New York Worms FAQS
We receive questions from both our customers and potential customers and feel that many of them, and their answers are of interest to others. Here the most frequently asked:
I’m thinking of starting my own worm farm. Send me more information about how to get started. (Our most frequently asked question)
All of our available information is on our web site. We have no additional information to send by mail. If you wish additional information, we have an excellent selection of earthworm related Books & Videos. We also have extensive information regarding all of our feeder insects throughout our site.
If you are located in New York, why are my crickets not postmarked “New York”?
We started our business here in New York, but ship certain items such as some of our mealworms from the midwest and west coast. Crickets are shipped from Michigan, Georgia or California. Refer to our Cricket section for additional details.
Can we pick up our orders from your store and save on shipping?
No. We don’t have a retail location. We wholesale locally and retail by mail and Internet orders only.
I’m going to be on Long Island soon and would like a tour of your facilities.
We will freely share any non-proprietary information over the internet, but do not give tours of our facilities because of the proprietary nature of commercially growing crickets and superworms. You have probably noticed that no commercial growers offer any information as to their growing methods either.
Why are shipments sometimes marked “Hold at Post Office and Notify”?
As we state, we guarantee live delivery of all of our feeder insects. Mealworms are usually USPS Priority Mail. At certain times of the year, because of excessive heat or cold, the only way that we can insure your order reaching you in a live, healthy condition is to have them held at the Post Office for you to pick up. The most damaging portion of shipment is when they have to be in the back of an extremely hot or cold mail truck for delivery to you. Remember, it is not the fact that someone is at home to accept delivery, rather the time in the excessively hot or cold mail truck that proves fatal to them.
Do you plan to add more products or more information and educational pages to your site?
Most definitely yes. Please see More to Come for projects now in either the planning or implementation stages.
Can I keep my crickets in my garage or basement?
That depends upon how hot or cold the space is. Crickets should optimally be kept at 80 degrees F. and most garages or basements are too cold. The best way to maintain the temperature is with a light bulb in a reflector directly on the screen top of your cricket tank.
Why don’t you sell quantities of crickets less than 1,000?
We’ve found that the majority of the cost for a box of crickets delivered to a customer is for the box and postage. In the winter our low prices include double boxing and heat packs at no additional cost. It would cost us as much to box and ship 500 as 1,000 and do not feel it would be cost effective for our customers.
We recently got Pinhead crickets from you and they were much smaller than those we’ve been buying from our pet shop. Why?
Most pet shops don’t carry a full size range of crickets and generally sell 2 week (1/4″) crickets as Pinheads. Our Pinheads are newly hatched and are extremely small.
Why is there sometimes a size difference from shipment to shipment of crickets even though we always order the same size?
We sell crickets according to their age in weeks since hatching. Since they grow extremely quickly, crickets that are shipped in the early part of their week class will be smaller than those shipped later.
What should I feed my crickets?
Crickets are successfully fed a variety of items including high-protein dog food, baby cereal, fish flakes and vegetables. We include a special formula on our Cricket Care and Feeding page, however, due to constant demand, we now sell the diet that we feed to our crickets. See Cricket Grub on our Crickets page.
Are the crickets raised commercially that you sell the same type as the crickets found in my yard?
That depends. There are different types of crickets. See Common Crickets to learn more about the common species of crickets.
What is the difference between the Superworm and the “common” mealworm?
Superworms (Zophobas morio) are a different species than the “common” mealworm (Tenebrio molitor). They are larger (1 ½ to 2 inches) and are reported to contain less chitin, making them easier to digest.
Are Superworms the same as Giant Mealworms?
No, but they are often confused with giant mealworms. Giant mealworms are treated with hormones to inhibit the larvae from pupating, therefore causing the giants to continue to feed and grow. Superworms, on the other hand, are the larvae of a beetle much larger than the common mealworm beetle. Superworms grow naturally to their one and a half to two inch size, over a period of many months.
Will my lizard have problems digesting Superworms?
In general, the answer is “no”, however some smaller or immature herps may experience problems digesting the larger ones. You might consider feeding smaller, immature worms.
Will I wake up one morning and find that my Superworms have pupated and are now beetles?
