clearing up a mealworm-related misconception

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DurhamDuck, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. DurhamDuck

    DurhamDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Durham, Connecticut
    Hello :)
    I have started raising mealworms. However the way I was taught to raise them would - according to some misconceptions I have read - have killed them. They are doing fine. I thought I would share because some people are accidentally killing their beetles.

    The misconception I noticed is the false belief that 1. Beetles only live a few weeks and that 2. Moisture will kill them. This cannot be further from the truth. Beetles will survive for months if they have moisture- both from vegetable matter and from a paper towel, wetted daily for them to drink from. My beetles, as soon as I put water on the paper towel, come across their container for a drink. The reason some people believe they die after a few weeks is because their beetles dehydrate and die.

    (Now I have heard that fungus is a problem with moisture- but I have not had this problem. I know little about fungus so would be unable to say why it has not been a problem for me- perhaps because my mealworms are raised indoors at room temperature?)

    Now I'll just share my way of raising mealworms in case anyone is curious.

    My mealworms are in a plastic container. I have used both wheat bran and oats, but they seem to grow faster in the oats. I slice a potato and put it on the oats- just leave it. It will get discolored when it dries, but for some reason they keep for weeks without molding (again, I do not know why, but this is the way the lady I got them from raises hers, and this is how I raise them). I keep them inside at room temperature in a dark place. I put a paper towel in the container; every day put a few drops of water on it; or more if you have many beetles. Leave the towel- it will dry and you can wet it again the next day.

    Recently I was unable to get water to the mealworms for about five days. Some died of dehydration. I just wanted to share, because it saddened me to think that people are accidentally killing their insects.
  2. Jeanette56

    Jeanette56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2012
    Southwest Texas
    I realize this is an older post but I am getting ready to finally order some mealworms so I was glad to see this information!

    Montell, TX
  3. dragonlair

    dragonlair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2008
    I have been thinking about raising them for my girls, but haven't actually gotten around to it yet. Thank you for your advice! I am going to print it out and keep it for when I finally take the plunge.

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