Waxworms

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Kitty turned 12 weeks old yeterday and so far has only had crickets.
My eventual goal is to have a nice variety of acceptable insects for him to eat
and yesterday I got some waxworms.
I'd love to get everyone's opinions and advice concerning these worms.
Here's what I know so far:
Fatty! Should only be given as an occasional treat (but how often is okay?)
Waxworm diet (what I'm feeding them) consists of crushed dogfood, bran cereal and honey with a little water.
They are in a 1/2 gallon tank with the food covering the bottom and a few dead hibiscus branches.
I have about 50.
Gave two worms (as a birthday treat) yesterday, and from what I saw, these are impossible for him to resist!
Thanks in advance for your insight! I get the best info here.

-Brad

p.s. I am thinking I will let the worms pupate and the moths breed, however, if Kitty can't have very many it may not be a good idea to have thousands of waxworms.
-B.
 

Stuey!

New Member
yea stuey loves them to. i am also trying to give him other insects. you are righ tho they are very ftty and will make your cham overwieght if you feed him to much.
 

Heika

New Member
Hi Brad,

I have my wax worms in a mixture of wheat bran, ground alfalfa pellets, maltomeal, and a handful of WER gutload, microwaved to kill any mites, and then mixed with honey before it cools. I aim for a fairly dry mixture.. about 4 parts grain to one part honey. Dog and cat food have high levels of fat and fillers in them, and I don't use them to gutload my insects. Alfalfa is high in protein, calcium, and a bunch of vitamins too, so I often use it as one of the bases in feeder diet. The feed store is a great place to find inexpensive food items for the bugs you keep. A 50 lb bag of wheat bran lasts forever and only costs a few dollars, and alfalfa pellets are really inexpensive too.

I feed my chams a few wax worms a week, no more than 2 or 3.

Heika
 

beni

New Member
I have a few question about waxworms, because i got some and idon't know much about them...:cool:

-Do they eat any other vegetables, fruit or maye dandelion?
-Do they really "hatch" to flying insects?
-Can they eat any other pellets? (for rodents?)
-Do they dry out if they don't get honey?
-Why doesn't my honey dry out? (to get unsticky)

PS:can you post me any good sites about rearing waworms...

Thanks for all; By:D
 

Kazza

New Member
Hi Brad,

Shiver LOVES waxworms - she gets them hand-fed. I was giving her too many as i over stocked on them but after some advice off this forum she's only getting about 2 a week now as a treat.

I only feed my waxworms bee pollen granules and some wheat bran with honey on - they go mad for it.

Karen
:D
 

lele

Avid Member
Hi - this should help you out:
Do they eat any other vegetables, fruit or maye dandelion?
No. Waxworms infest honey bee hives and feed on the "mix" in there: wax, honey, pollen and the sheds of the bees ((from their larval stage)

Do they really "hatch" to flying insects?
Waxworms are not actually "worms" (like silkworms and hornworms are not worms either) they are caterpillars. Caterpillars are the"larval" stage of a moth or butterfly. Waxworms tend to look more like fly larvae (maggots) but they are indeed caterpillars so yes, the do "hatch" (eclose) into flying insects - moths. ;)

Can they eat any other pellets? (for rodents?)
If they are being raised as fish bait (a common use for them) they are usually raised on dog food, and other foods that, as Heika pointed out, are not good gutloads and there really is not need as waxworm food is quite easy to prepare. Remember, the food you feed your feeder insects is the only source of nutrition it gets (and some from the insect itself) so you want to make sure you are feeding them well. Here is a great, simple way to raise them waxmoths rearing

Do they dry out if they don't get honey?
some people only use glycerin and they will not die without honey, but honey is a really nutritious food to begin with (it's not all about "sugar") and sprinkling some bee pollen pieces (can be bought at natural food stores) adds even more nutrition.

Why doesn't my honey dry out? (to get unsticky)
LOL!! Made me chuckle:p Honey will not dry out or become "unsticky" - it is just the nature of the food. It would sort of be like waiting for your butter to dry out so that it is not greasy.

Some additional notes:
Waxworms need warmth (the inside of a beehive reaches some high temps!) and ventilation. When they die they turn black and smell. If one is beginning to die don't feed it off to your cham just chuck it and remove any dead ones ASAP.

Sorry this was so long but wanted to cover all bases, and , as some of you might know, when it comes to insects, well it's hard to shut me up!:eek: Especially moths and caterpillars.

Check out the link I gave above and there are other links from that one as well. You can find waxmoth rearing info at university/research/entomology sites but I don't recommend those ingredients - typically
Hope this was helpful to you :E

lele
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
This is kind of an old thread of mine when I first started offering waxworms.
I just want to say that I have eliminated the dogfood from my waxworm diet.
They live in a couple inches of "Honey Bunches of Oats" with a few drops of honey.

-Brad
 

beni

New Member
Thank you very much:) :)My mistake about the honey:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

What about the flying insects, can they escape when i open the container? (are they fast?)
So can i just put some oats and wheat bran into the container, and then add some honey and glicerin?
Many small of mine have becomen dark (died), is that because of the temperature (i've got really warm container) or not enough food?
PS:don't the worms bother if the mixture is too sticky?

Thx for everything, By:D
 

beni

New Member
Thank you very much:) :)My mistake about the honey:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

What about the flying insects, can they escape when i open the container? (are they fast?)
So can i just put some oats and wheat bran into the container, and then add some honey and glicerin?
Many small of mine have becomen dark (died), is that because of the temperature (i've got really warm container) or not enough food?
PS:don't the worms bother if the mixture is too sticky?

Thx for everything, By:D
And i have another two questions..:)

If my worm has some honey on it, should i wash him before i give him to my chameleon?

And can waxworms be 50% of food feeded to my cham?

By
 

jesseesperto

New Member
This is kind of an old thread of mine when I first started offering waxworms.
I just want to say that I have eliminated the dogfood from my waxworm diet.
They live in a couple inches of "Honey Bunches of Oats" with a few drops of honey.

-Brad
what a great idea..:cool: I have found answers to my questions just reading tis thread..
 

jesseesperto

New Member
The owner of the store I got Oliver from is a real smart guy. He said to feed wax worms and butter worms and pheenix worms. Now when you see little oliver you would say I dont think he can handle that. He is a growing boy and I want him to strong and healthy so I def want him to get as much of variety as possible. I give him pin heads. I cant stand pin heads..hard to work with and it just does not seem like a satisfying meal. So I went on a mission to find bigger crickets..I hand picked 30 of them myself from the small cricket cage..lol..took a little while but hey its worth it..He is only 6 weeks. anyway I got up to the counter and got some wax worms wondering if he would eat them. I got home and tried to hand feed but he is not ready for that yet..lol.. so i put it on the floor ..sure enough when the he felt he was in the clear.. boom..after that I was glad to seem him eat a nice juicy meal...as for the butter worms when I got home they were the size of 2 or 3 wax worms. I think they are to big...I wont give him anouther wax worm till next week sometime..I am extremly cautious with him..being he his young and I dont want anything to go wrong..;) what do you guys think?
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Good plan.
If you save waxworms for special occasions or when the inevitable time comes that he drives you crazy going on a hunger strike. You'll always have something that he will get excited about and that can help trigger his appetite.
Worms can be longer than the space between the eyes rule but if they are really big I wouldn't risk it. Too bad though...Butterworms are really high in calcium.

-Brad
 
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