GliderCENTRAL

Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe?

Posted By: Anonymous

Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/12/08 08:59 PM

If you look at Exotic Nutrition Web Page they now offer giant mealworms but they state you should not feed them as food to animals because of the hormone they are fed. I know a lot of people feed them to their suggies, but Im curious aabout opinions on this matter. I usually feed the Giants.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/12/08 09:06 PM

I don't understand why they would sell giant mealworms if you couldn't feed them to animals...
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/12/08 09:15 PM

I have talked with Grubco about this and they assured me that their Mighty Mealies are safe for animal consumption.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/12/08 10:11 PM

Lizz, I agree. They have the Giants listed under Fishing Bait. with a disclaimer not to feed to animals. I usually get my from Herpfood & they assured me they are fine. My little girls like them better & they seem to last longer in the fridge. I was really just curious about what others felt.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/12/08 10:17 PM

I've asked several of the suppliers of the "Mighty Mealies" for the hormone (and/or pesticide in some cases) they use to spray the mealies with/feed them, and none will disclose the info.

In my research however (a post can be found with the info at the link in my siggy) I found that most often the chemicals used to cause the over growth of the mealies DOES indeed cause harm to mammals (liver damage), and especially aquatic animals(extremely poisonous). Additionally some companies/suppliers use normal mealworm pesticides instead of growth hormones (cheaper!) as some pesticides are designed to break the mealie life cycle by not allowing mealworms to turn to pupa and cause abnormal large growth... Causing "Mighty Mealies", but again no one will disclose. Many only provide a feeding warning.

But without knowing WHAT your mealworm provider uses, itís not possible to know if youíre feeding a chemical to your gliders, and the warning from Exotic Nutrition is right on!
Posted By: kipluck

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/13/08 04:28 AM

Originally Posted By: MatchMakerMagic
I've asked several of the suppliers of the "Mighty Mealies" for the hormone (and/or pesticide in some cases) they use to spray the mealies with/feed them, and none will disclose the info.

In my research however (a post can be found with the info at the link in my siggy) I found that most often the chemicals used to cause the over growth of the mealies DOES indeed cause harm to mammals (liver damage), and especially aquatic animals(extremely poisonous). Additionally some companies/suppliers use normal mealworm pesticides instead of growth hormones (cheaper!) as some pesticides are designed to break the mealie life cycle by not allowing mealworms to turn to pupa and cause abnormal large growth... Causing "Mighty Mealies", but again no one will disclose. Many only provide a feeding warning.

But without knowing WHAT your mealworm provider uses, itís not possible to know if youíre feeding a chemical to your gliders, and the warning from Exotic Nutrition is right on!
Which is pretty much why I have quit feeding ANY commercial mealworms. Granted, my initial stock came from Grubco, I think (now I have forgotten) but my mealies are SEVERAL generations removed now anyway, since it's been a couple years.

I just don't trust anyone it seems. My roomie grows an organic garden... I grow organic bugs! hee hee!

I am going to start raising Hissers next month (YAY! I am excited!!!) and have been thinking about crickets too, but have done crickets in the past and hated the smell. I have also thought about mice (since I love them as pets anyway!) but don't know if I could KILL them! How do people who raise them as feeders kill them humanely?

See, I am considering SELLING feeders (Hissing Cockroaches... as pets, too, mealies, etc) locally and thought it would be profitable to branch out, but I don't know how to kill things nicely that have such sweet faces. Mostly, though, I just wanted to not feed my babies chemicals. My gliders or my turtle.
Posted By: Bourbon

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/13/08 08:07 AM

mighty mealies bite
Posted By: chattrbabe

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/13/08 11:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Bourbon
mighty mealies bite


Not if you squarsh their heads!!! tounge roflmao
Posted By: sketchyglider

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/14/08 12:04 AM

ew!
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/14/08 02:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Bourbon
mighty mealies bite


Never had one bite me. But I've had a close call with a Super Worm!!! Those are NASTY buggers!
Posted By: ValkyrieMome

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/14/08 02:05 AM

Super worms bite! I think Mighties and Giants are the same as just mealworms - only they are hormonally charged.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/15/08 06:16 PM

Thats Correct Alden. Herpfood says their Giants(Mightes) are safe to feed. I have been feeding only Giant & Mighties from a few places the last couple years and never had one bite. (According to Herp they are not capable of biting, but the Super worms do). I have heard that before about supers & thats why I chose not to feed them to my crew.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/15/08 06:18 PM

I have had my farm now for about 8 months, but mine only get to large. Havent figured out how to grow Giants yet. I usually sell mine & buy Giants.
Posted By: ValkyrieMome

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/15/08 06:46 PM

Giants are hormonally charged. They are fed growth hormones. I don't feed giants to my gliders for that reason.

