • Adjust moisture levels: If you notice excessive condensation on the container lid, it indicates an excess of moisture. Increase airflow by slightly opening the lid to allow for better ventilation.

They Like What they Like

By maintaining a consistent food supply for all stages of the mealworms' life cycle and providing a suitable environment for pupae, you can support their development and ensure a smooth transition into the next life stage.

  • Consistent feeding for all stages: Provide the same food for both the mealworm beetles and larvae throughout their life cycle.

  • Refresh and add to the food bedding: Continuously replenish and add to the food bedding to ensure a constant supply for the mealworms, even after they transition between stages.

  • Pupae do not eat: Once the larvae enter the pupal stage, they do not consume food. Therefore, it is unnecessary to provide them with additional food.

  • Transfer pupae to a new container: If you observe pupae in the container, move them to a separate container lined with a paper towel rather than the regular bedding material.

  • Paper towel for pupae: The paper towel provides a suitable surface for the pupae to hold onto during their transition into the next life stage.

  • Transition duration: The pupal stage typically lasts between 6 to 24 days, during which the pupae will undergo metamorphosis.

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