Superworms are becoming an increasingly popular source of protein for reptiles, birds, and even humans. They are rich in nutrients and easy to raise, making them a great option for those looking to supplement their pet’s diet or start a small-scale insect farm. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of breeding superworms at home. Whether you’re a seasoned breeder or a beginner, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to successfully raise and maintain a thriving colony of superworms. From setting up the right habitat to feeding and caring for your superworms, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started. So, grab your notebook and let’s get started on this exciting journey of breeding superworms at home!
Table of Contents
How to breed superworms at home Quicklist
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to breed superworms at home:
- Get your supplies: You’ll need a plastic container with a lid, a substrate such as wheat bran or oats, a source of moisture such as sliced carrots, and some superworms to start your colony.
- Prepare the container: Drill small ventilation holes in the lid of the container to allow for air flow. Spread a layer of substrate (about 2-3 inches) on the bottom of the container.
- Add your superworms: Place your superworms on top of the substrate. Make sure they are well-fed and healthy before starting the breeding process.
- Provide moisture: Place a few slices of carrots or other vegetables on top of the substrate to provide moisture for the superworms. Make sure to replace the vegetables every few days to prevent mold growth.
- Maintain temperature and lighting: Superworms require warm temperatures (between 75-85°F) and a light source. You can use a heat mat or a lamp to provide heat and light to the container.
- Allow the worms to pupate: After a few weeks, the superworms will begin to pupate and turn into darkling beetles. Make sure to remove any beetles that have fully pupated and place them in a separate container.
- Provide a place for beetles to lay eggs: In a separate container, provide a substrate and a source of moisture for the beetles. The female beetles will lay eggs on the substrate, which will hatch into small superworms.
- Care for the hatchlings: Once the eggs have hatched, you can transfer the small superworms to your breeding container. Provide them with food and moisture as before and repeat the process.
There are a few key supplies that are required in order to establish the ideal habitat for your superworms when breeding them at home.
To begin, you will need a plastic container that has a lid in order to establish an environment that is acceptable for the worms. The container needs to be large enough to hold the number of superworms that you intend to produce, and the lid needs to have a few small ventilation holes in it to ensure that there is adequate air circulation inside.
Next on the list of needed supplies is a substrate, which functions essentially as the material that the superworms rest on. Oat bran and wheat bran, or a combination of the two, are common choices among substrates. This material offers the worms a pliable and absorbent foundation in which they can move freely and dig their burrows.
Because superworms can only live in damp environments and thrive in damp environments, a source of moisture is also required. On top of the substrate, you can feed the worms with moisture by placing sliced vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, or other types of vegetables. These vegetables are also utilized by the worms as a source of nourishment for them.
In addition to that, you will require a separate container in which the beetles can deposit their eggs. This container should include a substrate and a source of moisture that are comparable to the breeding container; however, it should be isolated so that the beetles can deposit their eggs without being disturbed.
You will need a heat mat or lamp, a thermometer to monitor the temperature, and a timer to regulate the illumination in order to keep the superworms at the appropriate temperature and provide them with the appropriate amount of light. These resources are necessary to ensure that the worms are able to thrive and breed successfully in order to achieve the desired results.
In the end, you will need to create small holes in the lid of the container using ventilation tools like a drill or a knife. These tools are required because you need to vent the container. These pores permit enough airflow, which, in addition to limiting the growth of mold and bacteria, guarantees that the superworms receive the oxygen they require.
Prepare the container
Choose a plastic container The first thing you need to do is select a plastic container that is suitable for the amount of superworms that you intend to produce. The container ought to have adequate room inside for the worms to move around freely and dig into the substrate without being impeded. In addition to this, it should have a cover that is well-fitting and secure so that the worms cannot escape.
Before you use the container, make sure that you give it a good cleaning with some warm soapy water beforehand. To clean the container thoroughly, scrape it with a gentle detergent and a scrub brush to get rid of any dirt, grime, or residues. It is important to give the container a thorough washing with fresh water, taking care to remove any soap residues that may still be present, as these can be harmful to the worms.
After you have finished cleaning the container, make sure that it is totally dry before you add the substrate and the superworms to it. Either use a fresh towel to dry it off, or just let it air dry for a few hours.
