Dubia roaches and Mealworm cleaner crew

Izhizm

Arachnopeon
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Nov 27, 2016
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Hello guys, tis my first post (sorta) on arachnoboards, its cool joining the community!

Been keeping dubias for well over a year now, so far so good but just a few questions about mealworm cleaner crew in a dubia bin.

I understand that lesser mealworms are recommended after doing some research but can i get the same result with standard yellow mealworms? They won't harm the dubias in any way, would they?

Thanks~
 

Jacob Ma

Arachnoknight
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Feb 2, 2016
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281
Welcome to the forum @Izhizm !

Yellow mealworms, or Tenebrio molitor, may try to eat weaker individuals as they are more "aggressive" than the lesser mealworms. Lesser mealworms from what I've seen won't bother going after living inverts, and would much rather feast on the dubias' carcasses.
 

Izhizm

Arachnopeon
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Nov 27, 2016
Messages
26
Welcome to the forum @Izhizm !

Yellow mealworms, or Tenebrio molitor, may try to eat weaker individuals as they are more "aggressive" than the lesser mealworms. Lesser mealworms from what I've seen won't bother going after living inverts, and would much rather feast on the dubias' carcasses.
Thanks, then I'm gonna have to evict the yellow mealworms then and feed my fish. But from what i've read from wikipedia, dont lesser mealworms carry some sort of parasite and stuff? I was kinda apprehensive when i read about that/
 
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Izhizm

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
26
hi guys, i went for a walk with a torchlight and brought back these guys from the garden. I was thinking of raising my own cleaner crew from wild populations here. There were springtails also no pics since they are so tiny.

Target:springtails, demersid beetles, lesser mealworms



Was hoping someone can let me know if these okay cleaner crew candidates for the dubia bin? did they get the job? tq
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Joined
Apr 18, 2015
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2,233
hi guys, i went for a walk with a torchlight and brought back these guys from the garden. I was thinking of raising my own cleaner crew from wild populations here. There were springtails also no pics since they are so tiny.

Target:springtails, demersid beetles, lesser mealworms



Was hoping someone can let me know if these okay cleaner crew candidates for the dubia bin? did they get the job? tq
Those isopods should good OK to use as clean up crews, in moist containers only though, (same goes for springtails).

Also, like @Jacob Ma said, yellow mealworms do not make good clean up crews, but lesser mealworms, (Alphitobius diaperinus) do. :)
 

Izhizm

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
26
Those isopods should good OK to use as clean up crews, in moist containers only though, (same goes for springtails).

Also, like @Jacob Ma said, yellow mealworms do not make good clean up crews, but lesser mealworms, (Alphitobius diaperinus) do. :)
Alphitobius diaperinus
Dermestes maculatus

these are two species i need to find since I've just expanded the colony to a 200 gallon . While I'm considering buying 100% pathogen-free specimens online, I'm just wondering if its safe to use the wild ones around here?

If i manage to catch those wild ones, is there a way to decontaminate them from harmful pathogens since they are vectors of disease? I dont think i'd tolerate nasty diseased bugs chilling out with my dubias and other roaches
.Thanks.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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I must ask, why do you need a cleanup crew in your dubia colony? If you're having trouble with mold outbreaks, perhaps try feeding less wet food. I raise mine on dry, unmedicated chick feed and supplement that about once per week with fresh fruit or veggies. Keeps the humidity down, which then prevents mold growth.
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Alphitobius diaperinus
Dermestes maculatus

these are two species i need to find since I've just expanded the colony to a 200 gallon . While I'm considering buying 100% pathogen-free specimens online, I'm just wondering if its safe to use the wild ones around here?

If i manage to catch those wild ones, is there a way to decontaminate them from harmful pathogens since they are vectors of disease? I dont think i'd tolerate nasty diseased bugs chilling out with my dubias and other roaches
.Thanks.
I don't think you should use wild caught ones, who knows what pathogens they might carry. I'd go with the captive bred ones that you know are safe to use.

I must ask, why do you need a cleanup crew in your dubia colony? If you're having trouble with mold outbreaks, perhaps try feeding less wet food. I raise mine on dry, unmedicated chick feed and supplement that about once per week with fresh fruit or veggies. Keeps the humidity down, which then prevents mold growth.
He probably wants them to eat up the dead bodies in the cage, which both Alphitobius and Dermestes are very good at doing.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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He probably wants them to eat up the dead bodies in the cage, which both Alphitobius and Dermestes are very good at doing.
Ah, understandable. But don't the baby nymphs do that already? When I see a dead adult, there are always nymphs swarming the carcass. It's an empty husk by the end of the day. It's almost like they prefer that food over the actual food I provide.
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Ah, understandable. But don't the baby nymphs do that already? When I see a dead adult, there are always nymphs swarming the carcass. It's an empty husk by the end of the day. It's almost like they prefer that food over the actual food I provide.
Maybe when the colony gets too large the nymphs can't keep up with the bodies? TBH I had no idea this species voraciously ate it's own dead, makes it sound like a clean up crew wouldn't be needed.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Maybe when the colony gets too large the nymphs can't keep up with the bodies? TBH I had no idea this species voraciously ate it's own dead, makes it sound like a clean up crew wouldn't be needed.
It's actually the opposite in my experience. Whenever I start a new colony, I'm sure to put in several thousand small nymphs to ensure there are more than enough to eat the dead. Once you've got a thriving colony of 1000+ breeding adults, they'll always produce enough nymphs to eat the dead. A cleanup crew would be invaluable in the infancy of a colony if there aren't enough nymphs around. Having a sustaining colony gets exponentially easier as the population explodes in my (albeit limited) experience.

I've read on here that roaches will seek out proteins (i.e. each other) if that is lacking in their diet. I doubt that's the case with my colonies given the food I provide, but perhaps they eat their dead because of something wrong in my husbandry? I've never witnessed live cannibalism under normal circumstances. Although the adults chow down on the nymphs if left out in the open for too long, such as during a prolonged cleaning.
 

Izhizm

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
26
I must ask, why do you need a cleanup crew in your dubia colony? If you're having trouble with mold outbreaks, perhaps try feeding less wet food. I raise mine on dry, unmedicated chick feed and supplement that about once per week with fresh fruit or veggies. Keeps the humidity down, which then prevents mold growth.
hi, I'm considering cleanup crew because less maintenance is an attractive option especially when i'm expanding to commercial scale operations soon. :happy:
 
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