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Mealworms
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Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14598
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 10:02 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

What's the life cycle/turnover rate? Preferred temperature? Other helpful hints and tips?
I think I'll try dpacks strategy first: see how we get on...

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32660
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

iirc life cycle is about a month at 20c .too wet = mould, too dry = dead worms . enough ventilation but no escape routes (not popular :roll: )

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41638
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's thinking of names for them all that puts me off.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14598
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 16 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
iirc life cycle is about a month at 20c .too wet = mould, too dry = dead worms . enough ventilation but no escape routes (not popular :roll: )

Is a bit of mould a serious problem?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32660
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 16 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

they do not thrive on mouldy food .

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35836
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 16 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've got them in a plastic chest of drawers from Argos and I have an electric heat pad for a vivarium that sits underneath them on the concrete floor for when it's chilly. Apparently the life cycle slows down when it's cool.

http://wildlifehub.com/mealworm-life-cycle/
http://mealwormcare.org/life-cycle/

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35836
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Continuing my mealworm monologue, I spent ages over the weekend reading up on this forum ... http://www.openbugfarm.com/ ... apparently you need 1/8 inch mesh to sieve pupae and beetles out from frass, eggs and most worms. That's 3.1mm. So I've ordered a sieve with 3mm holes and hopefully that should make things easier.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14598
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What manner of beetle is it that they develop into?
We were moved to wonder if there is any scope for breeding predatory beetles to help tackle the slugs...

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35836
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Darkling beetles. I think they might be a bit small for slug control - I've got my ducks on that, they go round the edges of all the raised beds and eat the eggs in the spring. Mostly :)

BahamaMama



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:
Darkling beetles. I think they might be a bit small for slug control - I've got my ducks on that, they go round the edges of all the raised beds and eat the eggs in the spring. Mostly :)


You could start a 'rent-a-duck' business - I have a gazillion slugs and snails but I don't want a duck full time :-)

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35836
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you were closer, you would be most welcome, they do like a change of scene :)

BahamaMama



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

:D

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14758
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The beetles live on bread etc too. I live in fear of the things getting into the larder. Although so far there is no sign and they are easy enough to spot. I fed worms to chicks in the house, which resulted in a number surviving in the bedding while we were on holiday. I've been finding them all over the place!

Be interested to hear how you get on with the sieve. Everything is so muddled due to Structural Failure that I have alsorts of sizes mixed together.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32660
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

meal worm beetles are vegan cereal killers

there are firms that breed predators for gardens,commercial growers and grow rooms.their products include nematodes for the slimey hoard,ladybird type stuff for aphids, odd looking small things and some sort of spider that eat red spider mites etc etc .i suspect that some of them do beetles for various targets.

there are also firms that breed crickets .locusts and mealworms for the reptile and spider side of the pet food business

of the insects i know about mealworms are easy due to their food and conditions being easy, crickets are fairly easy if you can stand the noise, locusts are a bit more complicated as they need several different conditions at different stages and they have a fairly long life cycle.for the pet food side of things stick insects are quite good as they go through 5 instars each of which is a perfect size for different type/aged reptiles/amphibians and their food and conditions are reasonably simple.fruit flies are medium easy and perfect for baby frogs and toads.
daphnia are quite easy as are bloodworms and popular with fish and fish keepers.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32660
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 16 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
The beetles live on bread etc too. I live in fear of the things getting into the larder. Although so far there is no sign and they are easy enough to spot. I fed worms to chicks in the house, which resulted in a number surviving in the bedding while we were on holiday. I've been finding them all over the place!

Be interested to hear how you get on with the sieve. Everything is so muddled due to Structural Failure that I have alsorts of sizes mixed together.


skp's will often move into the biscuits but in the cornflakes is a mixed blessing or a full yuck depending on opinion .

loose is probably a bad thing as they do head for any cereal based stuff. less bother than feral crickets which can take years to get rid of.

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