3: Is it normal for a die off rate in shipped mealworms,pupa or beetles? Yes it is normal for a die off rate of 10% at anytime even with a established colony.Up to 30% on pupa as they are the stage with the highest die off rate.
4: Why are my pupa dying? Pupa is the stage with the highest die off rate at 10-30% other than beetles that have a limited life span and normally die at around 10 week’s which is normal..You need to keep your worms well hydrated and fed to make sure the pupa have enough nutrients to sustain them through the pupa stage..There is no way possible to provide them what they need after they become a pupa as they are in a dormant stage in the process of changing to a beetle..They don’t eat or drink.Do not provide excessive amounts of water source only what they eat in a 24 hr period..Excessive amounts of water source will result in the pupa drowning and have a mushy black feel when they die.To little water source will result in them having a dry crusty feel.Do not place them in a drafty area it will dry them out.
5: How long does it take the worms to pupate? It can take worms 3-9 months before they pupate..Different factors effect this temp,humidity,sifting frass regular and the food mix you provide them..Worms go through 15-24 instars which is shedding of the exoskeleton and becoming larger each time.At the final molt they will then become a pupa.High volumes of frass,low temps and humidity slow this down..
6: How long does it take a pupa to transform into a beetle? 4-19 days higher temps of 75-78 speeds this process and they will hatch closer to 4 days temps in low 70’s it will be closer to 19 days.They do not eat or drink during this process.
7: How long do beetles live? Beetles live 1 day to 6 months but almost stop laying eggs at 4 months..For them to live this long they have to be well maintained in proper temps and humidity which is 72-80 temp and 50-60% humidity.And proper cleaning of the habitat as well as proper food and water source..
8: How long does it take eggs to hatch? It takes eggs 4-40 days to hatch..In lower temps of 72-73 it will take longer
and closer to the 40 days in temps 75-80 it will take them closer to 4 days to hatch..It will take you about 6 weeks to see them in higher temps but up to 2 months in lower temps..Worms are the size of a small mm hair when they first hatch eggs are the size of the tip of a needle..They will be oval shaped with spots.Often found on the bottom of the container.
9: What do Beetles and worms eat? They eat leaves and decayed wood in a natural habitat and will get into grains of all kinds..In a controlled environment they are usually fed wheat bran,oatmeal or non medicated chic starter.For best results a mix of the three.
10: How do you provide a water source? Water source is any veggie except hot peppers and peas.Hot peppers explains itself and there have been cases of peas killing them..Fruits like apples,peaches,plums and melon can be used also but it runs a risk of wetting the bedding and molding it as fruit molds fast.It also causes fruit flies.Do not supply excessive amounts of water source or allow condensation this will cause grain mites..
11: What temp should I keep my colony? All stages require a temp of 72-80 to reproduce correctly..But they can withstand temps as low as 0 as pupa and worms because they go into a state of torpor which is a state of no mental or physical when the temp rises back to around 50 they will become lively again..Beetles can do this also but not as long of periods of time as worms and pupa.They will not produce below 70.And run a risk of dying above 80 and also will not produce.
12: Is humidity relevant? Yes it is they should have 50-60% to reproduce correctly..This is especially important with beetles to lay a higher # of eggs.Lower humidity in beetles results in lower # of eggs laid. Also important with worms to make healthy pupa.
13: How do I raise humidity? Humidity is raised by the water source provided..The higher amount of water source you have the higher the humidity..Less lowers it..Never supply excessive amount to the point of condensation or above 60% this will cause grain mites.
14: What are grain mite and how do you get them? How do I prevent them and eradicate them? Grain mites are tiny white specks that resemble dust.They are prolific breeders and will spread fast.They infest grain when there’s higher temps and excessive amounts of water in the container.To prevent them keep humidity 50-60% and only provide the amount of water source they need.To eradicate them remove all water source from the container and leave it out for 2 weeks.During this time wipe the insides and outsides of the container 3 times a day with a baby wipe and dispose in a ziploc bag..You apply a rim of petroleum jelly to prevent them escaping the container and spreading.After 2 weeks give a few piece’s of water source and check it with a magnifying glass for any signs of the mites..If some still remain remove for another 3 days repeat until no more is getting on the water source as water is what supplies their life source..This will not kill the colony they can go without water source for a long period of time.
15: How many worms can I place in a container? You can place 3000 worms per square foot.20-30 worms per square inch.
16: How many beetles can I place in a container? You can place 7-12 beetles per square inch in a container.
17: How many eggs does a beetle lay in a life span? They can lay 250-500 eggs in a life span.This is based on temp and humidity..With temps of 75-86 and humidity 50-60% they will lay closer to 500 temps 72-74 they will lay less.2000 beetles will lay 12000-30000 eggs in a 4 week span.But you will lose some of these due to beetles eating them.
18: Does beetles and worms eat eggs? Yes they will eat up to 50 eggs a day..Proper feeding and hydration will lower the amount they eat..Cotton ball will drastically decrease this as the beetles lay eggs in the cotton and it fuses around the egg protecting them.
19: Does beetles and worms eat pupa? Yes because they are defenseless..It will happen in lower #s if they are well hydrated.
20: Is there a way to increase production? Yes Cotton balls and a solid bottom method as explained on this website..You just throw cotton balls or pads in the beetle bin straight out of the bag beetles will lay eggs on them and the cotton fuses around the egg and protects it..Dont worry worms will come out and eat and drink..Just let all the worms pupate from the location of the cotton and then discard it.Also feed a mix of substrate like wheat bran,oatmeal and non medicated chic starter..Also keep temps 72-86 and humidity 50-60%.
21: How many worms should I feed my Birds? Chickens should only eat 10 per large bird per day and 5 per small breed.5 for quail per day 15 per turkey and peafowl..Any more than this is to much protein and can cause kidney issues..
22: How many mealworms should I feed my lizards? What they will eat in a 24 hr period 1-2 times a week Dust them with calcium.Do not feed them to cresties or iguana.Feeding by hand will form a bond and you can regulate what they eat.Babies will eat about 15 size appropriate adults around 30 large..I only have a basic knowledge in this area.Lizards should be fed a proper diet of mixed veggies and bugs based on what species.