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Worms in Wood Shavings

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by kryptix, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. kryptix

    kryptix Arachnosquire

    I went to PetSmart tonight and they had marked superworms in a little container, so I opened it to check em out and they were in some sort of wooden shavings. Would that matter if I were to take one straight from the shavings to feed, or would I need to remove them and place them in normal substrate for a while before feeding? not sure what kind of shavings they were but I would guess pine/cedar which I know is a no-no for T's
  2. fartkowski

    fartkowski Arachnoemperor

    I would ask what kind of shavings they are.
    I wouldn't take a chance on it if it was pine or cedar.
    Did it have smell to it?
  3. ph0bia

    ph0bia Arachnobaron

    Normally mealworms are kept in this kind of environment to stop them pupating into darklings, if these aren't mealworms it may be the same idea behind it.

    Mealworms are sold primarily for reptile keeping but many choose to use them for Ts. As such, as long as the wood chips aren't pine or cedar (which are toxic to Ts) it should be fine.

    Even if it is pine or cedar, there should be little issue as the T isn't coming into contact with it and the worms don't eat it, do they? I could be wrong there.
  4. betuana

    betuana Arachnobaron

    I would venture a guess that they probably wouldn't be kept on pine or cedar, since both of those have some toxicity to just about everything, due to the oils, etc. I would think the mealworms would be just as susceptible to the problems of these woods as Tarantulas (or reptiles, rodents, cats (oils from pine are toxic to cats, the fun things to learn as a vet tech), etc). The oils are used in some insecticides, so I'd guess there are LOTS of things out there that are at risk from toxicity from them.

    Usually pine and cedar have a distinct aroma to them, so you should be able to tell for sure by the smell from the container. If in doubt I'd probably avoid it though...

    The superworms I got from our local petsmart were definitely not on pine or cedar, but I can't really speak for those found elsewhere.

    I'd guess though, that if they were on pine or cedar the worms would be having problems. If you wanted to be safe I'd take them all out, empty and rinse the container, fill it with a better material (I've heard of keeping mealworms on oatmeal, something like that could work) and putting them back in there for a while before feeding. Preferably, before putting them back, you could use a damp qtip or something similar to wipe each of them off as much as possible, to make sure there is no residue left. I'd leave them in the new stuff for a while before offering them as food. This also gives you a chance to give them some good foods of your choice to help improve their nutritional value, and makes sure there is nothing left of the pine or cedar when you feed them.

    Lots of work perhaps, but if there is a risk of poisoning better to do some work, or just toss the lot of them, than to risk poisoning your Ts, IMO.
  5. FuzzOctave

    FuzzOctave Arachnosquire

    I always assumed that the superworms I've purchased were in raw bran flakes.

    I really try not to feed them to my T's very often, but I can't just feed them crix all of the time. I'm trying to talk the other members of the household into putting up with a roach colony, but I don't think they're gonna' go for it. Then, there's the reluctance to eat them on the T's part. Some take to the roaches right away, while others wait until they are so hungry they have to. At any rate, I don't feel that my collection is large enough to warrant an entire colony, but I'm working on it.

    I would email the company that farms the superworms and ask what the substrate is.
  6. gumby

    gumby Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Ive been using these worms in saw dust with no issue. I used to wash them off tell I thought to myself well chances are they may be digesting these chips anyways so washing the outside wont help much and if it is just the outside it should not kill my T because the T eats the inside guts
  7. Endagr8

    Endagr8 Arachnoangel

    I've purchased petsmart's superworms before. I thought that their substrate might be pine or cedar until I called the number on the container; the company didn't even know what substrate was, although when I rephrased the question they guaranteed me that they were not kept on wood flakes. Apparently it's some type of bran or grain.