Live mealworms are a popular choice for pet owners as they are a great source of protein for animals such as reptiles, birds, and fish. There are also widely used as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional livestock feed. However, storing these live insects for longer ensures you'll get them to survive longer. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on keeping live mealworms at home.
To ensure that your live mealworms bought from Entolab remain healthy and active for an extended period, you can follow a few simple steps. Start by sieving out the frass and adding a layer of bran or mealworm food to the bottom of the container. This will provide the mealworms with a continuous food source and prevent any buildup of waste material. Afterward, store the container in a cool and dark place, such as a garage or shed. This will help to maintain the optimal temperature and humidity levels for the mealworms, which is essential for their growth and development. By following these steps, you can ensure that your live mealworms thrive and remain healthy for an extended period.
When storing live mealworms at home, it is crucial to choose a suitable container. A plastic container with air holes for ventilation is ideal. The container should be large enough to accommodate all the mealworms without overcrowding.
To create a comfortable living space for the mealworms, add a layer of oats, wheat bran, or cornmeal to the bottom of the container. This will serve as both a food source and bedding for the mealworms. The bedding is essential to help the mealworms feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.
It would be best to store the container in a cold, dark place like a pantry or basement. Avoid placing the container in direct sunlight or any area that is too warm. Mealworms thrive in a cold and dark environment, and this will help them remain healthy and energetic.
It is crucial to check on the mealworms regularly to ensure they have enough food and moisture. You can add small pieces of vegetables or fruits to the container to provide additional moisture and nutrition for the mealworms.
The lifespan of mealworms, known as Tenebrio molitor, depends on several factors, such as temperature, humidity, and diet. In general, mealworms have a lifespan of several months to a year. The larvae stage of the mealworm lasts several weeks, after which they transform into pupae. The pupae stage lasts several days to several weeks, depending on the conditions. After the pupae stage, the adult darkling beetles emerge and live for several months.
Smaller mealworms are in the early stages, mainly due to being born later in the tray. These mealworms can live longer at your house because they are far from reaching maturity and becoming pupae. Pupae is the next stage on their life cycle before becoming a Beetle, and they still are soft, full of proteins and move when touched. It always helps to understand where we are in the lifecycle and calculate approximately the remaining weeks.
Consider that these calculations change if you modify their available area, cold down their container, or limit the food intake. And this happens when the insect is taken from the controlled rearing environment and sent to their final destination. In that case, the process changes, making it take longer or shorter to develop into a pupa, depending on these new variables.
In summary, if you decide to raise live mealworms at home, it can be a fulfilling journey and a beneficial protein source for your pets. Simply adhere to the tips mentioned above and maintain optimal living conditions for your mealworms to guarantee their well-being and longevity. Be sure to handle them delicately and provide them with fresh food and hygienic living spaces at all times.
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