FIGHT MEALWORMS WITH AKL EXTERMINATOR
There is nothing more terrifying and disgusting than finding grubs on your own property! Mealworms, as Tenebrio molitor is commonly known, are one of the most disgusting household pests. These worms, although they do not transmit disease, can cause you a lot of inconvenience.
First of all, they contaminate all the food they touch, causing a lot of waste in your diet. In addition to their disgusting appearance, they can damage and stain surfaces where they are found or, in the worst case, clog pipes or heating in the infested area.
In general, this pest is the result of poor hygiene, and if ingested, it can cause gastrointestinal problems. Fortunately, the jaws of these vermin are not poisonous or serious, nor will they try to eat you. Thank goodness!
If you have complications on your property because of this annoying pest, what are you waiting for? At AKL Exterminator, we have the experience, the best equipment, the most effective products and the most qualified exterminators in Quebec to eradicate mealworms.
And if you want to know more about this household pest, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the behavior, habits, infestation patterns and control measures for mealworms.
At AKL Exterminator, our priority is to control all insects and rodents to bring you and your loved ones wellness and peace of mind!
TECHNICAL SHEET ON MEALWORMS
Mealworms are a species of dark beetle whose scientific name is Tenebrio molitor. The larvae of these insects measure 1 to 2 cm, while the adults measure 2 to 3 cm with their pair of antennae, two pairs of wings and a three-part thorax.
People call the larval and mature forms of this insect “mealworms”, but they are different depending on the stage. When they are caterpillars, they have a cylindrical shape, yellow coloration and brown rings that segment their body. As they grow, these larvae become stronger and more resilient.
WHAT DO MEALWORMS EAT?
The diet of these insects is varied, but they are essentially omnivores and scavengers par excellence. They feed on decaying organic matter, but they also like fruits, vegetables and proteins. They can even eat their fellow larvae and other dead insects.
Anything that is waste and moldy can be eaten. But their nickname of mealworms comes precisely from the fact that they feed on flour, oats and other products such as grains and cereals (ground or not) that are stored in pantries or cupboards.
LIFE AND REPRODUCTION CYCLE OF MEALWORMS
Mealworms can live up to four months or more under favorable conditions, and like all insects, they go through several stages: as eggs, larvae, pulp and adults. When the larvae mature and hatch, within a few days, the males seek to fertilize the females in order to reproduce.
Females can lay up to 300 eggs! This insect is in constant growth to finally emerge as a beetle. Complete metamorphosis can be aided by adequate temperatures and the absence of predators.
LIFE AND REPRODUCTION CYCLE OF MEALWORMS
You can find these creepy crawlies in dark, damp, warm places near food sources or garbage. Outdoors, they usually hide under rocks, logs, or in places where there is a lot of solid waste.
Indoors, they usually appear in dumpsters, trash piles, forgotten boxes, pantries, barns, warehouses and unsanitary closets. Dampness, mold and poorly maintained environments are the perfect habitat for these vermin.
Even the inside of flour and grain sacks or packages can become an ideal niche for these nasty pests. These insects are attracted to accessible food sources, areas without regular cleaning and dirty environments, perfect for their growth.
HOW TO SPOT THE SIGNS OF THEIR PRESENCE?
Identifying these nasty intruders is simple, as you can find them in moist environments and storage areas for your food products, grains and processed flours. You will notice that the bags or bins in which you store your supplies are leaking and have some sort of residue on them.
The larvae leave traces that dry out when they spend a long time in the same area. You may also find the remains of dead larvae that have failed to survive with a characteristic black color, or the shells of larvae that have hatched. Larval molting is the most obvious sign.
Finally, when you look at your bags and packages, you will see them sitting there next to the contaminated food. Or in severe cases, you’ll see them in corners of your property where they tend to pile up. Disgusting!
Mealworms, while not a potentially deadly pest, can cause you many health problems, especially if you are afraid of grubs or dirty environments.
HOW TO ERADICATE A MEALWORM INFESTATION?
That’s why, as AKL Exterminator, we give you here some combative measures and very useful recommendations to stop these annoying bugs:
- First of all, you need to properly sanitize your belongings, eliminating all sources of spoiled food and places conducive to their reproduction, such as dark, damp and moldy rooms. Often, old produce, contaminated food or forgotten bait can be the source of the problem.
- If you find mealworms in cabinets and closets, remove all boxes and drawers. Vacuum them without hesitation, then seal them in a plastic bag for disposal. Remember to cover them tightly so they don’t get out and reinfest.
- You can heat food and flour wrappers, bags and packages that you think are contaminated to extreme temperatures to kill the larvae and eggs. Or, you can freeze them.
- Place pheromone traps or apply pesticides for these worms in areas where you store your supplies. Trays of sticky substances containing ingredients that attract maggots are usually very effective. Or sprays will kill them over time.
DID YOU KNOW?
Believe it or not, mealworms can be found in stores and other distributors of products such as fishing bait or packaged to feed other animals (such as reptiles and birds). They are sometimes sold in bulk and are often packaged with hormones.
And some people eat them too! Mealworms have a proven nutritional benefit. In fact, there is as much protein in mealworms as there is in beef for the same mass. They have also been proven to contain many nutrients and vitamins.
So one day, don’t be surprised if you come across a store that offers you a mealworm burger or other dish! Plus, raising them is very easy, since they can be fed with fresh oats, wheat, plant waste and fruit.