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-   -   Meal Worm Care? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12364)

ShutUpAndSmile 09-22-2011 08:13 AM

Meal Worm Care?
 
So for some reason I can't really keep my meal worms in great health and I don't know what I'm doing wrong so I'm hoping maybe someone can tell me how to care for these cross buggers AND how to clean their cage. Cause they're gross and smell and need to be cleaned. They have a layer of black poop building up.
Anyway
I keep them in this...http://www.petco.com/product/5914/PETCO ... s_Carriers The little pink one.
I have oatmeal in there as well as I put at potato in there. But the potatoes go bad so fast is there anything else I can use?
I really don't want this batch to mold like my last one :/
So my main thing is the cleaning them. How do you clean them with all the oat meal and poop and stuff without getting them gross and picking them out one by one?
;-;

Lilysmommy 09-22-2011 08:27 AM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
49 Attachment(s)
I actually just spent last night cleaning out my big mealworm bin. I lead such an exciting life. :lol:

What I did was use plastic tweezers (or you could use regular metal ones, or chopsticks) to pick out all of the mealworms and put them in another container. I don't mind touching them, but the container was full of icky, dead mealworms and beetles. Double checked through all of the poop and then just tossed all the gross stuff into a plastic bag, tied and threw it away. For moisture I use carrots instead of potato, it's easier for me to toss a baby carrot or two into their container for them and they usually last at least a couple days.

ShutUpAndSmile 09-22-2011 08:32 AM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
And how often do you clean it? :o
How long does it take? I feel like it would take at least an hour or so.

Can I give them the cricket thing that crickets drink off of? o.O Those square orange things
http://www.petco.com/product/11817/Fluk ... FruitFlies
It says meal worms on the site. And these are supposed to be food and water. So would it be for the mealies too???

Hedgieonboard 09-22-2011 08:44 AM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
I'm not sure about those, I use carrots like Lilysmommy also. I find they hold their moisture better. If you have to use a potato sometimes you can fold a paper towel up under it and then remove both in the morning, just make sure to check for mealies that might have went into the folds. I usually offer something for night and then remove it in the morning and just do it more frequently. If the bedding is okay and it's just the frass you are wanting out you can mount a screen on a form and use it to separate. I put screen over the spot I cut out in the lid so that it's duel purpose and I can get the frass out easily. If the big pieces are messed up you can separate by hand into a clean container with new bedding, I use a plastic fork for this. It will take a little longer but saves the colony and not have to start from scratch. I've had to do it for over a thousand once and with my sifting method and plastic fork it was probably 30 minutes of work :)

Lilysmommy 09-22-2011 09:08 AM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
49 Attachment(s)
Ah, sifting is a better idea! I'll have to remember that for next time. I just clean it out when it looks like the frass is overcoming the bedding. The bin I cleaned out last night didn't really have any bedding in it since I got the whole container with mealworms, etc. in it from someone I know. So it was easiest to pick the mealies out with tweezers since all the gross stuff (dead mealies, beetles, etc.) was as big as the live mealies. It took maybe around half an hour, but I don't have more than maybe 200 mealworms in the container. The orange cricket things could probably work for mealies too, you could always try it! Carrots are just easier for me to get.

moothecow 09-22-2011 09:38 AM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
I also use carrots, just cut two one-inch pieces in half (so that I have four smaller pieces to put in the container). I put in the carrots every two days, not every day. For my container I just use an open, square tupperware container, a second one just like that for the beetles, and two smaller containers exactly like the ones you linked to for the aliens.

Also, I use just wheat bran for my bedding, not oatmeal. I stir it all up every day, generally, and once there is more frass than wheat bran, I just sift the whole thing through a sieve and pick out dead mealworms and gunky bits that don't go through the sieve with a plastic spoon.

Oh also: I find that sometimes it looks like the carrots are gone, but if I spoon through the bedding, I will find the leftover bits burried on the bottom. I guess they get dragged down by the mealworms. Anyway, good to do that, so that leftover carrots aren't sitting in the bedding somewhere.

ShutUpAndSmile 09-22-2011 09:39 AM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
Cool :) But why separate them? -curious- Is it easier to care for them or?

Lilysmommy 09-22-2011 01:01 PM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
49 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ShutUpAndSmile
Cool :) But why separate them? -curious- Is it easier to care for them or?

You mean having the mealworms, aliens, and beetles all separated from each other? If I remember right, it's best to do that so the mealworms and beetles don't eat the aliens. Plus then you know the beetle container will be the one with eggs/baby mealworms in it, and once the mealworms are big enough that you can find them (I'm not actually sure how small they start out), you can move them to the mealworm container to grow bigger.

ShutUpAndSmile 09-22-2011 01:11 PM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
Hmm I see. Maybe I will do that. I'll have to find a place to put all these containers though.. :o
This may sound stupid but is there anyway to tell if the beetle is pregnant? Like so I don't feed my girl a pregnant female beetle? o.O

Hissy-Fit-Hazel 09-22-2011 02:17 PM

Re: Meal Worm Care?
 
I don't think you can tell the diff between male / female beetles.

I use a 4 bin system, one for eating size worms, one for aliens, one for beetles....and another that eventually will be my first wee baby mealworms. (once eggs hatch will dump beetles bin into baby bin and give the beetles new food/bedding to lay more eggs)

For moisture I use damp sponges on a plastic lid :mrgreen: I just bought a few sponges and cut them up. You can set them on a bit of plastic or aluminum foil too. Plus a carrot or potatoe set beside it.

I use a large metal screening type sifter to remove the frass and dump everything else back in. I use bran and oats in the ready to eat meal worms but bran only in the rest cause it's easier to see whats happening. I put some of Hazels ground kibble mix in with the grown mealies.

I don't plan on sifting frass out of my beetle bin because I would lose all the eggs! Better to wait until babies are hatched and grown a bit.


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