I don't think you can just grow them on your own ... you have to feed 'em growth hormones.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/15/08 07:48 PM

Yeah your right. I've ben trying to find out what the hormone is & how to get it so I can grow them myself. My crew just likes them better because they are fat & crunch more.
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/15/08 08:16 PM

Mighties/Giants do NOT bite. They are just a large mealworm. Superworms DO bite. They are not a mealworm, but a separate species.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/15/08 09:22 PM

Originally Posted By: DARON
Yeah your right. I've ben trying to find out what the hormone is & how to get it so I can grow them myself. My crew just likes them better because they are fat & crunch more.


Its not hard finding growth hormones for mealies, or even the pesticides that are sometimes used (like for bait worms). However what IS hard is finding out what the suppliers are using.

The hormones are sold in bulk (barrels). And usually either sprayed directly onto the mealies or their feed.

Good luck in your search. Do let us know what/if you find anything.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/15/08 09:24 PM

Oh, thought though I would mention - most of the ones I did find have adverse effects on mammals and aquatic species of animals. So if you do find one, be sure to make sure you look up the effects on gliders. frown I was highly disappointed to find out the "popular" ones were toxic to many kinds of species.
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/15/08 10:06 PM

This is from Sherita Turner at Grubco.com

We do not use any type of hormone, chemical, pesticide, etc. to raise mighty mealys.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/16/08 11:51 AM

Normal mealies do not grow to that size without being treated. And this trait (large size) is passed down to off-spring for a generation or so providing the parents aren't too deformed to reproduce.

Strange they would say they use nothing.
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/16/08 12:54 PM

They didn't say they used nothing, just not any hormones, pesticides, chemicals, etc. I have asked them this twice now, once about 2 years ago.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/17/08 02:13 AM

Well in the research I did I could not find a documented way to prevent or hold off the pupa stage (resulting in massive size) that was not chemical/pesticide or hormone. There was only minimal talk about a "natural" method that was also "minimally" effective.

Strange though they wont tell you how. That would concern me in itself.
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/17/08 04:53 AM

I do notice with my mealies that they start getting smaller the longer I have them, even when they are out and continuously eating. Also, mine do go on to reproduce normally.
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/17/08 04:53 AM

Forgot to add that although they reproduce normally, their offspring are normal mealie size, and not mightie mealies.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/17/08 09:35 PM

I had the exact opposite findings when I let the Mightys grow out. I kept two separate farms - one regular "large" mealies and one with the Mighties. The regulars are all the same size, and I've now had the chance to have several generations of them and they've remained the same "large" size the originals came.

However the Mighties were another story. Alot of them did turn into huge pupa, then died. Of the many pupa, some did finally (and I did notice it took them MUCH longer than the regular guys to change) morph to huge beetles, but some of the beetles were deformed looking. Strange upward pointing wings, creamy bodies showing and such. Very weird. But those beetles DID go on to reproduce, even though they aren't supposed to be able to. The "hormone" (or pesticide) is supposed to make them sterile. They produce less eggs in the same environment side by side as the regular mealies do, but they can reproduce. I've my own conclusions as to why, but either way unimportant.

What is interesting is for several more generations they were significantly larger, the first and second generations after that first complete life cycle they were the same size as the treated ones. Which meant to me it was some how etched into their DNA maybe. Who knows for sure. But they certainly were larger. Upon this discovery I did not use them for glider food any longer. Period. And began my research into mealie "hormones" and/or pesticides, and also requested the info from the venders who refused to disclose.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/17/08 10:21 PM

What is the size range for these categories??? I ordered mealies from NYWorms... and some of them are now over an inch long! Easily twice the size they were when I got them as mediums! LOL
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/17/08 10:27 PM

Mighties are actually labeled as Giants or Mighties on the sites.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/17/08 11:44 PM

Originally Posted By: princessmegi
Mighties are actually labeled as Giants or Mighties on the sites.


Yep. They are twice as large/thick as the "large" size and are sold accordingly.
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/18/08 12:07 AM

I know. I was trying to tell BellaDonnasMom that they are sold separately and it's not just a size thing. Meaning if she orders Med or Lg mealies and they are over an inch long that that makes them mighties or something.

