If you are raising wax worms for the first time, there are a few things that you will need to know. We’ll go over what they eat and some tips on how to keep them healthy.
What is a waxworm?
Or more appropriately, what do wax worms turn into? A wax worm is the larval stage of the wax moth. It belongs to the Pyralidae family of moths. There are 2 types of wax moths, greater, and lesser. This article will treat them as the same dietary-wise, However, they do have other differences. Mostly though, the two can eat the same diet.
What do wax worms eat?
The main diet in captivity is honey, bran, and oatmeal (wheat germ). Pick out raisins if you are going to use storebought bran cereal like raisin bran.
They also enjoy fruits such as apples or bananas that have been sliced thinly (about the thickness of a quarter) with no peel left on them. Waxworms will not feed readily from fruit in nature, so make sure each piece is cut carefully before placing it into your breeding container for larvae production purposes. You can occasionally offer chopped vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or spinach as well.
BIG FAT WARNING! you really shouldn’t give waxworms fruit or vegetables. Not so much because they can’t eat them, But because all these wet foods will cause massive issues in their enclosure, leading directly to mold and death. So if you must, give them very small pieces of fruit or veggies, preferably treated in a solution of vinegar first. This helps prevent bacteria from taking hold.
Since these are most likely just feeder worms for your animals or bait for fishing, Simply a mix of bran, honey, and oats is more than enough to keep them satisfied. You may add additional nutrient(s) you want the worms to ingest so your lizard/pet/amphibian etc can ingest them as well.
To mix this, take your honey, wheat bran, and wheat germ(or oats) and add them to a bowl with a 1:1:1 ratio. The consistency you’re looking for should be dry and crumble fairly easily.
Some people will also add dry active yeast at this stage.
Spread a layer of the food mix on the bottom of the waxworm’s enclosure and close the light (leaving enough space for air to get in). Waxworms prefer to be placed in the dark.
A few words of caution:
Waxworms can give off a lot of heat and moisture. This may cause mold to grow in the container. If you see this happen, remove the waxworms and rebuild their enclosure with a fresh medium.