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#85146 - 02/26/06 12:30 AM What type of bedding to use for mealies?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I bought some cornmeal as bedding for my mealies, but I've been thinking about aflatoxin risk (I know it comes from corn that's fed to crickets, bugs, etc.). I'm not sure if I should use the cornmeal.

What do you all use?

Thanks!
Kristy

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#85147 - 02/26/06 12:33 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
GliderHappy81 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 3224
Loc: NC
I dont know about the cornmeal, but I use wheat germ mixed with vitamins and baby cereal. You can put a potato or carrot in there for them to eat on. I hope this helps:)
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#85148 - 02/26/06 12:36 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
Srlb Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 16758
Loc: St. Johns, Florida
I use oatmeal and bran for my mealworm farm. I also do not put any food items in there, I actually put paper towels in there and lightly spray them with water once every couple days or so this way you dont have to worry about the food molding. I personally wouldnt use the cornmeal, but others on here may have. Sure they will be along soon. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" />
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#85149 - 02/26/06 12:44 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Where do you keep a mealworm farm? In a refrigerator or outside? aint no way i would keep them things in my fridge..<shiver>

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#85150 - 02/26/06 12:49 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
GliderHappy81 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 3224
Loc: NC
I keep mine in a large plastic container. They were in my bathroom but they smell like...something stinky! Needless to say, I decided that its not worth it to me to have a meal farm and I am feeding them all to my gliders. Ick! lol <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Of course, it may be because of the food....I read that you are supposed to feed them potato or something. But, seeing now that I dont have to, I am dumping the foods and will continue with the paper towels and once a week spritz. Well, until they are all gone anyway.
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#85151 - 02/26/06 01:17 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
SugarBlossoms Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 5830
Loc: USA
We have mealie farms and don't put raw food inside the containers. We use Old Fashioned Oats, Baby cereal (mixed or any will work), wheat germ, Vionate and extra calcium. We mix it up and lay a cloth (like a washcloth folded in half) and spray it with spring water a couple of times a week. We have TONS of little mealies now. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

When we tried either potatoe or apple and once cabbage, everything stunk real bad and started to grow mold in small areas. We threw everything out and started over and now have a nice farm.

We also keep our containers on top of things like the DVD player, fridge, etc. there's just enough heat from it to keep them warm. Make sure you have good circulation too.
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My precious loves that left to quickly, Peanut, Katie
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Spread your wings and glide free of pain,
Until the day I see you again.

God speed my precious angels. I love you. Mama.

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#85152 - 02/26/06 06:44 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
Charlie H Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/13/03
Posts: 1659
Loc: Wallis Texas
How you store them depends on whether you are going to have a meal worm farm and raise mealies or whether you just purchase a few to be used in a short period of time. Since we purchase our mealies and they last only a month we store them in corn meal. We have a two gallon plastic ice cream container with a lid that I punched holes in. It is filled about three fourths full of corn meal and a few leaves of lettuce on top. They are kept refrigerated so that they do not grow and turn into beatles. Each month when we get in a new supply of mealies the corn meal is replaced. Havent had any problems.

Here is a trick we use for seperating mealies from the corn meal. Get two small plastic throw away drink cups. Cut the bottoms out about one third of the way up. Put a piece of screen wire over the bottom of the first cup and force it down into the second cup. Makes a neat little sifter for shaking the meal out from the mealies.
Charlie H
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#85153 - 02/26/06 10:21 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was using Wheat Germ in my bedding until I read an interesting post here on GC which made a lot of sense. If you read the label on the jar, it says to refrigerate after opening! Someone called the company to question it and they said that after 3 days the wheat germ goes bad. I now only use oatmeal, bran cereal and baby cereal in my mealie farms along with a paper towel and spritz it with water every few days to a week. My farms don`t smell at all either. I`d try doing away with the wheat germ to be safe.

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#85154 - 02/26/06 10:49 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow, thanks Denise! I learned something new today. I didn't know Wheat Germ had to be refridgerated after opening. I don't use it for my mealies, but I did keep it in a drawer with other ingredients for BML rather than the fridge.

As for the mealies, I definitely wouldn't use the cornmeal. That's the whole reason many of us (myself included) are afraid to feed crickets...because many places that raise them use cornmeal which carries the risk of aflatoxin.

When I get an order of 1000 mealies in from Grubco, I put them in a large tupperware container of dry old fashioned oatmeal and put that in the fridge. I just have two gliders, so that order will last me over 6 months! They go dormant in the fridge so I don't have to worry about shed skins, morphs, beetles or feeding them. One time some moisture got in the container and I started getting mold on the oatmeal so I had to pick out the mealies to put them on fresh oatmeal. I gotta tell you, I was more disgusted having to touch the moldy oatmeal than the mealies! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

PDDispatcher911 - The first time I had to put mealies in the fridge, it gave me pause as well, but it's worth it not to have them wiggling so much when you feed them. I just keep them on the bottom shelf where no one really notices them. They're sealed in the tupperware container (if you open it every once in a while to get one out, they have plenty of oxygen so you don't have to poke holes) so it's really no biggie. I've had much worse stuff left in the fridge at my house! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shakehead.gif" alt="" />

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#85155 - 02/26/06 11:42 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


You`re very welcome Peeperkeeper! I`m really hoping that more people become aware of this. The first time I read about this, my heart just stopped and I thought "DUH! Why didn`t I think of this?" I knew the stuff needed to be refrigerated.

Peeps, I need to ask you about the mold in your bedding. I had always read that if you find mold in you bedding, you should throw it all away, including the mealies. Did I misunderstand something? I`m just curious, would the mealies be contaminated after mold appears or will the mealies be ok? Luckily I`ve never found mold in mine but I`d like to know just in case it ever happens. I didn`t think you`d really have mold as long as the bedding keeps dry and if you don`t use moist foods.

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#85156 - 02/26/06 11:43 AM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I think I`m going to make a post about the wheat germ...

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#85157 - 02/26/06 05:51 PM Re: What type of bedding to use for mealies? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Denise I believe to be safe, if you find mold in any bedding mixture, the bedding and the mealies should be tossed. There's a certain incubation period for aflotoxins to form, but why chance it. The aflotoxins, once eaten will attach to the mealie DNA and stay with it, not sure if it always transfers to babies, but possible.

I keep a couple of containers of mealies just in case I have this problem,... the results.... extra beetle containers!!!!! Then of course a couple of extra million or so mealie babies. LOL! I mean, I have to give some away to my friend that has suggies nearby.

One other thing that I do with my containers is once or twice a week, I leave the lids off, even though they are well ventalated, just gives them a chance to get some fresh air and dry out a little from their moist food. I never have any odors from my containers but you will need to be careful what you use for food. Just know that if any farms are misted too much, and it seeps into the bedding, you're eventually going to get mold. Minimal water is needed for these little guys, they are really efficient at extracting moisture to survive, and actually they would probably live through their cycle of life fine without any added moisture, they would extract it from the bedding, as unlikely as that sounds... but, they wouldn't be very plump, and you'd find a bunch of eaten ones. They would extract the fluids from each other, canabolizing to survive.

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