Mealworm question

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  • #6723
    Sassy
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    As you might have read my mealworms were replaced from last years bad batch and now I seem to find a lot of dead ones. I am sure it is something I am doing wrong because unlike last year when they arrived with half dead these ones were all alive and well. I have bakers bran wheat in the container and I have fed them carrots 4 or 5 times. I cleaned the whole container out once, but the problem persists. Any suggestions from those of you who buy and feed live mealworms?
    Connie (PA)

    #6725
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Connie, it is not unusual to find dead ones after a period of time. You are refrigerating them, right? I had a bad shipment this spring with LOTS of dead ones (due to heat & delayed delivery) and even after I cleaned them out well & fed them well, I still find a few new dead ones. You have proper ventilation holes? Not too deep in the box ( only about 1 1/2″ deep including the bran? Take out of fridge & give them thin slices of carrots or potatoes at least every 2 weeks, every week is better? When I buy my usual shipment of 10,000 they last me about 2 1/2 months I have pretty good luck but there will always be a few dead ones. When you say “I cleaned the whole container” sounds like you have them all in one container, how many did you get? For my 10,000 worms I usually have 4 or 5 different flat containers, like school supply boxes or pencil boxes. It is VERY important to have tiny holes for air ventilation, like the small cups you can buy of 100 or 500 – they have small holes all around the edge of the top container. About all I can think of – good luck. P.S. the worm company usually has all these instruction when you get a shipment of worms.

    #6733
    Sassy
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    Hi Carol:
    I have them in a deeper container and all 5,000 in one. I think I might not have enough holes in the top or big enough ones. I noticed water on the lid when I opened it last night like it was sweating. It has that strong ammonia smell to it so I have to do something with it today. Mama and Papa just leave the dead ones in the dish and I actually have the pair trained to come when I whistle, or maybe they have me trained to whistle. :ROFL:

    I do feed them carrots and keep them in the refrigerator but only after they eat all the carrot I have put in the container to prevent mold. There were no instructions with the container I bought but there was a piece of a cardboard egg carton in the container which I discarded. Maybe I should have left that in there.

    Thanks for the info, I keep learning and learning.

    Connie (PA)

    #6737
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Connie, yes, sounds like you have too many in one container and/or not enough air holes. When you feed them with carrots out of the refrigerator, you need to strain out all the frass (poop) and old bran and put in fresh and be sure all carrots are out when you put the clean box back in fridge. Sialis.org (our BB bible here) also has a good section on mealworms you might check out. I don’t believe you need to leave them out for eating more than 24 hours – I just take out any uneaten carrots at that point and put in fresh bran. Kind of a pain but it is necessary if you are going to feed worms, and well worth it when you can watch parents feeding the newly fledged.

    P.S. I would think two separate boxes for 5,000 would be okay, as I usually keep my 10,000 in 4 or 5, depending on size of containers.

    #6746
    Sassy
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    Carol,today I took the time to clean out the container, smells a whole lot better. I threw out all the dead ones I could find. Took me a long time, but it keeps Mama, Papa and babies happy and me too.
    I will keep that in mind about separating them into more than one container next time and I will read the article on Sialis.org to learn more. Thanks. I washed the container and put new bran in, but since I fed them a few days ago I passed on that this time.
    Connie (PA)

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