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FAQs about Mealworms

Updated: Aug 20, 2022



Live Mealworm
Live Mealworm

What are mealworms?


Mealworms are the larval stage of the Tenebrio Molitor or the mealworms beetle, which is a type of darkling beetle. Mealworms are a typical feeder for insectivorous and omnivorous reptiles, amphibians, and more. Mealworms closely resemble superworms, which is why people sometimes confuse the two, but nutrition-wise they are quite different.



Nutritional Information for Mealworms:

  • Moisture 61.9%

  • Protein 18.7%

  • Fat 13.4%

  • Ash 0.9%

  • Fiber 2.5%

  • Calcium 169mg/kg

  • Phosphorous 2950mg/kg


Are mealworms the same as super worms?


No. Mealworms are the larvae of the Tenebrio Molitor beetle, super worms are the larvae of the Zophobas Morio beetle. The two are commonly confused because of their similar appearance but are nutritionally quite different.


How long do mealworms last?


Mealworms can last up to 3-4 weeks as long as they are correctly kept. The better care you take of them, the longer they will last before they either die or begin to pupate.


How do I store mealworms?


Storing mealworms is easy, the same as you would keep superworms, all you need to do is to use a plastic tub of some kind and fill with a few inches of a substrate such as uncooked oats or wheat bran. Keep the mealworms in the container and throw in some salad items now and then. Butternut squash, sweet potato, acorn squash, and also leafy greens such as collard greens, dandelion greens, mustard greens. You can give them fruit, but be aware it will attract fruit flies. Keep them clean by removing any dead bugs and old food as soon as you can. As long as you keep them together, they shouldn't pupate, but if they do, then that's okay, you can feed them to your pet or keep them separate and watch them turn into a beetle. This can be a fun experiment to do with your kids!


How do I feed mealworms to my pet?


Feeding mealworms to your pet is easy, you can add them to a bowl and let your animal feed on them, or you can hand feed them. They don't easily escape from a dish as they don't have legs.


How do I gut-load my mealworms?


Gut-loading is the simple process; it's the same as feeding your mealworms as you would usually, but you use foods that would pass on more nutrition to your animals. There are commercial products that are available for you to do this, or you can simply use salad items you would usually use to feed to your pet safely.


Why are some of my mealworms white?


Mealworms, like superworms and other species, molt their skin. When they have freshly molted, they will look white; after a few hours, they will go back to their original color. Freshly molted mealworms are a delicacy for your reptile, they love the soft freshly molted ones and will often pick them out of a bowl first if given a choice between those and regular mealworms.

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