Need advice on feeder insects

I breed dubia roaches and am about to start breeding mealworms. Can someone give me advice on the best way to ship and price them on here? Or any tips on breeding them?
I plan to ship them by weight,
I don’t want to charge to much or too little.

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When I bred leopard geckos I used to breed mealworms. I did a three drawer rack(cheep sterilite plastic rack) I used rolled oats for both a bedding and food, filled like 3” or so up each bin. Added meals to the top, when I got a lot of beetles I moved those to the second rack. Then once I got beetles again from the second rack I moved them to the third, and did a clean out of the top one. Waited for beetles in the bottom and started over in the top. I also would give fruit treats as well. Worked good started producing well after 8-10 weeks for me. I never sold them though, this was just for geckos and fishing!

Thanks for the fast reply. I have a rat rack with 3 tubs I plan to use. I just sold all the rats because I have breathing problems and have to wear a mask and hold my nose shut and it’d take all day just to clean one tub, when cleaning them I’d only be able to be around them for as long as I could hold my breath with my nose pinched and would have to use my inhaler and go to the ER many times after cleaning them so decided to get rid of them. It was that bad. Where do you find oats cheap enough to fill up that much? I ordered some on Amazon, 18 ounce bottles of oats for $3 and it doesn’t look like it’ll fill even a quarter of the tub. They’re big concrete mixing tubs from Home Depot.

@banereptiles I’ve thought about breeding leopard geckos also but not for a while, may need some tips on that to eventually. Like what morphs are best to get that don’t cost a ton but are beautiful, temp and humidity for the eggs, etc. not right now though, still in the process of figuring out mealworms and getting my snake rack set up and finished.

Just letting you know, since many don’t. If you breed dubias you will eventually become allergic to shellfish.

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@ashleyraeanne Wow. I never knew that. Fish and oysters too? How do the dubias cause this? Something to do with their sheds or poop? Thanks for the heads up. I love shrimp and crawfish but will definitely avoid them from now on.

It is from exposure to their sheds and poop yes. And oysters are a type of shellfish so there is a chance to have an allergy against them as well. @t_h_wyman is one of the unfortunate people to find this out and can probably tell you what all to avoid.

Thanks. @t_h_wyman Can you give me any info on what to avoid and how dubias and sea food affect you? I have bad breathing problems and anxiety and I just ate a shrimp ramen with like 4 tiny shrimp in it just before reading that dubias cause allergies and it got real hard to breathe, I think that just made me really anxious and caused me to panic, don’t think it was from the shrimp or being allergic, not yet anyway.

Just a gentle reminder that forum policy is that we do not discuss pricing and sales here :grin: :+1:t4:

Correction: You will develop an allergy to the chitin in their exoskeleton which is structurally very similar to the chitin in crustaceans like crabs, lobster, shrimp, and crayfish. Developing an allergy to dubia is not a guarantee that you will become allergic to crustaceans, but if you already have allergies then your system is likely primed to over-react so I would lean more toward expecting it

Allergies are a bit like snowflakes so how mine behave may not be indicative of how you will react

Also, you should know that it is not uncommon to develop allergies to mealworms as well for the same reasons I noted above.

The first thing you should do is look in to acquiring some N100 masks and learn how to properly fit-test them. N100s are a step above the N95s we are all intimately familiar with by now, they have a rubber gasket around them and should form a tight seal on your face (facial hair will complicate this)

Wear the mask and gloves every time you work with the bugs. You may also want to wear long sleeves or pick up some TyVek sleeves. Clean frequently, outside or in a very well-ventilated area, to keep the levels of frass down. After you clean, strip and shower. The goal is to limit contact exposure

My dubia allergies manifest as pretty intense anaphylaxis - eyes swell and water, nose pours mucus, throat and lungs constrict, hives. In my worst attacks, I could empty an entire rescue inhaler and eat an entire pack of chewable Benadryl before I could get relief (quite honestly, I probably should have had and used an EpiPen)

The allergy to crustaceans manifests differently. About 90 minutes to two hours after ingestion, I get horrible gastrointestinal issues - massive cramping, stabbing pain, nausea. A couple times it was bad enough that, if I had not already had my appendix out, I might have thought I had appendicitis. A double dose of Benadryl typically brings the symptoms to a manageable level. The next day I usually have a very uncomfortable session in the bathroom

If you have not already had one, I strongly advocate getting an antigen test from an allergist and specifically request they test for seafood generally and crustaceans like crab/shrimp specifically


Ya that is a huge tub for mealworms. Mine were like the 16 quart sterilite size. I just bought this big bag of rolled oats at Walmart. I would think you would have to go to one of the big box bulk items stores like Cosco, maybe even restaurant suppliers for that much. I guess you really wanted to do large scale for selling. Maybe you can get some ideas from the commercial feeder breeders, or their sites?

Thanks for your help. I’m going to start out with shoebox sized sterilize tubs and then move up to the sterilite 3 drawer shelf and then hopefully have enough mealworms in a few months to use the huge concrete mixing tubs because right now they’re just collecting dust.

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