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How to raise your own Mealworms

Want to grow your own mealworms for live pet food? It's not
difficult; just follow the simple instructions below.

Mealworms are not really worms, but are the larva form of
the adult Mealworm beetle. The mealworm larva will grow to
up to sixty millimeters (Giant Mealworms) long, then pupate
and finally emerge as adult beetles that start off light
colored but then turn dark brown. The adult beetles can fly,
but with plenty of food and moisture they very rarely do.

One thousand mealworms is a good number of mealworms to buy
to start your own breeding group. For that number of worms,
use a washable plastic storage box about six inches high,
fifteen inches long and ten inches wide. Put in a substrate
of two inches of fresh wheat bran or old-fashioned oatmeal.
If you want to cover the box, be sure to cut out most of the
lid and glue in screening so the ventilation is adequate.

Cut a few sheets of newspaper slightly smaller than the box
interior and lay them down on the substrate surface to
provide hiding places for the beetles. Mist the paper (only
the paper, not the substrate) once or twice a day just to
get the paper damp.

Keep the container warm for faster growth and soon your
mealworms will begin to pupate and then emerge as adult
beetles, which will then lay multiple clutches of eggs that
so small you may not see them. Add more meal to the
substrate as it shrinks from being eaten and add a quarter
of an apple or the equivalent in other fruits per one
thousand worms for food and moisture. Very shortly you will
be harvesting a non-stop crop of your own mealworms for your pets.

See also:  Feeding Mealworms for Pet Food

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