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#61609 - 10/08/05 11:01 AM Meal worm farm!
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have started a meal worm farm, and I have a question. When I began the farm, I used potato wedges for moisture. But I got tired of replacing the potato all the time, so I switched to a damp paper towel. Now, the worms are EATING the paper towel! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Is that OK? They are just plain white unscented Scott paper towels.

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#61610 - 10/08/05 11:11 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
Yes, it is fine that they are eating the papertowel. Those dang things will eat just about anything and everything. The moist papertowel is a better idea as you are less likely to have a mold problem. Don't keep it to damp though. Mold will destroy your farm.
_________________________
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But I'd of had to miss the dance


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#61611 - 10/08/05 11:31 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I will put a new paper towel in the farm every three-four days. It was not moldy when I took it out...just holey! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

More meal worm questions:

1) The worms are beginning to eat their oat and bran bedding into a fine powder. Do I need to get the powder out? If so, what is the easiest method?

2) I pulled my "aliens" out today. I have eight of them! How long will they be aliens?

3) When the aliens become beetles, will they try to crawl out of my worm farm box? I have two small Rubbermaid container drawers, but they could easily escape if they can climb the container. Just wondering... The worms never try to get out, so I hope it's the same with beetles!

4) Should I be worried about "cleaning out" the bedding? There is a lot of meal worm skins in there, and I guess there are some dead ones (hard and black?). If I need to clean it out, do you have any suggestions?

Thanks! Sorry for so many questions...still learning here! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

~Jonathan

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#61612 - 10/08/05 12:02 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I am a newbie worm farmer too. I appreciate you posting your questions here and will be watching with interest. I am about at the phase you are with my worms. I have a bunch of aliens. I didn't know I was supposed to separate those from the as yet unchanged worms. Should I?

Oh, I went to my local pet store and bought a small animal habitat ($4.99) that has a vented lid with a 'hatch' you can open. It is great because even if they do become crawley bugs they can't escape. I have also noticed it is an awesome fruit fly trap. I set it on my counter and when I had fruit flies (we had garden veggies I didn't get canned in time and they attracted fruit flies and gnats), they go into the habitat. I toss a damp paper towel over the top so they don't escape back out the vent holes and then I take it outside and open the hatch and they fly away. It works!

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#61613 - 10/08/05 12:50 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the great idea about catching gnats. I will try this!

And, yes, it is a good idea to separate the aliens from the worms, or they may be eaten! I have read that you should have two containers: one for meal worms and one for aliens and beetles. When the beetles' eggs hatch in the second container, you wait until the baby mealies are big enough to see, and then you move the new worms into the meal worm container...ah, the circle of life! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#61614 - 10/08/05 12:58 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Um, yeah they WILL eat anything. Anyhting at all. Mealworms are what they use to clean a skeleton of any.. fibers. Works wonders and they leve no discernible marks.

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#61615 - 10/08/05 01:02 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh and use washcloths for the mealies. Old raggedy or really cheap washcloths. Yes they will eat holes in them but that's why you use natty ones. When they dry out, spray with a spritzer of water and poof. The paper towels just went pooft too quickly for me.

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#61616 - 10/08/05 01:17 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Good idea! Thanks!

Anybody able to answer my previous questions?

I got a list of Qs at the top of this post (third post down, I think...)

Thank you!

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#61617 - 10/09/05 02:26 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
uhoh Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 570
Loc: Peoria, Illinois
I don't see any answerws to your #1 and #4 question... hope someone answers this as I'm having the same questions. I thought i saw some baby worms in the powdery stuff today though so maybe that is where they hatch. Also, I know there is some cricket stulff for fluid, like the gutloading stuff. can you put this in for the beatles if they get thirsty? I don't think this spoils like spritzing water would on the papertowels or the potatoes that get nasty real fast.
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#61618 - 10/10/05 02:00 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I know! Can we please get some worm farmers to answer our questions!?! Please??? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> There are several of us that have the same questions!

