How to breed super worms

Breeding superworms is a very easy task. If given the proper conditions, before you know it, you will have thousands of tiny babies, depending on how many beetles you have.

First of all you must have adult supers to start the breeding process, so pick out the biggest ones from your colony to start. I normally start with 100 adult supers for breeding, but I have alot of mouths to feed also  50 would do, but sometimes a few of the worms may die so it's best to have quite a few to start.

The only way supers will start to change into pupae is to separate them individually, keeping them together will not work. Keeping them alone will cause them to become stressed and so the change will begin. What works well to keep them in empty 35mm film containers, or something of similar size, even empty washed spice bottles, which is what I have used alot, and works well. They should be kept at room temps in the little containers, with no food, water, or substrate.

After about 1-2 weeks, you will see the superworm start to curl up, this means the pupae stage is starting. If you see the worm turning black, or laying straight, it is most likely dead. Once the worms start to curl up, within a week or two it should be in the next stage, the pupae. Leave them in the film containers. After another 1-2 weeks, it will be in stage 3, the beetle. Once the pupae has changed into the beetle, it will look all white, or tan color. Leave them in the containers until they are completely black, otherwise if you place the beetles in the same container together before their shell has hardened, they may eat one another, especially since they will be so hungry

Once the beetles are completely black, you can place them in the breeding box together. I like to use the plastic rubbermaid containers, with a bedding such as oats, or bran. Place a few egg flats in the box, and lots of food for moisture, like potato slices, carrot, etc. they will be very hungry after the long process and will not breed until they have eaten. After they have had their fill, you will see them gather underneith the egg flats, to begin breeding. Always make sure they have plenty of fresh food, to be changed daily to prevent mold from forming. What I do is have the whole top lid cut out and replaced with screen for lots of air flow, or condensation will form molding the food, and the substrate, killing the whole colony.

Once a week I move all the beetles in a new container so the babies will hatch from the eggs in the first breeding bin. At times the beetles will eat the eggs, so it is best to move them, and keep the breeding process going.

Once the first lot of babies hatch, within a few weeks, you will not see them as they will be very tiny in size, but add carrot pieces, potato pieces, etc for them, or they will not survive. You will eventually see them underneith the food, chowing down, and after a few months they will be big enough to start the breeding process again.

How long do the beetles live you ask? I have had beetles live up to almost 1 year.  And incase you do not know, the beetles can fly. You rarely ever see it, but they sure can. I have been breeding supers for years and only one time have I seen one fly, although it didn't get to far before hitting the floor

There you have it, you are on your way to saving yourself a few pennies by breeding your own feeders. It is well worth it, especially if you have your own little private zoo like me 

Good luck, and happy breeding!

Nancy McBride



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Nan | Reply 26.10.2016 18.24

Hi Nancy,
Some instructions say to not replace the veggies as the eggs will be laid on them, but like you said, they could get moldy. So what am I to do?

Francis buhagiar | Reply 18.06.2016 14.49

shall i keep the superworms beetle in the dark to lay their eggs or in thelight?

Francis buhagiar 19.06.2016 02.35

thanks for your advice

Nancy 18.06.2016 18.14

It doesn't make a difference. They will breed and lay eggs either way

tony | Reply 27.04.2012 10.25

hi can you tell me where to get non sterile super worms for breading as all the worms in the shop are sterile..

lauren | Reply 08.01.2012 15.27

Nancy, I've got a few beetles in the bin, and about 60 pupae turning brown. :)
Wanted to know how long till I see any eggs once all put together?

Charles - Tundra Dragons | Reply 24.04.2011 16.27

Thanks Nancy! this is the best strait forward instructional i've read yet.

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