Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Culturing feeder insects as an alternative source of income by Tiffany Chan

This is one part of the things you get when you go to the Philippine Orchid Society's show. They provide lectures on many things especially orchids and even now with insects as another source of income.

The speaker Tiffany Chan gives practical advices to enthusiasts many of whom own fishes and animals that feed on insects.

I just found out that mealworms and superworms are beatles. I though that is their final forms and there is nothing more to it.

Mealworms turn into mealworm beatles (Tenebrio molitor) while super worms turn into another species of darkling beatles (Zophobas morio). So mealsworms and superworms are not the same but nonetheless since their similarity and use as feed for reptiles and fishes they often confused.

Both mealworms and superworm undergo complete metamorphosis, the same butterflies do.

It is quite easy to take care of these insects and the potential as business is quite good. There is a demand and according to Tifanny there is even a shortage of mealworms and superworms in the market.

The medium used and advised by Tifanny is pollard (a mixture of fine bran and a small amount of flour) something that can be found in any poultry store. It is advised to put them into crates and every week be sifted so that your mealworms will have the same size and the chance for the beatles eating the larvas will be minimal.

That will also make your product more easily saleable. Also when not going to use your mealworm ASAP. You can actually refrigerate them for hibernation (for two months) until you need them as feed.

Another option used are crickets. They undergo incomplete metamorphosis and is quite easier to do than mealworms and superworms.

Then of course we have the cockroaches and we are not talking about your roach at home but these domesticated versions. I was told that they smell bad like other roaches but my nose tells me they smell roachy.

Duba roaches are a bit expensive and be bought Php15 each but is the easiest of all to take care of. The same goes with the bit cheaper lateralis roach.

If I were you I would go for the roaches for convenience but since my nose is also deciding it would be better to stick with the mealworms and superworms. Of course there is the cricket if you can tolerate their sound.

No comments: