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#1342175 - 05/16/13 11:50 PM Mealworm Farm
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
So we have started our own mealworm farm in our house! Pretty gross, but necessary :thumb2: When we go on vacation, what is the best way to preserve our farm? Can we put the whole thing in the fridge like we do with mealies to slow the process of their growth down, or will this kill them?

Thanks!


Edited by MissU2Much (05/16/13 11:51 PM)
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#1342208 - 05/17/13 08:23 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
etrnalsunshinee Offline
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Registered: 07/25/09
Posts: 1714
Loc: New Jersey
Bumping this up for you, because I honestly have no idea! :rofl2:
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#1342223 - 05/17/13 11:07 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: etrnalsunshinee]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
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Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
Thanks, Amy clap

I also have another question about the meal worm farm. Once they become the beetle (ugly as they are), do they try to fly often? I mean when I open that lid, am I going to get a face full of escapee beetles? If so, how do the rest of you that raise these stop that from happening?

My Naphtali's breeder gave us a starter farm with every stage of the life cycle in it, so I do have beetles already. Plus we have another 2,000 meal worms coming in today. Even though it's gross, I'm pretty excited :rofl2:

Thanks in advance for your help!
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#1342234 - 05/17/13 12:01 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Johannasgliders Offline
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Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 2341
Loc: Inman, SC
No, they don't fly, just crawl all over ya. LOL!

I'm sure some will think this crazy but, when I leave I put a intact banana in with them. When the banana isn't opened it doesn't mold like an open peel.

The mealies and beetle love it. I cover it with a little of the mealworm bedding. They will eat straight through the banana and produce so many more babies.
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#1342250 - 05/17/13 02:08 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
jendetta Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 03/23/13
Posts: 168
Loc: Broome County NY
Excellent tip! I have some mealworms..I think I have a few in the last stage before beetles. It looks like a hard white wider cocoon ? Does that mean beetles?
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#1342282 - 05/17/13 05:37 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
GliderNursery Offline
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Registered: 09/14/07
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There isn't a cocoon with mealies. There are mealies, aliens, mealies, beetles. Maybe you are referring to the transition between the alien & beetle? The aliens are very soft though, not hard.

As for vacation, how long are you planning on being gone? You can always add a form of moisture with a small deli cup with a damp paper towel or those water gel things (not sure those will work). As for food, you can offer them several carrots. They tend to dry out rather than mold, so you should be safe offering carrots while you're gone.
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#1342285 - 05/17/13 06:49 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
jendetta Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 03/23/13
Posts: 168
Loc: Broome County NY
Yes, it's in transition. I don't know if it's hard. I don't touch them!
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#1342288 - 05/17/13 07:09 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
mypreciousbabies Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 235
Loc: Clarksburg, WV USA
I just started a mealie farm too, found beetles today! YES! lol Thank you for the great info about the banana!
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#1342300 - 05/17/13 08:14 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
GliderNursery Offline
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Registered: 09/14/07
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Make sure you separate the beetles from the mealies. wink
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#1342303 - 05/17/13 08:26 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: jendetta]
Johannasgliders Offline
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Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 2341
Loc: Inman, SC
Originally Posted By: jendetta
Excellent tip! I have some mealworms..I think I have a few in the last stage before beetles. It looks like a hard white wider cocoon ? Does that mean beetles?


If you pick the white cocoon up it will start to move. LOL! The gliders love them
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#1342307 - 05/17/13 08:56 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
jendetta Offline
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Registered: 03/23/13
Posts: 168
Loc: Broome County NY
What about the meal worms when they are dark brown, and then some are like fresh pinkish? Do they shed a few times before they morph? I see "shells" of meal worm bodies? I swear, my gliders are lucky ducks. Because I do not like bugs!!
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#1342312 - 05/17/13 09:51 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Johannasgliders Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 2341
Loc: Inman, SC
If the worm is brown, hard and doesn't move it's dead. Trash it.

Mealies do shed and they grow. I have noticed that they can be different colors as they grow. Tan, white, pinkish in color but, they usually tend to be close to the same color as adults.