Pic 1 - Large Mealies on Left. Mightie Mealies on Right. 2 Large Aliens on Left. 2 Large Mightie Aliens on Right.



Pic 2 - Mightie Mealie on top with Large Mealie directly under and against it.


Pic 3 - Large Mealie on Quarter


Pic 4 - Mightie Mealie on Quarter
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/18/08 12:50 AM

Perfect examples/photo's Megi. Your right about the pricing and the sizes. "Large" wont grow out to be "Mighties" its how they come to you. Mediums will get to "large" size, but generally not Mighty proportions. Though you might have a couple real big ones from time to time. smile Excellent photos.
Posted By: princessmegi

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/19/08 04:20 PM

Emailed thenaturesway.com and received an e-mail response that said we should be feeding normal (medium) mealworms.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/20/08 07:21 PM

That is interesting. I wonder if they treat their "large" size as well.
Posted By: sandbat

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/21/08 01:16 AM

I have a question - are superworms a different strain of mealworms, or are they a different species altogether?
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/21/08 02:20 AM

Superworms and mealworms are different species of darkling beetles;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mealworm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superworm
Posted By: sandbat

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/21/08 02:39 AM

Thanks!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/23/08 09:13 PM

So afer reading all of this I am now concened myself I should feed my suggie mealworms????
Posted By: sugarlope

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 12/23/08 09:15 PM

Regular mealworms (medium/large) aren't the concern, it's the mighty/giants that are in question.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/01/09 07:16 PM

Ok so are giant mealies safe for gliders, or should we just stick to the regular mealies?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/01/09 07:17 PM

Ok never mind some one right above just answered my question smile
Posted By: Suggiegramma

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/01/09 07:46 PM

I use giant and extra large mealies for my sweeties. They usually don't have any problems. Occasionaly you might see a glider pick one up the wrong way and it might flick it's hand cause the mealie pinched them. But normally, no problems. I DO pinch off their heads if I feed them to my joeys.
Posted By: Teresa

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/01/09 08:07 PM

I always pinch the head of the super worms so they can't bite.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/04/09 05:38 AM

All this bug talk is kind of leaving me a little confused:

I went and got my little guy mealworms (by BugCo) from Petco.. Those are ok, right? How many should I feed him and how often?


EDIT:
I also bought Superworms because I didn't know which. I was planning on returning them tomorrow, but apperantly they are safe - as long as you pinch the heads, correct? confused
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/04/09 06:35 AM

LOL Jessica... I didn't know just how open you would be to pinching off heads when we spoke on the phone earlier. I couldn't do it. YUCK! LOL But if you feel comfortable, you go right ahead. Yes, people do feed supers to their gliders, but only one a day since they are so huge! My problem with the supers and mighties is that I keep hearing they are fed growth hormones ot get them so big, and I can't imagine that being good for the gliders.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/04/09 08:42 PM

Superworms are a different species of worm (Zophobas morio) and are naturally that large. They are not fed the growth hormones.

Any mealies though that are labeled "Giant" or "Mighty" ARE fed growth hormones but are the same species as the smaller guys (Tenebrio molitor).

They can also be fed/sprayed with a pesticide that breaks their life cycle and is supposed to prevent morphing (making the BIG mealies). Or depending on the chemical used it can also break the life cycle by extending the "mealie" phase (causing the REALLY big mealies) AND causing sterility in the beetles. Both are supposed to effectively kill off mealies (originally designed for mealie infestations in chicken coops).

Some places list their Giants/Mighties as "not for feeding animals" due to the hormone treatment. These "hormones" or pesticides can cause liver damage. It was said earlier in this thread that one provider even did not recommend feeding their "large" size as well.
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/04/09 10:11 PM

Originally Posted By: MatchMakerMagic
It was said earlier in this thread that one provider even did not recommend feeding their "large" size as well.


And I wonder if this is because they begin "treatment" while the mealies are still smaller? Like the medium-large range?
Posted By: ScootersPet

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/05/09 04:53 AM

I stick with mediums,( and let them grow, and refrigerate them when they start to pupate), that way I have no reason to believe that they are treated. I would rather give them more smaller worms, than risk their health with "inhanced" worms.

I am in the beginnings of starting a mealie farm as well, so I can avoid all the worrying of who uses what pesticides/hormones/chemicals/feeds.. "Stress Free Feeding" lol
Posted By: MatchMakerMagic

Re: Mighty or Giant Mealworms. How Safe? - 01/05/09 07:44 PM

I definitely agree with ya there Amber! One of the benefits of having a farm.
© 2020 GliderCENTRAL