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The mealworm, the meal of reptiles

Who's the mealworm ?

le ténébrion - Tenebrio molitorLatin name: Tenebrio molitor
Order: Coloptera
Family: Ténébrionidas
Size: 13 to 18 mm
Location: kitchen and attic
Period: all year


What you need to know about mealwormthe

Originally, the larva was fed by animal dejections but it was able to adapt to our foodstuffs. Feeding mainly from decaying cereals (also eats bread, feathers, dead insects, meat, dried fruit, nuts and biscuits), we only encounter mealworm rarely in the houses unless you feed your reptiles! (if you make a breeding, this species can be cannibal).

It is the largest insect pest of whole and ground grains. Males are generally smaller and more slender than females.

The mealworm are beetles. They therefore have a pair of wings to protect them then a second pair to allow them to fly.
These insects have the same development as butterflies, that is, larvae do not look like adults and go through a complete metamorphosis of their body to become adults. This stage is called chrysalide in butterflies and nymph in beetles.le ténébrion - Tenebrio molitor

In nature, adults appear early in the summer and mate quickly. The female lays an average of 400 to 500 eggs, which she deposits one to one or in small masses. White and shiny eggs hatch after 4 to 18 days. The larvae that come out are about 2 mm. First white, they take a golden yellow shade as they grow. In an unheated environment, the larval stage can last from six to nine months and even up to one year. The insect passes winter in this form.

The larva suffers from 10 to 16 mues during its development. It reaches an average of 30 mm long before turning into a nymph. Its white color becomes yellowish over time. The insect spends two to three weeks at this stage before emergeating in the form of a winged adult. This one dies after two to three months. Depending on the environment, the full cycle of the mealworm can last between four months and two years.


Signs of presence and preventive action

Signs of presence

You can quite quickly the presence of Tenerife by :
1 -Skins and small skins in foods
2 -Exuvies of larvae following the different mues
3 -White vermins that frog in flour

The mealworm particularly affectionate the dark and wet corners of food reserves. It is rare to see it in nature because it frequents the squids of dead trees. It is also very little observed in houses, except in case of unhealthyness. Indeed, unmaintained dwellings, where there is a certain lack of hygiene and food dragging here and there, can see an infestation of mealworms appear.

Preventive actions

1 -Clean the food closets, behind the cooking plates, the refrigerators...
2 -Jeter packets of perished foodstuffs
3 -Pass the vacuum cleaner in all corners, behind the closets and close the bags to avoid the spread of vermins
4 -Boil contaminated food to raise larvae and kill them
5 -Avoid leaving the dog or cat game for too long outside
6 -If you have birds, clean their cage and surrounding areas


How can we eliminate the mealworm ?

1 - Start by removing the origin of organic matter and evacuating all wastes that can serve them as food.
2 - Drop a few drug traps Infested areas.

3 - Spray directly on visible insects our insecticide All Insects Aries based on pyrethre.

4 - Sprinkle all infested or passing places with our diatomaceous earth. For action in the smallest corners, small holes and interstices difficult to access, prefer the spray diatom in the form of aerosol.

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Here's what the mealworm looks like in motion