January 10, 2011
Feed the birds!
In addition to the wheat bran, you will need to scatter some raw apple or potato slices or dry fresh lettuce leaves on top of your worm bed every once in a while. The worms love these; it gives them moisture that they need. I add new ones when I notice that my worms have eaten almost all of what I put in last. Do not let your bedding get wet – it will mold and could destroy the worms.
In a few weeks you will see black beetles in your container along with the worms. This is good – these are the last stage in the life cycle of a meal worm. The beetles will lay eggs and the process starts all over again. If you get a great deal of beetles, I get rid of some of them. They will eat them worms if there is not enough food for them all. I toss them in a pile of leaves in the yard – who knows maybe they will reproduce there. Meal worms live under leaves and other debris in nature.
About once a year, I sift all the worms and beetles out of my container, dump the old used bedding into my compost and start out with fresh bedding. I put about six inches of fresh bran and place my worms and bugs back in, top it off with a few apple slices and I’m ready for a new year of bird feeding. Wear something old and a mask if you have dust allergies. This can be a dusty chore!
Once your worms are established and reproducing, you can run your fingers through the bedding and you will notice movement in the bedding. These are tiny baby worms –thousands of them! Future blue bird treats!