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Bean Beetle Culture and Care

Looking for a different feeder insect to spice up your herp's diet? If your pet reptiles or amphibians love smaller foods, consider bean beetles. Bean beetles, known scientifically as Callosobruchus maculatus and sometimes called bean weevils or cowpea weevils, make a great treat for poison dart frogs, smaller geckos, small chameleons, and any other critters that are a fan of microfeeders.

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What are bean beetles?Bean beetles are a type of weevil, and are agricultural pests native to Asia and Africa. Bean beetles are obligate legume eaters - they only prey on beans. Bean beetles are considered a crop pest in the United States, and are regulated by the USDA. Josh's Frogs has the proper permits in place to ship bean beetles to most states. We cannot ship bean beetles to Utah and Hawaii.

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How should I care for and culture bean beetles?Bean beetles are easy to culture and care for. Simply provide some black eyed peas for the adult beetles (which do not need food or drink) to lay eggs on, keep the culture at 75-85F, and wait! Within 4-8 weeks you'll have plenty of bean beetles to feed from. Initially, bean beetles will be reluctant to fly. After the culture has many eggs and larvae present, the next generation of bean beetles will fly/glide around the culture - feed out of the culture then, as that means the culture is full and it's time to feed out the adult bean beetles, and use the eggs/larvae present in the beans to make a new culture. Bean Beetle Culture Life CycleWe add 6oz of new beans to 2oz of beans with eggs/larvae, as well as ~25 bean beetles to every bean beetle culture made at Josh's Frogs. This way, the culture already has a jump start on it's cycle, and should boom longer than using typical culturing methods. After mating, the female bean beetle will lay eggs singly on the surface of a black eyed pea. That egg will hatch, and the larvae will burrow into the bean, where it will dine and grow until pupating into the adult beetle. Adult beetles only live 1-2 weeks, and do not feed. This entire life cycle can take up to 7 weeks at room temperature, but temperatures in the mid 80s F will speed it up to 3-4 weeks. After a culture has boomed 2 times, it's time to make new cultures. Split the old beans and some beetles into new cultures. If your aim is to have a constant supply of bean beetles, you'll want to stagger your cultures and make new ones every 1-2 weeks.

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How do I collect Bean Beetles from a culture?

There are several different ways to harvest bean beetles from the culture, but all involve 2 basic strategies - removing the surface area from the culture (generally paper, paper towel, a cardboard tube, or a coffee filter) and shaking the beetles off, or sifting the beans using a colander. Either method works, but I prefer to remove the surface area and shake the beetles into a waiting container. You won't remove as many beetles as when using a colander, but more beetles will be left to breed in the culture.

How do I Dispose of an old Bean Beetle Culture?As bean beetles are a crop pest, it's important to dispose of all old beetles and beans with care. Place the materials in a sealed plastic bag, then freeze them for at least 72 hours. This will kill any eggs, larvae, and beetles present. Where do I get bean beetles?From Josh's Frogs, of course! Click Here and get some shipped right to your door! Your pets will love them, and bean beetles really are simple to keep and easy to culture.