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Delaying pupation to increase mealworm size

I raise tenebrio molitor. I have successfully raised them for years, but have not been able to achieve the large sizes I see from 'professional' producers. I sometimes purchase additional stock when expanding my colonies, and the worms I receive are 1.5" long and quite chubby - my worms never reach this size, they begin pupating and are only averaging 1".

How can I create an environment that will increase the number of instars so the worms get larger without pupating? I have been pouring through the forum and online, if I missed something I apologize.

My growing conditions: - 80 degrees F - humidity is 60% - wheat bran as a substrate, with potatoes and carrots for moisture fed every 2-3 days. - window present, so daily cycle of sunlight is present - Frass sifted at 2" deep

Planned tests to gauge impact on size - remove sunlight - feed potatoes/carrots at larger intervals, 3-5 days maybe - reduce humidity - place in cold temps for a week, then warm back up - leave frass, at least 2" thick

Any other thoughts or ideas? I appreciate any help!


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