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Meal worm grain mites

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by azygous, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Does anyone know how to get rid of grain mites in a colony of meal worms? I raise meal worms as treats to feed my chickens. I've had them for over a year, and now I noticed they have bugs.

    I'm cursed with an explosion of these mites in every tray of worms and beetles I have. The mites are white and seen with the naked eye, appear like grains of dust. If seen through a magnifying lens, they have legs and are on the move. When a carrot is placed in the tray of wheat bran and worms, the mites are drawn to the carrot, and after a few days, cover it, looking just like white fuzzy mold. Except they're all crawling around.

    Is there anything I can do to get rid of these mites short of throwing out the entire colony of beetles and worms and starting all over with fresh worms and bedding that has been mircrowaved to kill mite eggs?

    I had a thought: what about straining all the beetles and worms out of the bedding material, then rinsing all the remaining mites off of them under warm running water? Would that work? Or would it hurt them? But then, what about the tray with baby worms?

    Honestly, I can't find the answer to this anywhere!
  2. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    Sorry you got no responses...

    Does sound like you need to clean everything out. You are feeding something that will not be any use.

    Keep putting in carrot slices to catch and remove all you can. You might try putting the feed/bedding into a well sealed bag in the freezer, or microwaving as you said after collecting all of your mealworms to kill eggs. I would rinse the mealworms off. They should survive a quick washing. They survive rain and puddles!

    Let me know how things turned out...
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I finally found the larger meal worm raising thread, and got the help I needed.

    My plight had a very happy outcome. I fished all the beetles and adult worms out of the infested bedding, and rinsed them off under warm water. They all survived their bath with flying colors.

    Then I microwaved the substrate, and replaced the beetles and worms when it had cooled down.

    The tray with the eggs and tiny, baby worms presented the biggest problem. I wanted to save them, so I couldn't microwave the substrate like I was able to do the others. It was suggested I place the tray, open to the air, near a heat source and let the substrate dry out completely.

    After the third day of this, the bedding was bone dry, and the mites had completely disappeared! The baby worms seemed not to have been harmed by the intense drying out, and they're growing like crazy!

    I've since kept the bedding as dry as possible, just adding very small baby carrots for moisture. The mites have so far not returned.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    Great news! Glad you got the help you needed :D
  5. Kjordanov

    Kjordanov Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2012
    Yay! Glad it worked out :D what a happy ending!!
  6. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Southern New Hampshire

    How long do you microwave the substrate for???
  7. HomesteadDebi

    HomesteadDebi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2013
    What heat source did you use to dry out the egg/baby worm tray?
  8. Angelicisi

    Angelicisi Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2013
    Baton Rouge area
    My Coop
    Yes, how long to nuke those buggers?! I have them all thru a new bag of feed :( don't wanna toss it out. I removed it, set it in the hot brutal Sun to air and dry out...I wanna nuke um tho...
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013

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