Make ventilation holes: Drill or cut a few holes in the top of the container to create ventilation holes. This will ensure that there is adequate air flow and will avoid the accumulation of moisture. You can make the holes with either a little drill bit or a knife that is very sharp. Be sure the holes are big enough to let air through but not so big that the worms can’t get out, but make sure they’re small enough that the worms can’t get out.
Add the substrate: On the bottom of the container, evenly spread a layer of the substrate (such as wheat bran or oats). Make sure the layer is about two to three inches deep. In order for the worms to be able to burrow into the substrate, it needs to be pliable and absorbent.
After the substrate has been put in place, you may next place the superworms on top of it. Before placing them in the container, check to see that they are well-nourished and in good health.
Add your superworms
Make a mental note of how many more superworms you would like to add to the container. Make sure that you have sufficient room and substrate to house all of them.
Put the superworms in the container so that they are sitting on top of the substrate. Depending on how you would rather organise them, you can either disperse them across the container or collect them in a single place.
When you put the worms in the container, you need to make sure they are well-fed and in good health. In that case, they might not be able to reproduce or thrive to the same extent.
It is important not to overcrowd the container because doing so can cause the worms to become stressed and susceptible to sickness. It is recommended to keep no more than one hundred superworms in a container that is around 12 inches by 8 inches in size. This is a decent rule of thumb.
After the superworms have been placed in the container, a source of moisture, such as sliced carrots or potatoes, should be made available to them. They will remain hydrated and in good health if they do this.
Put the container in a spot that is warm and well-lit, but keep it out of the path of direct sunshine and draughts. Make sure the container is placed in an environment that is conducive to the superworms’ optimal growth temperature range of 75–85 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the meantime, get a source of moisture ready, like sliced carrots or potatoes. Various fruits and vegetables, like apples, oranges, and sweet potatoes, can also be used.
The vegetables should be sliced or cut into small pieces, and then they should be placed on top of the substrate in the container. Make sure that they are dispersed uniformly within the container.
It is important to refrain from giving the superworms an excessive amount of the veggies because doing so can encourage the spread of mildew and draw in harmful bugs.
Regularly check to see how much moisture is contained in the container. The substrate should be damp, but not dripping wet, because an excessive amount of moisture might encourage the growth of germs and fungi.
It is important to ensure that the superworms have access to a fresh source of moisture by exchanging the veggies every few days or as required.
If the level of moisture in the container is low, you may also offer additional moisture by softly misting the substrate with water. This works especially well if the container is airtight. However, you should try to prevent the substrate from being overly saturated, as this can also cause issues.
Maintain temperature and lighting
In order to reproduce and flourish, superworms require warm temperatures. The optimal temperature range is between 24 and 29 degrees Celsius (75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit).
Make it a habit to check the temperature in the container using a thermometer at regular intervals.
If you want to keep the temperature in the container within the ideal range, you should provide a heat source like a heat mat or a lamp.
The heat source should be placed on one side of the container to create a temperature gradient. This will enable the worms to move to the cooler side of the container if they find it necessary to do so.
Make sure the lighting in the container is just right by using a timer. In order to thrive, superworms need access to a light source, and the ideal light-dark cycle lasts for 12 hours.
To generate the required amount of light, either a fluorescent bulb or an LED light could be utilised.
Avoid putting the container in areas where it will be subjected to direct sunlight or draughts, as doing so can cause the temperature and humidity to fluctuate.
It is important to make sure that the source of heat and the lighting are not located too closely to the container, as this can result in an excessive amount of heat and light, both of which can be harmful to the worms.
Maintain the ideal environment for your superworms by regularly monitoring the temperature and lighting in the container and adjusting them as required to achieve and sustain this state.
Allow the worms to pupate
The time it takes for superworms to go through the pupation process normally ranges from around two to three months, depending on the temperature and various other environmental circumstances. They will undergo multiple molts and stages of growth over this time period.
Once a few weeks have passed, you might observe that some of the superworms have become darker in color and are not moving around as much as they did before.
These are the pupae, and they will shortly emerge as beetles after completing their metamorphosis.
After the superworms have completed the pupation process, remove them from the container in which they were bred and place them in a new container. Because of this, they will not be able to consume the substrate or agitate the newly hatched beetles.
After around two weeks, the pupae will emerge as darkling beetles having completed their metamorphosis. The beetles will have a length of around 1 inch with an exoskeleton that is glossy and either black or dark brown in color.
