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How to Care for Your Waxworms

How to Care for Your Waxworms

Waxworms (Galleria mellonella) are a frequent enrichment food for reptiles and amphibians.  Due to their high fat content, they are not generally recommended as a staple food (Dubia Roaches, on the other hand, are a great staple food for reptiles [insert link here]).  They are the larval form of the greater wax moth.

 

Waxworms are generally sold in their pre-pupal state.  This means that they have consumed all the nutrition they need to enter their pupal stage and to ultimately become moths.  Waxworms in the pre-pupal state do not need to be fed.  Since they usually arrive at their optimal level of nutrition, it’s advisable to use them soon.  As the days go by, they may start to become smaller as they utilize the fat their bodies have stored.  Some may die or pupate, as well.

 

Housing

Waxworms can be kept in the container in which they are sold.  If transferred to a different container they require:

--ventilation: holes can be punched in a container or cut out a “window” in a plastic tub and hot-glue some fine mesh over the opening.  Waxworms require low humidity, so ventilation is a must.

--a secure cover: waxworms pupate and quickly turn into wax moths.  Failure to confine them can lead to infestation in the home.

 

Waxworms will pupate quickly if kept at room temperature.  To slow their growth, they should be kept at 55-60F.  Some waxworm sellers recommend keeping their container in the door of the refrigerator, since that area is warmer than the 40F of most other places in the refrigerator.  It would be advisable to check the temperature of the refrigerator door to insure that the temperature doesn’t get too low.  A cool basement is a better alternative.

 

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