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#61619 - 10/10/05 03:40 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


1) I donít bother getting the powder out. I just sort of carefully fold everything to mix it together so the powder doesnít get too heavy on the bottom.

2)The babies love the aliens. As for how long, I really havenít a clue they stay that way.

3) The beetles donít fly. I have yet to find any that climbed out on their own. (I flicked a couple on accident and found them a week or so later. No biggie.)

4) What I do with the skins etc is I take the ďfarmĒ outside and use a dustpan or something equally as wide and heavy-ish. I then fan at the opened farm. It tends to blow out the lightweight stuff. If you lose a few mealies then the bluejays will adore you if they can find them. I expect that in time Iíll take out the dead alien and dead beetles, but Iím in no hurry. They arenít hurting anything.

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#61620 - 10/10/05 03:43 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


As for potatoes etc, I don't. Nor do I usr the gelatin (and that IS all it is) like used for most crickets. Just use the old washcloths dampened and there should be enough moisture for days at a time. I re-spritz the washcloths twice a week. That's all.

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#61621 - 10/10/05 10:36 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thank you very much! You have been invaluable. Does anyone else want to contribute with more meal worm farm suggestions/comments?

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#61622 - 10/10/05 03:41 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Keep it at a warmish temp. I have the babies' room at 72 in winter (so the change from there to the rest of the house at 66 degrees isn't a horrid shock) and the mealies are in that room. It seems to suit them well. I also make sure the room doesn't get above 80. A nice range for everyone involved.

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#61623 - 10/10/05 08:54 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


anyone has any clue that why the alien keep dying?
after few days of changed to alien form, my alien start turning to black color and dried out.
Do alien need water or any food supply?
i do separate the alien from mealie to another box


Edited by docmon (10/10/05 08:55 PM)

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#61624 - 10/10/05 09:41 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


No idea. I just leave them all together. The eggs need the dust and such in the bottom of the farm anyhow from what I can tell.

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#61625 - 10/11/05 09:17 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok so I have a suggestion. I too am new at the whole beetle farming...I feed mine lettuce that I rinse and leave water on for moisture. Also what I have found that they really like are the cardboard egg cards. They love to crawl and live on the underside. I went to check on them one day and they were ALL gone. I lifted the carton and holy smokes a beetle party like I've never seen. It was kinda gross but they love it....So I would cut one of the dozen egg cartons in half and place each piece on different sizes of the tank. Of course I'm using a 10 gallon tank, if you have a smaller tank cut a piece that fits. They seem much happier <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />

--------------

The Family...
My Kids: Doc and Dopey(rats), Toes(ferret), Leila, Kritter, Taz and Ace (sugar gliders), tank of Fish
My daughter: Nehly
My boyfriend: Eric
Zoo Keeper: Me...Jen

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#61626 - 10/11/05 09:45 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm way behind ya'll in the meal worm process. But how did you get started. How many mealies did you order to begin with?

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#61627 - 10/11/05 11:03 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: happygypsymoth]
Anonymous
Unregistered


SHannan, I ordered 500 mealies from grubco at the beginning. Then I added those to the mealie farm Tom gave me. Now I have a farm of each size from the large, to the megas, to the supers. I bought a spiffy drawer set to put them in and it works so well. Um, if tom's still around, or if anyone remembers, there's a thread he made on how to make and keep a mealie farm.

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#61628 - 10/12/05 09:37 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


500? And that was enough to have them at all growth stages now?

Shannan

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#61629 - 10/13/05 12:09 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: happygypsymoth]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Take half and refrigerate them for a few weeks. Then add half of that. Then add the other half. I had to reorder but I had an issue so couldn't really tell you directly how to have all stages at once.

