Greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella)
What do waxworm eggs look like? Take a look…
ADULTS! They are FAT and full grown wax worms. I take them out and split them up. Some will go in clean new breeding jars to cocoon and the rest will go in big clean bins with cedar to be used as feeders. And this is how to breed waxworms easily.
When kept in captivity, they can go a long time without eating, particularly if kept at a cool temperature. Captive wax worms are generally raised on a mixture of cereal grain, bran and honey.
What to do with them when the investigations are completed. The humane way to end the cycle of waxworms is to put the culture in a freezer overnight and then dispose of them and the medium in the compost. Rinse the jar thoroughly. Waxworms should never be released into the wild as they can damage local organisms and the environment.
Heat: This is KEY! If you cannot keep temperature above 80 F, your worms will die off or make the breeding process a very long wait.
TIP: Turn up the heat! Once you see babies you need to get them warm. If you don’t, your passing up valuable time to get them growing. (I use 85-88F)
Waxworms are medium-white caterpillars with black-tipped feet and small, black or brown heads.
Waxworms are the caterpillar larvae of wax moths, which belong to the snout moth family (Pyralidae). Two closely related species are commercially bred – the lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) and the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella). They belong to the tribe Galleriini in the snout moth subfamily Galleriinae. Another species whose larvae share that name is the Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella), though this species is not available commercially.
After mating, the adult female moths usually lay their eggs in old or run-down beehives, and then die. Beehives provide a perfect 86-degree temperature for the life cycle of six to seven weeks.
If the waxworms are in a neutral medium like sawdust, remove them from the sawdust and put them in the large jar with one cup of homemade medium. Make a tube of dark paper to slip over the jar, or place it in a paper bag or box to keep it in the dark.
Waxworms, like all moths, make silk. Silk is used as a lifeline, as a webbing over which the larvae can walk, and as a material to build a protective cocoon. The silk is produced in a gland under the head and extruded through structures called spinnerets.
The average length of a wax worm is ¾ inch, with a maximum length of an inch. Their soft, white to tan, fat bodies are quite active.
Prepare your container before you start mixing the bedding. I Like using basic jars, but anything that will lock airtight will work. You cannot have small holes in the container because baby waxworms will be able to crawl out of the holes. What I do is stab holes in the lids for some ventilation and use a paper towel like a screen to keep worms inside. So it will be jar, paper towel, lid.
Microbes found in the guts of waxworms are able to feast on polyethylene, and could help dispose of plastic.
If the waxworms arrive in a nutritional medium, move them to the large plastic jar, medium and all. Screw on the ventilated lid.
Wheat Germ: this is going to be the main bedding that they can eat, dig, and crawl in. This will act like a honey comb in a bee hive.
You’re going to see worms in their own little pockets in the bedding crawling around. There might be some small babies still but some should be larger now.
Then add a few spoon fulls of glycerin. Once your bedding turns dark in color, you will know it’s all damp with glycerin. Then you’re ready! Now place the bedding in the container. Make sure you have up to a inch or more piled in to your container. After the waxworms hatch, the first layer will be covered in dead moths and such, so make sure it’s deep enough so the babies can burrow away from that. The rest you can store in the refrigerator.
Wax worms are not worms, but are actually the greater wax moth's (Galleria mellonella) larval stage, states FOSSWEB. Wax worms are a food source for birds, most frogs, lizards, insects and other reptiles.
Reptile owners and fishermen both know the value of waxworms. After all, it's written right there on the price tag! Skip the weekly trip to the pet store by breeding them yourself. It's not difficult, and you get to watch the whole life cycle play out every few weeks.
Around 3 weeks later, you will notice SUPER TINY BABIES and TONS of them. You will now know why you needed that paper towel as a screen. They climb all over and and will sneak out of any small holes. DON’T OPEN THE JAR. You will just have tons of babies getting away.
Waxworms can also be consumed by humans who practice entomophagy.
Background. The waxworm is the larva of the greater wax moth, a small nondescript flying insect that lays its eggs in beehives, where the growing larvae feed on honey and wax. A robust hive of honey bees can repel the onslaught of waxworms, keeping the damage to a minimum, but waxworms can overrun and destroy a stressed colony.
WAXWORM MOTHS Larvae used in: Insects Waxworm – Galleria mellonella
The adult moths are sometimes called "bee moths", but, particularly in apiculture, this can also refer to Aphomia sociella, another Galleriinae moth which also produces waxworms, but is not commercially bred.
TIP: It’s so dirty! Yes, they’re not the cleanest feeders, in fact keep the lid shut because there will be one hell of smell, even with the lid on….. Really, don’t worry about it. You should never see mold. However it WILL smell super bad if you open it, so don’t! (You might see white bits, webbing, and hairs in the jar. This isn’t mold, this is from the wax worms making little tunnels.)
Learn how to breed waxworms with these few easy steps. Breeding waxworms is great for those who want to save money, experience something fun, and see what a waxworm life cycle looks like. Have in mind, waxworms contain a lot of fat (80%), so do not feed these to your reptiles, frogs, or invertebrates often. Only feed them as treats (like candy).
Wax Paper: Many people will say you don’t need it, but it does provide a food source for adult waxworms. It also gives the months places to lay on. You do not necessarily need to use it though.
Honey: in the wild wax moths attack bee hives and lay eggs in their hives which hatch out the wax worms. So it’s very important to have honey in the mix.
The adult moths do not drink nor eat. Mating occurs and the wax worms’ life cycle begins again.
The bedding is very important. This is where all the magic is going to happen. If you mess up the bedding, you will ruin the whole breeding process.
Wax worms remain in the pupa stage for one to two weeks to emerge into adult moths.
To farm wax worms for fishing bait or a nutritional source for a pet such as a bird or reptile, the wax worms can be purchased from bait stores, pet stores and wax worm farms.
Field dispatches from the best reporters in the world
1.) A Jar or any air tight container. 2.) Honey 3.) Wheat germ 4.) Glycerin 5.) Wax paper 6.) Heat (heat tape, heat mat, etc.)
After feeding on the beehive’s honey, the larvae crawl into crevices to make their silk. The silk is a lifeline as webbing, which the larvae can walk on and use as material to build protective cocoons where the larvae rest and transform into pupae.
Glycerin: I have had good results with and without glycerin. However, glycerin helps keep warmth in the bedding and it keeps the bedding damp. It also helps grow the waxworms faster.
Waxworms are an ideal food for many insectivorous animals and plants.