Do my mealworms have paracites

Asked March 31, 2013, 2:41 AM EDT

My mealworms are developing what look like bubbles on their sides near their the feet, two bubbles on each side. These then rupture, they loose fluids and die. I began seeing this 5 days ago. I have had these about a month, and am removing affected worms as soon as I see them.

Marion County Oregon insect issues entomology

1 Response

You have a difficult question to answer, especially without being able to examine the affected mealworms or knowing the environmental conditions of your colony. I think that you most likely have an insect disease (bacterial or viral) in your mealworm colony rather than a parasite. I have raised grasshoppers in captivity before and disease outbreaks are very common with them.
If it is a small percentage of the colony that is infected, you can try to keep it is as clean as possible. Provide the mealworms with favorable temperature, humidity, and nutrition they can probably still do well despite the presence of the disease. As with any animal, stress them and then expose them to disease and they are much more likely to die from it. If you have a a very high death rate you may hay to clean out your colony and start afresh after sanitizing the facility.

There is lots of good guidance to raising mealworms on the internet. Sorry I can't be of more help.