I've noticed there are a lot of glider friends with bug issues. LOL!
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#1342314 - 05/17/13 10:36 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
jendetta Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 03/23/13
Posts: 168
Loc: Broome County NY
Eww. They are kinda curled up? Wasn't sure if it was a pupae
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and our new friends :grey: Ziggy, :plat: Zoey and :leu: Zelda

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#1342317 - 05/17/13 11:29 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
SolaFide Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 168
Loc: Wisconsin
I have to hand it to you guys...I believe if I tried this I would never sleep! Good for you guys, I wish I had the fortitude to do this for my baby!
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#1342320 - 05/17/13 11:45 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Reenie Offline
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Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 103
Loc: Illinois
Is there a section on starting a meal worm farm? I could not find it in the search. read I would like to read up on this.
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#1342333 - 05/18/13 08:10 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
minkasmom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 5947
Loc: Northeast Indiana
Gonna send you a link to a website that I used for starting up my mealworm farm. Right now, I can keep my 25 babies PLUS Talking Feathers' 25 babies happily munching on mealies. :hdance: The hardest part is starting the farm & checking it every other day for moisture issues. Once you have that stable, you're IN!

And I just use cheap plastic shoeboxes or Ziploc rectangular storage boxes for my different "stages" of farming. Lots of holes in the lids keeps the humidity down, but the medium is warm in temperature so the mealies grow quickly.

http://suggiesavers.org/mealworm.html
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#1342686 - 05/21/13 07:24 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: GliderNursery]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
Hey Shelly, I will be gone for 3 weeks to India, and I don't want to lose my farm.

So if I put the whole farm in the fridge for 3 weeks, do you think the farm will survive?

If not, if I put lots of carrots, but can't change out the water for 3 weeks, will that be ok?

thanks
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#1342687 - 05/21/13 07:25 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Johannasgliders]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
Johanna, this is a great idea clap
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#1342689 - 05/21/13 07:30 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
I have so many pupae! I feel like a little kid playing with bugs again :rofl2: My husband teases me because each day I go in with my tweezers, and excitedly separate my pupae from the meal worms. I pick out anywhere between 40-60 a day! At this rate I may need to buy more mealies for my gliders to eat before I start having my own grow. However I did buy 2,000 worms, so maybe it'll catch up with itself...
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#1342692 - 05/21/13 08:27 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Biscuit Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 02/12/11
Posts: 920
Loc: Dutchess County, NY
I just leave the farm alone. I think it depends how many days you are going away? If it's a few days, I would throw in some new carrots before you go, take out the old ones. Personally I wouldn't bother putting it in the fridge. I think that would kill the beetles!?

But, now I am seeing you are going away for 3 weeks! Wow! Can you put ONLY the Pupae & Mealworms in the fridge and have someone "babysit" the beetles? :rofl2:

Perhaps ask Camille, she's been so helpful to me with my mealworms.
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#1342708 - 05/21/13 11:18 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
GliderNursery Offline
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Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 17018
Loc: North Central Ohio
Not sure on that one.... As mentioned, contact either Camille or Grubco to get their input.

Who is taking care of your gliders? Could they also take care of the mealies while your gone too? That would resolve the issue. wink

And wow! 3 weeks in India?? Have fun! dance
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#1342942 - 05/23/13 10:46 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: GliderNursery]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
Hey good idea to contact Camille or Grubco clap

My mom may be taking care of my gliders while we are gone, so she would be able to care for the farm too. If my mom isn't able to come to MI while we are gone, than one of my glider's breeder has said she can watch my babies if she doesn't have vaca conflicts. So I may need to get a back-up for my back-up dunno

Shelly, I am separating the worms from the beetles, but was wanting to know why this is necessary? Will the beetles eat the worms?

thanks
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#1342985 - 05/23/13 07:44 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
GliderNursery Offline
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Registered: 09/14/07
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Loc: North Central Ohio
Actually, I think the worms eat the beetles. One eats the other, I don't remember which is which tho.
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#1343064 - 05/24/13 12:07 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
minkasmom Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 5947
Loc: Northeast Indiana
The worms will eat the EGGS the beetles lay...so the "new generation" quantity gets greatly reduced if you keep everything in one container. That's why it's so important to move the beetles OUT of the box the minute you see little wigglies in the medium.

