Keeping Wax Worms: A Guide

Wax worms are the larvae of the wax moth (Galleria mellonella) and are commonly used as live food for reptiles, birds, and fish. Proper care and maintenance are essential to keep wax worms healthy and active. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to keep wax worms:

Housing

Use a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. The container should be ventilated to prevent mold growth but secure enough to prevent escape.

A small to medium-sized container, depending on the number of wax worms. Ensure there is enough space for them to move around but not too large that it becomes difficult to maintain.

Poke small holes in the lid for ventilation. Cover the holes with fine mesh to prevent the worms from escaping. Proper ventilation helps to control humidity levels, reducing the risk of mold.

Use wheat bran, oat bran, or porridge oats as bedding at a depth of around

1-2 inch layer.

. This substrate also serves as food for the wax worms. Mix honey into the substrate to provide extra nutrition and moisture.

Temperature

 Keep the container at a temperature between 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F). Avoid             exposing the wax worms to temperatures below 15°C (59°F) or above 30°C (86°F).

For long-term storage, wax worms can be kept at a cooler temperature of around 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F) to slow their development. Do not freeze them.

Maintenance

Ensure the substrate remains dry. Remove any damp or mouldy substrate immediately.

Health Monitoring

Regularly inspect the substrate for mold. Mold can be harmful to wax worms and can quickly spread.

Remove any mouldy substrate and replace it with fresh, dry bedding.

Active and plump worms indicate good health.

Inactive, discoloured, or shrivelled worms may indicate poor conditions or health issues.

Tips for Success

Avoid Overcrowding: Too many worms in one container can lead to increased waste and higher humidity levels, which can promote mold growth.

Regular Inspection: Regularly check on the wax worms to ensure they are healthy, and that the substrate is clean and dry.

Proper Disposal: Dispose of dead worms promptly to prevent contamination.

By following these guidelines, you can successfully keep wax worms healthy and provide a nutritious food source for your pets. Proper care ensures that your wax worms remain a viable and beneficial part of your feeding regimen.