Rainbow Mealworms is sending dead worms

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Shrader, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Does anyone else order mealworms from Rainbow mealworms?
    I'm just wondering if anyone else has received an order of dead worms --
    and had as much trouble with the "customer service" as I have.
    I spoke with someone named Monica -- who gave me so much attitude --
    claiming they warned me when I called that the worms were" not guaranteed"
    (which they never did), that they "didn't have enough worms" (so clearly she was aware of the problem)
    yet that they didn't send me dead worms.
    I live in Los Angeles, the same city the worms are sent from,
    I ordered them on Tuesday, they were sent Wednesday,
    and her claim is that some how, in the truck, over night, all 5000 of the worms died.
    Anyone else order from them? Anyone else have a problem with their worms or with their customer service?

    Anyone else have anywhere else I can order mealworms? Because I won't deal with them again.
     
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    This is an excellent source (and has info on how you can farm your own!)
    www.wormman.com
     
  3. cmcgoun

    cmcgoun Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is a meal worm situation going on right now its stopping it was really bad in the spring but for some reason the worms just stopped eating and the bugs would reproduce so they had a shortage and the meal worms that were born didn't eat. Thats the reason for bad meal worms this year, I have experienced it first hand since I have 2 Chinese Water Dragon lizards that go through 1000 a week or so. Try ordering from "Flukers" They sell them fro cheap and most were alive when I got them. I hope I was able to help!
     
  4. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks you guys.
    I'll try both resources.
    I had more a problem with Monica at Rainbow's attitude
    than with the dead mealworms.
    She was defensive right from jump
    and really combative with me.
    Not a way to keep a customer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  5. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you ever thought about starting a mealworm colony? I've had mine going for 5 years now and it is still going strong. I'll pull around 2000 per week to feed to various critters, and I've never ran out. I started with 5000 in a storage container that fits under my bed. There is probably around 10000-15000 in there at any time now. I do order 1000 each year to "refresh" the gene pool, but that's it. They're really easy to keep, feed, and care for too.

    Let me know if you would like more information.

    Emily in NC
     
  6. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Wow, Emily, really?
    Yeah, I'd love to know more about it.
    Seems really smart!
    (Especially since my girls love them so.)
    Don't mealworms ultimately grow into some flying beetle?
    What do you feed them? What do they live in?
    And, uh, under your bed? Really? Brave.
     
  7. Maidservant

    Maidservant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Teehee, no mealworms never fly, even in their beetle stage.

    Ok, to begin with, you'll need a container to keep them in. Some people keep them in as small of a container as a 10 gallon aquarium, but if you're feeding much, that won't last.
    For my bedding I use plain old fashoned kitchen oatmeal. This way, it never has to be changed, they can eat it, and it doesn't mold very well (at least mine hasn't). Next step is to get mealworms. I would normally recommend grubco.com because they usually have plenty, but it seems that something is up with their numbers too. You can typically order as many as 100,000 or more (special order) from them, and their prices and shipping is quite low. It's $28 and some change (including shipping) for 5,000 usually. They are great with their customer service, and I've bought multiple types of worms from them before and never had a problem with any of them.
    Ok, once the worms arrive home, check them and report any problems. If there are only a few dead, don't worry about picking them out...think, protein for the survivors (no they will not attack other living worms, pupae, or beetles if they are cared for). Put a few potato slices (or potato peelings if you feel like eating the potatoes instead, lol) in with them. They will typically devour them in no time. The potatoes provide them with water and some nutrients.

    I've sucessfully fed mine small slices of apple, carrot/carrot peelings, different berries, dead fish (clean), and frozen green peas (please thaw them first!). These different things provide different nutrients for the worms, and thus will provide different nutrients for the critters eating the worms. For dry items, I give them more kitchen oatmeal, baby cereal (any kind), extremely small handfuls of wheat germ (just what they will eat in one night, since wheat germ goes rank extremely quickly), and once in a while a small handful of scratch grains. You would be surprised at what the little buggers can eat when given enough time. Oh, forgot to say that they love loose leaf lettuce and citrus too. Mine don't get citrus since they help feed sugar gliders (too much citrus can harm developing joeys). They also love any and all fish food, if you're like me and buy the wrong type of food and end up not being able to take it back! Just keep feeding them (about once or twice per week) and keep a few potato slices in with them. A good indicator of when to put in more "water" is when the previous item either dries up or dissappears, it's time to add more.

    Pretty soon you'll notice little white/beige "aliens" in with the worms. These are the pupae. You can leave them in with the worms, and you may need to decrease on the food/water at this time, since the pupae just lay there. After a short while, black beetles will emerge. If you see a white beetle, that's a new one, and they turn black as they dry out. The beetles do eat some and eat the water items. The beetles will breed and lay eggs. 2-4 weeks after the eggs are laid, you will have tiny worms. 4-8 weeks after you see the first tiny worm, they will be getting to a size where you can use them. At 1 inch they are full grown in the worm stage and will soon turn into pupae. Oh, chickens love the dead beetles. They die soon after laying eggs.

    If you happen to forget them, don't worry, in the absense of food and/or water, they go dormant. It's hard to kill them unless you freeze them or feed them to something. You can take out a certain amount when they reach 1 inch and put them in clean oatmeal and stick them in the fridge. They will go dormant in there too, and will perk back up once they warm up. I forgot one of my colonies (when I had 22 gliders I had three colonies, and I thought this one was spent) for six months before and the worms were ok once I put more food and water in with them.

    If I seem a bit random, sorry, lol. I hope this makes sense!

    Emily in NC

    PS - I actually keep them underneath my dresser, the space under my bed is full....
     
  8. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for all that Emily!
    I'm going to give it a shot.
    My girls love the mealworms,
    so I might as well be growing them.
     
  9. ktillman

    ktillman New Egg

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    I see this is a very old post but maybe you still use this forum.


    Wonderful info for raising mealworms.. I''ve been raising my own too but have a couple of ?'s if you don't mind. This may sound like a silly question but how do you separate the mealworms out from the oatmeal? I've been using wheat bran from farm supply and freeze for 2-4 days to kill mites (had to throw out an entire colony once - but you're right, wheat bran seems to go bad quickly; tried chicken feed (recommended from retailer) but found it hard to separate because size of granules. I must be using wrong way to separate. Any recommendations?

    Also, this same retailer recommended I separate beetles out to another container every 2-3 weeks as they would eat the new worms so I've wound up using several containers. I' m relatively new at this so haven't harvested many worms yet. Any ideas on this?

    One more question - how many worms do you start colony with? Maybe you mentioned in earlier post. I've tried 1000-1500 in 28 qt container and they didn't seem to do well; die off of worms and beetles and smelly even though I tried to keep clean - maybe wheat bran? Did better with only 600 in same size container - use plastic containers from Walmart. Would appreciate any advice & sorry for long message - have used some resources on Internet but they leave out stuff.
    Thanks much and great advice in this post.

    Kathy in SC
     
  10. bobatat

    bobatat New Egg

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    We use Red Earth worms for our Mealworms and Giants to feed our chickens.
     

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