No. Unlike the “common” mealworm, Superworms will not pupate. When kept in accordance with the instructions on ourSuperworms page, you can keep Superworms for 4 to 5 months. They are not treated hormonally to prevent pupation.
What should I feed my Superworms?
Your Superworms will eat the oat or wheat bran or uncooked oatmeal bedding. . We sell the bedding material used by us to grow our Superworms. See the Superworms page for information. Additionally, they need a source of moisture and eat raw potato, carrot, apple and celery. Ours are especially fond of melon and leaves from cabbage and cabbage-family plants such as broccoli. We also feed a little high-protein chicken mash (not more than 20% of the bedding volume) to fatten them and increase their protein content.
Are Superworms a good fishing bait?
Most definitely! Most freshwater fish will bite quite readily on them. We recently received a photo from a happy customer with the 28 pound Lake Trout caught on one.
Can I feed Superworms to my Bluebirds?
Yes, you can. However, if you are not currently feeding live food to your Bluebirds, we recommend you start by feeding common mealworms, since Superworms are bigger than mealworms. They do have advantages over common mealworms, such as not needing to be stored in your refrigerator! See Live Bird Food for more information.
Do you recommend/sell “Giant” Mealworms?
The so-called “Giant” Mealworms are created by spraying “common” Mealworms with an insect growth hormone to keep them growing instead of pupating as they would normally. Because of this, we feel that the “Giants” are a poor food choice for your Reptiles. However, we do highly recommend them as fishing bait!
What should I feed my Mealworms?
Your Mealworms will eat the oat or wheat bran or uncooked oatmeal bedding. We sell the bedding material used by us to grow our Superworms and Mealworms. See the Mealworms page for information. Additionally, they need a source of moisture and eat raw potato, carrot, apple, celery, melon rinds. We also feed a little high-protein chicken mash (not more than 20% of the bedding volume) to fatten them and increase their protein content.
Can I grow my own Mealworms? Is it difficult to do?
Growing Mealworms in small quantities is both easy and fun. Just follow the easy instructions on our Mealworm page.
Can I use live mealworms to attract Bluebirds?
Absolutely! Many Bluebird enthusiasts have been quite successful in attracting Bluebirds to backyards and nest box trails throughout the country by feeding mealworms. Learn more in our Live Bird Food section. In fact, most songbirds love mealworms!
Waxworms are often only seasonally available and often hard to find. Do you have them available constantly?
Yes, we ship them year-round with no availability problems.
What happened to your “Dry-Roasted” Waxworms?
We use our overproduction to dry-roast and have found that during the Spring to Fall months the demand is extremely high. Therefore, we are only able to produce them during the colder months when the Waxworm demand is lower.
UPDATE!!!! We now carry dry roasted wax worms packed in jars. See Wax Snax Roasted Wax Worms for more information.
Can I use Waxworms as the diet staple for my herps?
That is not recommended as Waxworms are very high in fat content. By feeding them as a constant food source, you run the risk of your pet/s not wanting to eat anything else as well as the strong possibility of obesity which is not a healthy situation.
Do I need to feed my fruitfly cultures once I get them?
No. The cultures are self-contained and meant to be sufficient until the medium is gone. If you have an unusually large number of mature flies in your culture, you can add 2-3 (no more) granules of yeast (the kind used for making bread). Add a couple of drops of water (no more) to moisten the yeast. That is what the flies eat.
How do I remove the fruitflies from the culture for feeding?
It’s really easy to remove the quantity you need. Simply tap the culture on a hard surface a couple of times. All of the flies will drop to the bottom. Remove the lid and shake out the quantity you need. Quickly replace the lid.
Do you sell culture medium and supplies?
No. We feel that it is easier for our customers to use our started cultures rather than attempt to start their own. (See next question)
A friend tried to culture their own wingless fruitflies and ended up with the flying kind. What went wrong?
Precisely the reason that we don’t sell culture supplies. Unless one is extremely careful, wild “common” fruitflies can contaminate the stock, producing all flying fruitflies. The only remedy is to dispose of everything and start over.
What is the difference between Canadian Nightcrawlers and your Nightcrawlers?
