Many cultures have known the beetle larva ‘mealworm’ as a protein bomb for centuries, but now it’s up to us. Farming mealworms is a more sustainable alternative to keeping large farm animals. They require less space, emit less CO2 and require less nutrition per kg of animal protein produced. They could also eventually become a substitute for soy. However, they still require a specific habitat to grow fast and efficiently.
No high levels of CO2
Mealworms need oxygen to survive. When CO2 levels are too high, larval growth will also slow down. Insufficient fresh air may even cause the mealworms to suffocate due to the lack of oxygen. Therefore, it is recommended to provide adequate ventilation and install CO2 sensors in the grow room.
When humidity is too low, mealworm eggs dry out and the reproduction of the population decreases. With too much humidity, there is increased risk of fungi and mites. These fungi and mites can make the mealworms sick. A system to control humidity is therefore definitely necessary when farming mealworms.
Warm-blooded animals get their energy through food and warm themselves with it, cold-blooded animals depend on their ambient temperature. In order for a cold-blooded animal such as a mealworm to grow optimally, the temperature in the breeding room must remain between 25°C and 31°C. This means that heating and cooling will be required while farming mealworms.
An environment that is too cold causes a delay in the growth and development of mealworms, making the farming less efficient and profitable. Too high a temperature, on the other hand, causes overheating resulting in death. Especially at the time when the mealworms have grown larger, it is important to start cooling so that the 31°C is not exceeded.
An extra pair of eyes from a distance
Three important parameters to keep in mind when farming mealworms: CO2, humidity and temperature. It is almost impossible to check these parameters in person every minute. Remote monitoring is therefore a good solution to keep a live eye on what is going on in your grow room. Even more convenient is to receive alarm notifications when a maximum or minimum value is to be exceeded. In short: you must be able to monitor live and receive automated alarm notifications. For these cases Crodeon developed a plug & play system called Reporter.
The CO2 sensor measures all these three parameters simultaneously, live with data streaming to the cloud. This means that there are additional connectors left on your Reporter to connect other sensors, or to measure in multiple compartments simultaneously.
Live data monitoring and intervention
Through the Crodeon Dashboard you can monitor the CO2 levels, humidity and temperature in your grow room in real-time. In addition, all data is also collected and saved. This allows you to see how farming mealworms can be made even more efficient in the future.
With the relay control module you can remotely operate heating, cooling, ventilation or humidification by switching it on or off. You will then be able to monitor in real-time whether the maximum or minimum exceedance of your set values resolves itself.
Farming mealworms in the most modern way
Do you want to really optimize your mealworm farm, monitor it in real-time and manage it remotely? Then remote monitoring system Reporter is vital technology. Check out the complete range of sensors on our webshop or send us an e-mail if you have any questions.
- Inagro vzw
- Wageningen University & Research
- De Correspondent
- Oonincx DG, de Boer IJ. Environmental impact of the production of mealworms as a protein source for humans - a life cycle assessment.
- CO2 effects on larval development and genetics of mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) in two different CO2 systems