WHAT NOW? that your ‘PEACE’ SILKWORM eggs have arrived —
Your silkworm eggs are in the canister. There are about 200, or a few more. Please open the canister right away, and empty the eggs out into a small dish or plate. I like to use a wooden salad bowl, as wood is self-cleaning and also absorbs moisture.
Approximately two weeks after they were taken from cold storage, and packed for you, they will hatch. It may take longer if they’ve stayed in a cool environment. A few days before they hatch they lighten slightly.
It is a good idea to put a small, new mulberry leaf on top of the eggs when it is close to hatching day. The tiny new silkworms will crawl onto the leaf and will be easier to see. If there is no leaf they will wander off looking for one. The leaf trick will work even if it dries out.
As soon as you see the tiny, about 1/8-inch-long babies, add a fresh small new leaf. As the caterpillars eat lacy holes in the leaves, add new ones. Always feed baby silkworms with the finest, softest new fresh leaves.
When all the eggs have hatched, they will leave the white casings under the small mound of leaves. Move the silkworms into clean quarters by lifting the mass of leaves. Do not try to handle the silkworms directly until they are at least two weeks old, and an inch long.
Keep feeding the finest leaves that you have, until the worms are at least an inch long and can chew on larger leaves. In the final stage, when the caterpillar grows from a bit over 1” to almost 4” or more in 10 days, they can eat the big mature leaves. They will eat their most in this last phase; it is an abundance of these leaves that will produce the most silk.
Cardboard trays or boxes are fine raising areas. If an aquarium is used, be sure it is well ventilated and put paper towels on the bottom to absorb moisture. Change boxes or paper every few days. Do not allow mold to develop in the litter. Litter is excellent fertilizer, especially good for potted plants.
Do not allow direct sun on the eggs or worms at any time. Do not allow them to get too cold, either. Every week or so they stop eating for a day and change skins. Be sure to not disturb them at this time. But once they are big, 2” or more, they can be handled gently, and they like crawling around on your hands.
Add small branches or egg cartons for spinning supports once they are ready to spin, at about 4”. Three days after the last has begun to spin, the cocoons can be collected, cleaned and lain in fresh clean trays to await the emergence of the moths.
If you have any other questions, give us a call or send us an email. Enjoy!