Oct 18, 2020 - 06:15 AM
The best water supply for mealworms is vegetation that is meant to retain its moisture as it dehydrates rather than emit it. Those with very high starch content are designed for this purpose. For example, a carrot when left out will turn 'bendy' and shrivel as the water content dissipates while an apple or potato in contrast will release water as the cells break down. Simply leaving a cut fruit or vegetable on a paper towel for a week will provide evidence of this process.
When vegetation that emits water as it ages is used, the water will be released into the bedding which lends to bacterial and fungal growth - both lethal to the mealworm breeding process.
Cactus isn't ideal, but the plant has structures to survive in hotter, drier areas because its pads store water for many months without drying out making it a good substitute for carrots.
Realizing many of our customers prefer our mealworm castings as a natural fertilizer for home-grown food, we are transparent in including we feed cactus as well as carrots - even if only on the very rarest of occasions.