In the new container that the beetles are in, make sure to give them a substrate and a source of moisture. Because of this, they will be able to begin the reproductive process all over again by laying eggs.
In order to ensure the success of your breeding colony, you should routinely monitor the new container and remove any dead beetles or mold growth that may have developed.
Provide a place for beetles to lay eggs
After the superworms have completed their metamorphosis into beetles and have completed the process of pupation, remove them from the breeding container and place them in a different container with a new substrate.
Be sure to provide the beetles with a supply of moisture, such as sliced carrots or potatoes. Check that the amount of moisture in the container is sufficient to maintain a level of moisture in the substrate that is neither dry nor drenched.
Give the beetles somewhere to hide, such a little box made of cardboard or a sliver of bark, for example. This will provide them with a place to conceal themselves and lay their eggs.
Maintain a regular monitoring schedule for the container and replenish the vegetables and substrate as required. The beetles will deposit eggs on the substrate, and after a few weeks, those eggs will hatch into a variety of miniature superworms.
When the baby superworms have emerged from their eggs, place them in the breeding container and continue to provide them with food and moisture as you did before. Continue the breeding process so that your dogs can always have access to a sustainable source of protein.
By providing a separate container for the beetles to lay eggs, you can ensure the success of your breeding colony and maintain a healthy source of protein for your pets. Remember to provide the necessary substrate, moisture, and hiding places for the beetles to lay eggs, and monitor the container regularly to ensure the success of your breeding colony.
Care for the hatchlings
When the small superworms have emerged from their eggs, you should move them into the breeding container. Make certain that the container is spotless and that a new substrate is used.
Give the little superworms a source of food like vegetables, oats, or wheat bran so that they can grow and thrive. Be sure that the food is not stale, and replace it every few days at the very least.
Carrots or potatoes that have been cut into thin slices might provide as a supply of hydration for the smaller superworms. Check that the amount of moisture in the container is sufficient to maintain a level of moisture in the substrate that is neither dry nor drenched.
Keep the container out of the direct sunshine and out of drafts. Place it in an area that is warm and well-lit. The ideal temperature range for the little superworms is between 24 and 29 degrees Celsius (75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit).
Keep a close eye on the container and empty it whenever you notice any mold development or dead worms in order to maintain the colony’s good health.
When the baby superworms have reached a length of around 5 centimeters (about 2 inches), you can harvest them for the purpose of breeding animals or feed them to your pets as a source of protein.
You will be able to provide proper care for the hatchlings as well as preserve a nutritious supply of protein for your pets if you follow these measures. It is important to remember to feed the small superworms with the food, moisture, and temperature they require to grow, and to monitor the container on a frequent basis to ensure that they are successful.
How many Superworms should you feed to your lizard?
The amount of superworms that you should give to your lizard is contingent upon a number of variables, including the dimensions and species of your reptile, as well as its age, state of health, and nutritional prerequisites.
You should strive to feed your lizard an amount of superworms that is equivalent to roughly 10-15% of its body weight each time it is fed. This is a general guideline that you should follow. For instance, if your lizard weighs 100 grams, you should feed it approximately 10-15 superworms per meal. This is the recommended amount.
It is essential to offer your lizard a varied diet consisting of a balanced mixture of different feeder insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and superworms. This will ensure that your lizard stays healthy and happy. This will guarantee that your lizard consumes a wide variety of nutrients and maintains its overall health.
Always make sure to keep a close eye on your lizard’s weight as well as its overall health, and change its diet accordingly. If you are unsure as to the quantity of superworms that should be fed to your lizard, it is best to seek the assistance of a qualified veterinarian or an expert in reptile nutrition.
In conclusion, breeding superworms at home can provide a sustainable and cost-effective source of protein for your pets. By providing the necessary supplies, such as a suitable container, substrate, moisture, and a heat source, you can create a healthy environment for your superworms to breed and thrive. Remember to monitor the temperature, lighting, and moisture levels regularly, and provide a separate container for the beetles to lay eggs. With proper care, you can maintain a successful breeding colony of superworms and provide a nutritious source of food for your pets. As always, consult with a veterinarian or a reptile nutrition expert for guidance on the appropriate diet and feeding regimen for your pets.