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Hi Pipstrelle.

I do clean out the frass now and again. I am a bit fussy and have several containers (with lids). I take out the larvae and beetles and put them in separate containers (different tubs for different stages of the life cycle). Then what is left in the tubs is frass made up of eggs and poop, so I have to save it for a couple weeks with some oats, let the larvae hatch, and then sift them out. After that though i have a bucketful of frass! Meal worm frass looks a lot like sand.

You can see that it is very fine compared to the wheat bran in the back ground.




  Mealworm frass is an exquisite plant fertilizer – indoors and out. I do, however, recommend not having it on the top of the soil for indoor plants as it might affect your condition. Otherwise, I have not met any kind of plant – leafing, flowering, or fruiting - that doesn’t love mealworm frass. It is a natural bloom stimulant, and has high nutrient levels.

As it causes plants to excrete chitinase (see below), i don't compost it! It acts as a great natural anti fungal and i brew it up with my red worm compost and make a Tea for plants.  

I will update both threads and include how to make worm tea.  

Here is the scientific bit about frass.

"It causes plants to excrete chitinase due to high chitin levels, it is a natural bloom stimulant, and has high nutrient levels. Frass is known to have abundant amoeba, beneficial bacteria, and fungi content. Frass is a microbial inoculant, also known as a soil inoculant, that promotes plant health using beneficial microbes."  



patty3 wrote (see)

Hi edd

 i feed the birds,  and liked to grow them for the robin, all went well untill they stopped changing i just had a small tub of beetles.

i set them free into the garden

i may try again in the autumn.

I have just discovered something interesting today. I had moved a tub of beetles (only) into the garage and forgot about them. I usually separate them out regularly.

I was surprised to find no young, everything has come to a screeching halt.  They have been laying eggs but i found a beatle munching on a small worm. They are eating their young! This is the answer to your problem patty3.

You need to separate the beatles from their bedding at a regular interval.

We live and learn.










Thats all really helpful stuff.  Where do you get your bran and what do you use?  There seem to be lots of different opinions out there?


Thanks for bringing this back to our attention Edd! It's on my to do list to get a mealworm farm going.


Edd, without reading back on your thread here, and probably a silly question, but do you leave the lid sealed or do they need air, also, would the black beetles fly up when you open the lid, I dont mind whats in the tub, just dont like flying beetles in the hair!


Lyn. I leave the corner of the tub open to let air in. I also have tubs with vents in the middle of the lid. 

The beetles can fly (obviously) but i have never seen them. I think they are far too happy in there to leave.


Thanks Ed.


I use to breed them in 5 liter buckets with snap on lids. I put pin holes in the lids for air,  went for pin holes to keep flies out. Reading this I must get back to it, I did waxworms too, can't remember the details now but I do remember them being a bit more difficult to keep going. 


Got mine going again, thanks Edd as it was reading this thread got me inspired again.  

People often ask how to separate the mealworms from the bran when harvesting. I've seen so many ideas, but I put in some scrunched up kitchen roll. They crawl into it and there will be enough on the scrunched up kitchen roll, not mixed with the bran, for the daily feed. I shake this off into a spare bucket and return the paper to the culture. I think the kitchen roll helps too with absorbing any extra moisture and helping to stop it going smelly or mouldy too.




I feed my birds mealworms.  I can honestly say I have never thought about what they are. Am I the only one who didn't know they grow into beetles? Your truly learn something new everyday. Lol

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