I also suspect that they BOTH eat the "aliens"/pupae if left all together. I have a special box just for "breeder worms" (to be my future beetles) and I notice the aliens quantity get greatly reduced when I'm NOT on the ball and moving things to the respective other boxes.
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#1343138 - 05/24/13 10:13 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: minkasmom]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
Ah ha...I need one more container then to move all my aliens away from the beetles I was given. The breeder who gave me a starter farm keeps all stages of bugs together, so I'm glad to know the "why" behind separating them :thumb2:

thanks
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#1344226 - 06/03/13 02:06 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: jendetta]
Camille Offline
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Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 162
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Originally Posted By: jendetta
Excellent tip! I have some mealworms..I think I have a few in the last stage before beetles. It looks like a hard white wider cocoon ? Does that mean beetles?

While the "alien" stage as everyone calls it (pupa stage)isn't a cocoon, it is very similar to one, and so it is sometimes referred to as such. The outer shell of the pupa starts out soft to begin with and becomes hard as it sits longer in order to protect what is going on inside the shell- it is morphing from larvae to beetle, and before you know it, a beautiful darkling beetle will emerge. When you pick pupae (pupae is the plural word for pupa) up and gently squeeze them, the back part of their bodies will wiggle. This is the best way to tell if the pupae are still alive and in the metamorphosis process. If they don't wiggle, then the inside larvae has unfortunatlely dried up and is no longer morphing. frown After you watch this magnificent process, I think that you will no longer see it as disgusting. smile Or maybe I'm just crazy :nanana: for enjoying my job so much.

Several critters enjoy eating the pupae stage when it is still soft because that is when the morphing inside is just beginning and it is nice and juicy :sick:. As the pupae sits and hardens, it is no longer juicy and will not be enjoyed by the pet.

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#1344268 - 06/03/13 09:45 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
cathy1229 Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 928
Loc: Concord, NH
Have to give kudos to all of you mealie raisers! I hate creepy crawlies and am currently feeding the dried/roasted mealies. I am planning on getting live ones again to try with my babies, they didn't care for them the first time I tried them, but have to say its not my favorite thing.
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#1344904 - 06/10/13 08:16 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: cathy1229]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
Cathy,

Let us know how you do when you decide to go with live worms again :thumb2:
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#1344907 - 06/10/13 08:19 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
Ok, you fellow mealworm farm breeders...will you tell me why some of my beetles are missing wings? I now have a ton of beetles, and a few here and there seem like they are being "picked on" because they are now missing a wing, sometimes both wings, and some look like they've been a little bit eaten on. Is this normal? I have the correct items as a bedding/food, but also have fresh food for them. So they really shouldn't be eating each other, but I don't know how their beetle heirarchy goes... dunno
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#1344922 - 06/10/13 09:21 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Sweet As Suggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: MI
I was sifting beetles the other night. While sitting Indian style on the floor I was using a paper cup to scoop the bedding/beetles/aliens into my sifter. I had turned the cup around and noticed a beetle stuck to the outside of the cup right next to my finger :thumbd: I FREAKED OUT! I dropped the cup into the plastic container that needed to still be sifted, screeched like a little girl, shook my hand in disgust, and managed to scare my husband half to death! He jumped up off the couch, and got in this running stance with his arms outstretched like he didn't know which way to run from what danger. I started laughing so hard at both of our reactions :rofl2: :roflmao: :roflmao2: He then told me to get out of his living room with my disgusting bugs... :roflmao2: Of course I didn't move, but I was a little more careful to shake off any beetles from the cup between each scooping... :thumb2:
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#1345628 - 06/17/13 11:14 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Dbelle Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/16/13
Posts: 13
Loc: CT, USA
Sometimes the pupae will be deformed: the mealies don't always morph without any issues. The result is adult beetles that aren't quite right.

