mealworm

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by erkose, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    @Patinas you've learned as much in six months as I've learned in eight years.

    I've had trouble with grain mites, and after the first time when I strained out all the worms and beetles and washed them under the faucet, I now simply place the uncovered tray in a dry place with a breeze blowing over it to kill the mites. Works in about three days to rid the tray of them.

    I bake my bran and mill run flour in the oven at 275F for about three hours, then turn the oven to the "warm" setting and let it coast for the rest of the day. It seems like overkill, but I was still getting mites after oven treating. My freezer is too tiny and not cold enough to kill mites. It should be a zeroF temp to do the job.
     
    EggSighted4Life, Patinas and Aceoky like this.
  2. tremendous information
    Thank you

    my guess is apple will rot quicker than carrot- we liver in a cold winter very hot summer area-a bit like no idea where u live -don't need a town------- just an area -ie darling downs Qld or St Paul Minnesota- USA
    The mite concerns me-I will need to think on it
    I assume my poultry love them(the mites)
    also keep them dry don't over feed them- I would think potato would be excellent-just enough for a day or 2 -but not so small you cant find it-hum I wonder if a piece of grated potatoes every few days would be ok
    hum
    tremendous info
    keep telling me -I need the help

    many thanks many thanks
     
    snow5164 likes this.
  3. Patinas

    Patinas Songster

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    I use large plastic storage type bins that are about 8" deep. I keep the beetles and pupae in one bin and then every 2-3 months I strain out the beetles putting the substrate with the eggs and new worms into my worm bin. Sometimes I have two worm bins going.

    I then put the strained beetles into a new beetle bin with new substrate and let them keep breeding and then repeat the process.

    I pick out worms that have turned into pupae and put the pupae into the beetle bin.

    You don't have to do it this way but when I want to feed worms to my chickens, I don't want to have to strain out the worms along with beetles and then pick out the beetles since you shouldn't feed the beetles or the pupae to the chickens from what I've read. Besides you want the beetles and pupae to continue the cycle.

    I've read about the "drop through" system but haven't personally tried that setup.

    One more tip....since my grain mite infestation, I put my bins on large cookie sheets that are longer and wider than my bins and pour vegetable oil about a 1/8" to 1/4" thick on the sheet. I then elevate the bin on the cookie sheet using old tuna cans. The vegetable oil will keep grain mites from traveling between bins and beyond and the oil will last a long time.
     
    EggSighted4Life and azygous like this.
  4. deep thanks-any other info is appreciated
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    @Patinas is on the way to becoming the resident expert on meal worm farming! I love the oil moat solution to curb traveling mites. My mites pile up in drifts under the shelves I have my worm trays on, and it's kind of embarrassing when visitors drop by.
     
    Patinas and EggSighted4Life like this.
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    I store mine in an air tight bin... and microwave it before use. I agree bran products are easier consumed than whole products... but if you use a set up with a screen for eggs to fall through, the whole product work better.

    After all this time, I have seen my first grain mite. My freezer doesn't have space. I will admit I have gotten complacent after going so long without seeing any ever... and halted the microwaving... so I should probably resume.

    Recent research revealed... At humidities less than fifty-five to sixty percent (commodity at twelve percent moisture content or less) grain mites can not survive....


    Life Cycle of Grain Mites

    Grain mites do not live for long. Their life cycle may be as short as 9 days to as long as 28 days, depending on humidity and temperature. With 90% humidity and 77 degrees F temperature, this bug will be able to complete its life cycle in just 9 to 11 days. If the temperature is between 64-71 degrees F, it may require 17 days and if the temperature is 50-60 degrees F, the life cycle would be about 28 days.

    Since humidity is a huge factor... I would consider freezing in an open container... as then it will remove moisture not just make them cold. I am trying to find info on how long they or their eggs can survive freezing (or high) temperatures. Nothing is popping up yet... but I watched a program yesterday with a different type of mite that was able to freeze solid through winter and resume it's normal life cycle once thawed! :eek:

    I use whatever I have on hand for moisture at times... they seem to like most of it... including parsley and cucumbers.
     
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  7. Patinas

    Patinas Songster

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    I've definitely had a trial by fire with my meal worm endeavor!! The oil moat works excellent! When the mites decide to leave a bin, they climb out in huge numbers forming clusters that drop from the sides of the bins. Not only will they travel to other bins if they can, they also climb on anything in their path. I keep my meal worm in a separate heated small building on the property and I've had to bleach all the countertops and everything else I have in that building before bringing it in the house just to make sure I don't get those little buggers in my main house.
     
    azygous likes this.
  8. meal worms living still-slow to produce food and initially will not be a lot of feed
    I will persist
    thanks again
     
  9. Patinas

    Patinas Songster

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    It definitely takes time to build up the colonies. Temperature also affects the process. The worms and beetles like a warmer environment to develop and reproduce. I try to not let the temperature drop below 68 degrees in the heated small building I keep mine in. Colder room temperatures will slow the process.
     
  10. ok-this is good info-thanks to all

    I lost these meal worms- still only 50f(10c) at night and they wore going dormant-then 30c (88f) during the day'

    Also carrot went moldy -quickly-why cant they have a tiny container of water?
    will they drown?

    air holes too small for them-not enough air

    Gave remainder and oats to chickens-no grain mite way to cold it seems as yet
    for mite

    I am not worried about hose fly anymore-obviously meal worm survive in nature against flies and grain mite'

    Why would meal-worm survive in nature yet be worried by mites in captivity?

    I will try again in a month or so


    Using different house for them-
    I must check every day
    and I am sure turkey crumble will be excellent for them
    My only concern is any additives in this turkey food
    I may have to go to natural dead grass

    more thought needed

    Thank your for your help

    Nigel
     

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