Original post made by Jerry Trew(Jtrew) on January 7, 2005 Ok, you got mealworms, and you got waxworms. Some baitshops have one, but not the other; some baitshops even use the names interchangeably. I'll post some info on each, but you can do a Google search on 'raising mealworms' or 'raising waxworms' and find a whole lot more than I can post here. Mealworms Mealworms are the larval stages of a common darkling beetle and are pests of flour, meal, grain and related products. They vary in size from the very small, newly hatched worms to full grown larvae that are approximately an inch long. These worms may be easily raised at home by following a few suggestions. An initial supply may be obtained from dealers or found in feed, grain, or meal in a barn or feed room. A wooden or plastic box eight to ten inches deep, twenty four inches long and eighteen inches wide makes a satisfactory rearing container. This box should be half-filled with fine meal or flour to which some middlings or bran is added. A few scraps of cloth or wrinkled paper will assist in preventing the meal from packing too solidly. Proper ventilation and a fairly even temperature are essential to prevent mold growth. Cheese cloth tied over the tray will provide ventilation while preventing the escape of the adult beetles. A two inch strip of sheet metal should be securely nailed to the inside walls of the tray above the food mixture to prevent the insects from crawling over the side if you are using a wooden box. Some moisture is necessary. This may be best provided by the addition of some moist foods such as pieces of raw potatoes, carrots, ripe apples or banana peels. These should be placed on the surface of the mixture and slightly dampened every few days. After the tray has been prepared and mealworms added, the tray should remain undisturbed for several weeks to allow the worms to develop. The larger worms will then have changed into the pale, quiet stage which later changes into the adult. The colony should then be prepared for expansion. A little bran may be sprinkled on the surface of the mixture and a few pieces of apple and carrot added followed by a second sprinkling of bran. A close watch should be kept for several weeks until a number of adult beetles appear. Another tray should then be provided, prepared with the same food mixture as in the first. The adults should be placed in this tray to lay eggs for more young worms. As soon as these young worms have grown sufficiently to be handled they should be put in the first tray and allowed to grow as large as desired. By using a two tray system, one should be able to provide a continuous supply of worms. The food mixtures must be discarded, the trays cleaned and scoured, and a freshly prepared food mixture put in occasionally for the successful rearing of the worms. Old food mixtures will become foul unless occasionally changed. Another method of raising mealworms: 1. Use a shallow tupperware or rubbermaid container 2. Put lots of air holes in the lid, or cut out a large portion of the lid and use a hot glue gun to glue some fine window screening material to the inside of the lid around the hole. 3. Fill the bottom of the container with a substrate of rolled oats or bran- couple of inches deep. The mealworms will eat this. 4. Put one small shallow dishes in the bottom of the container, such as tiny tinfoil pie plates. Fill these dishes with a half potato, a chunk of carrot and if you like a 1/4 to a 1/2 of an orange. Other veggies can be used- they will eat these and get their moisture from them so you may want to also sprinkle the veggies and fruit with calcium and vitamin supplements. 5. Change the veggies every couple of days- they will go bad and mould- mould and dampness will kill the mealworms. 6. The mealworms will eat and live for a long time in these containers when kept at room temperature. Eventually you will notice that some of the mealworms metamorphisize into pupa, and the pupa into beetles. The beetles will mate and lay eggs in the substrate or on a porous piece of wood in the container. They will cycle themselves with little help or bother from you. All you have to do is feed them. I'll put the info on waxworms in the next post so that this one won't get too long.