As far as the fridge issue, the cold will kill the beetles, and slow the progress of the mealies. I'm not so sure about the pupae.

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#1346061 - 06/22/13 01:51 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Camille Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 162
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Originally Posted By: MissU2Much
Ok, you fellow mealworm farm breeders...will you tell me why some of my beetles are missing wings? I now have a ton of beetles, and a few here and there seem like they are being "picked on" because they are now missing a wing, sometimes both wings, and some look like they've been a little bit eaten on. Is this normal? I have the correct items as a bedding/food, but also have fresh food for them. So they really shouldn't be eating each other, but I don't know how their beetle heirarchy goes... dunno


While you have food/hydration in there, try providing more hydration/food for them to see if that helps keep your beetles body parts intact. Even if there is still plenty of food in there, does it provide enough hydration or is it possibly drying up? The beetles with missing wing parts can be from 2 things:
1) the other beetles are hungry/thirsty and literally chowing down on them (the darkling beetles both in the larval "mealworm" stage and beetle stage will cannabalize if necessary) and
2) sometimes the beetles physically "fight" with eachother and lose wings/body parts in the fights.
So, try the extra hydration to see if that helps. If you still have an issue, you may want to try seperating some of them into another drawer. There may just be too many in one area causing fights to occur often.
Hope this helps.

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#1346113 - 06/23/13 12:00 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Camille]
Suggie96 Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 11/28/12
Posts: 196
Loc: Silver Spring, MD
Yup! If the beetles aren't getting enough hydration, they may try to eat each other, the same goes for the mealworms and pupas. Our mealworm farm eats just as we'll as the gliders do! smile we give them apple, carrot, potato, lettuce, (leafy greens), and other left over veggie, like broccoli. I posted some pics below. We also keep the top of the container they are in open. For both ventilation and to keep the food from molding fast.


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#1346397 - 06/25/13 11:56 PM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Suggie96]
Camille Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 162
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Originally Posted By: Suggie96
Yup! If the beetles aren't getting enough hydration, they may try to eat each other, the same goes for the mealworms and pupas. Our mealworm farm eats just as we'll as the gliders do! smile we give them apple, carrot, potato, lettuce, (leafy greens), and other left over veggie, like broccoli. I posted some pics below. We also keep the top of the container they are in open. For both ventilation and to keep the food from molding fast.


Some beautiful beetles you have there smile Nice and healthy!!

The pupa is the only stage that won't cannabalize because they don't eat or drink in the pupae stage (pupae is the plural for pupa). This is when they are morphing into their beetle stage and the outer shell of the pupa is a protective shield for what is going on underneath. Now, the larvae and beetles will eat the pupae if they are hungry or thirsty, but as for the pupa, they don't eat or drink at all and will not cannabalize (thank goodness).

Once in a blue moon, I will have an order come back that was mislabeled and they don't come back until USPS has tried to deliver to someone for 3 weeks. When they finally get back to me and I open them up, well, lets say, for example an order was for 1,000 worms, there may be 300 left (some will still be worms, some will be beetles and some pupae) because they have had to survive by eating eachother. Just like with every other species of creature- the strongest survive. I literally just had a 300 count order come back the other day and it had been in transit for about 3 weeks due to the address being invalid (the customer had moved recently and forgot to change his address) and there were about 40 beetles left and 20 or so pupae and maybe 80 worms (a few dead ones too from being subjected to heat during the trip). I was very surprised any were alive with it being summer and being out there with no water or food (the carrot I sent with them was loooooong gone). Needless to say, the birds outside were doing a :hdance: because of the unexpected smorgasbord!

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#1346437 - 06/26/13 11:25 AM Re: Mealworm Farm [Re: Sweet As Suggies]
Suggie96 Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 11/28/12
Posts: 196
Loc: Silver Spring, MD
Thanks grin and thanks for clearing up the pupa thing, I just re- read it and saw that I said both mealworms and pupas can eat each other, oops! :fall:
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~Stephanie~

Meeko. Chloe. Pequenininha. Shiloh. Bambi. Blaze. Penny. Bolt.
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