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#61630 - 10/13/05 12:12 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Not to barge(sp?) in but what do you do once you have a tank of beetles? I know they are suppose to lay eggs, but where do they lay these things and what do they look like? Anyone know this next step on having a successful beetle farm? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nixweiss.gif" alt="" />


--------------
The Family...
My Kids: Doc and Dopey(rats), Toes(ferret), Leila, Kritter, Taz and Ace (sugar gliders), tank of Fish
My daughter: Nehly
My boyfriend: Eric
Zoo Keeper: Me...Jen

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#61631 - 10/13/05 02:22 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


the eggs are in the dust and such in the bottom of the container. You cannot see them.

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#61632 - 10/13/05 01:19 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


so you just leave them there until they hatch? The beetles won't eat them?

--------------
The Family...
My Kids: Doc and Dopey(rats), Toes(ferret), Leila, Kritter, Taz and Ace (sugar gliders), tank of Fish
My daughter: Nehly
My boyfriend: Eric
Zoo Keeper: Me...Jen

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#61633 - 10/13/05 02:33 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have heard that you should just wait until the baby mealies get big enough to see, and then you can transfer them to your worm container. (You should have one container for worms, and another for aliens/beetles.) Hope this helps!

~Jonathan

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#61634 - 10/13/05 06:57 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yea, I have 2 tanks goin...one of worms and the other is the "aliens" and beetles. Is that what those cocoon things are really called...aliens? After I read that I looked at them and they do look kinda like aliens! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" /> goofy. Is there any websites that anyone knows of that has info on these beetles? Like exactly what to feed them and how much water and how long it takes for them to lay eggs? The water seems to be evaporating as soon as I put it in there.


--------------
The Family...
My Kids: Doc and Dopey(rats), Toes(ferret), Leila, Kritter, Taz and Ace (sugar gliders), tank of Fish
My daughter: Nehly
My boyfriend: Eric
Zoo Keeper: Me...Jen

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#61635 - 10/13/05 07:12 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I don't give them anything more than what they have. Bran and oats and the moistened washcloths. As I said, I don't bother moving any from one to another container. Nothing is harmed by everyone staying in the same place.

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#61636 - 10/13/05 07:16 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


hmmmm....i read that the beetles should be seperated from the mealies because the beetles will eat them. If they eat papertowel...lol...they'll eat anything. Ok I will put a wet washcloth? in the tank with the beetles. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />


---------------
The Family...
My Kids: Doc and Dopey(rats), Toes(ferret), Leila, Kritter, Taz and Ace (sugar gliders), tank of Fish
My daughter: Nehly
My boyfriend: Eric
Zoo Keeper: Me...Jen

Top
#61637 - 10/13/05 07:50 PM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hmm, if there's enough mealies, a few eaten by beetles isn't a loss honestly.

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#61638 - 10/14/05 09:55 AM Re: Meal worm farm! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


The way I do my worm farm is I started with two of the shoe box size plastic storage boxes. I started with 100-300 (can't really remember been a while). I kept 100 aside to feed to the gliders and put the rest in one containers, if they are in a warm area of the house like the laundry room They should start turning to aliens within two weeks. From that point I take the aliens out and put them in the other container. They are usually aliens for 10 - 20 days then they turn into the beetles. The beetles then live 2 - 4 weeks. The female laying around 40 eggs a day. As they die you can remove them or leave them I have been told the worms will recycle them as it were there is calcium in the bodies. I use cabbage leaves for their water source as it holds its water well, MUCH lower chance of mold. At present time i am starting somewhat over as I have neglected the farm. There is actually a certain percentage of moisture in the oatmeal that they use. There for a while I had a tub for each month. At the first of each month I would start a new tub. Wash it out, bleach it out, and put in brand new oatmeal (not the instant kind, the old fashion oats). During that onth any aliens I found on top of the other tubs would go in the new tub. I would usually check each tub at least every three days for new aliens. With a set up like this I was able to produce all I would EVER need as well as extras. In fact one of the women I work with breeds gamebirds on her and her husbands 53 acres as many as 100,000 birds at a time and she may have me produce worms for them. to help discourage picking at each other. Hope this helps some of you

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