Breeding mealworms for food

Buffalo-, meal- and morioworms are very easy to breed. These three species breed very similar and there aren’t too many differences. The main differences are found in lifespan and duration of egg hatching and growing up. However they are very similar, do not house the species together when breeding: the smaller species will be eaten by the bigger ones. Start out with about 100 gram of worms.

Housing and caring for the worms

Start out with a bin for the worms. It needs to have an upstanding edge of about 3cm, preferingly a bit higher. The edges need to be smooth, so the worms can’t climb out. Ventilation is very important for meaworms, so don’t put a lid on it or make a lid with gauze on it.

A good menu for the worms is mandatory foor a good breeding. if they dont’grow well enough and don’t develope, they will weaken and you will end up having to buy new batches because they eventually won’t breed. The worms live on fibres and small matter. A good menu would look like this:

  • 1 part wheat flour
  • 1 part bran
  • 1 piece of fruit/vegetable a day

Vary as much as you can with fruits and vegetables. Remove them the next day if it’s not all eaten to avoid molds and rotting parts. Also make sure that they contain enough water to live off as you can’t give them a bowl of water. Also avoid the flour/bran mixture to become wet.

Temperature and pupating

At a temperature of about 27 degrees Celcius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) the worm will begin to pupate. Because the worms are cannibalistic, you are better off putting them in a seperate bin. Aside from good ventilation and steady temperature, this bin doesn’t have many requirements. Just keep in mind that beetes will show up in a few weeks, so keep an eye on them. If you want to be sure, you can put a lid on the bin with gauze to prevent any beetles from escaping as they are very good climbers!

The beetles

The third bin you need is for the beetles. If the pupae turn into beetles after about 2 to 3 weeks, you need to get them out as soon as possible to avoid them eating the remaining pupae. Put in a bit of food (1 part wheat four, 1 part bran) to avoid that.

The beetles can fly so make sure the third bin is secured with a lid with gauze. The best for these creatures is a bin of about 40x20x20 cm. You can use the same menu for the beetles as you did for the worms.

Eggs and hatchlings

Female beetles start to lay eggs after about 2 weeks. They’ll do this for about 3 months, until they die. Each season, a female can lay over 200 eggs. There are a few options to avoid the beetles eating all the eggs.

Method 1

Put in a small tray with sand. Empty the tray each day in a seperate bin and refill with new sand. The eggs can hatch in the new bin and hatchlings can grow out until they’re old enough to move to the bin with worms.

Method 2

Move the beetles to another bin every 2 weeks so the eggs can hatch in the old one. This method asures you of all eggs hatching in a bin without beetles, but does make up for a bit more work.

One Comment to “Breeding mealworms for food”

  1. Thanks, it is very informative

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