Canadian Nightcrawlers are earth-dwelling worms which require low temperatures. European are composting worms. They live and breed in the decaying matter such as leaves which accumulate on the top of the soil. Additionally, they are far more temperature tolerant.
I’d like to have a constant supply of earthworms to use as fish bait (herp food). Can I raise them myself?
Yes. Earthworms are extremely easy to keep and raise. Refer to the sections Care and Feeding of Earthworms andThere’s Pleasure and Profit in Raising Earthworms. There you will find basic information on their care and breeding. Additional information can be obtained from our Books and Videos.
I have salamanders and all earthworms that I have seen advertised are too large for me to feed them. What can I do?
We have numerous customers who feed Red Wigglers to their salamanders. The ones of smaller size seem to work well.
Can’t I just go out in my backyard and dig earthworms to feed to my turtles?
Well, maybe you can…however, if you or your neighbors use pesticides or “Weed and Feed”, the chemicals they contain can possibly teach you a very expensive lesson. In addition, you will be able to find native earthworms somewhat easily in the spring and fall, but during the heat of the summer they will be difficult to find and the cold of the winter, native earthworms are completely unavailable. Unless you are completely certain that no chemicals are used by you or your surrounding neighbors, it’s far better to err on the side of caution and buy earthworms that are domestically raised – and available 12 months a year.
Why can’t I just go to my local bait store and buy some Canadian Nightcrawlers and raise them?
Canadian or Northern Nightcrawlers are soil dwellers. They live in burrows in soil and, unlike the composting worms, are not prolific breeders. Those available are collected from the wild, further depleting the environment. Additionally, they must be maintained in quite cool conditions.
I mainly fish for crappies and Canadian Nightcrawlers that my bait store sells are too large. Do you have a smaller worm that I can use?
Yes. Fishermen for decades have successfully used Red Wigglers with excellent results. Fish seem particularly attracted to their scent and action on the hook.
What do domestic earthworms eat?
All earthworms eat decaying organic matter such as leaves, grass, and other “green waste”. Our farm-raised earthworms are fed high-protein chicken laying mash as explained in Earthworm Care and Feeding. You may also consider feeding ground kitchen waste. See Vermicomposting for additional information regarding this feeding method.
There are bugs in my earthworm bin. What should I do?
Earthworms live in a moist environment, which might attract other insect creatures. See Common Earthworm Pests to see if your freeloaders might be harmful and what to do about them .
Can the feeder roaches you sell infest my home if they escape?
No! Absolutely not! The roaches we sell are all tropical species that need lots of heat to survive, much less breed. The buildings we all live in are simply too cold for them and they quickly die.
Do roaches fly?
None of the species we sell can fly. Orange Headed Roaches, Discoid Roaches and Lobster Roaches have wings but can not fly. Hissing Roaches do not have wings. With both the Orange Spotted and Turkistan Roaches, only the males have wings and they can’t fly either.
Do feeder roaches bite?
No, roaches do not bite and can not harm you.
Can roaches climb glass or plastic?
Some species of roaches can climb right up glass or plastic and others can not. Orange Headed Roaches, Discoid Roaches, Orange Spotted Roches and Turkistan Roaches are non-climbers. Hissing Roaches and Lobster Roaches will climb but can easily be contained by smearing a two inch strip along the top of the tank with Vaseline or olive oil.
Do roaches lay eggs or are they live bearers?
Most of the roaches we sell, Lobster Roaches, Hissing Roaches, Discoid Roaches, Orange Spotted and Orange Headed Roaches, carry their egg cases inside and give live birth. Turkistan Roaches are egg layers. They deposit their egg cases which then later hatch.
What size are the baby roaches?
Nymphs start out about 1/8 of an inch or so depending on the species.
Why switch from crickets to roaches as feeders?
Many reasons. Unlike crickets, feeder roaches are easily to raise, make no noise and do not smell. They have a higher meat to shell ratio than crickets and are eagerly consumed by even the most picky eaters. Once you get your own feeder roach colony established, you never run out of food for your animals. Plus the young roaches are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate all your animals, from the smallest to the largest.