Mealworm Care Sheet

Mealworms are a great treat for a wide range of animals, however ideally shouldn't be used as a staple feeder


Caring for Mealworms is almost identical to Superworms. So, if you have already
read that care sheet, I’ll save you the trouble of reading this one.

The only main difference is that Mealworms will pupate without needing to be isolated. Due to this, it’s
important to keep them well fed and check every day for new pupae, as hungry
worms will eat pupae. Because of their pupation method, they can also be colony bred. Details on this can be found within the ‘Breeding’ section.

For those who haven’t read the Superworm care sheet, below is the information you

Feeding to your pet

It is vital not to over feed Mealworms, as their high fat content can easily lead to a fatty liver. Their hard exoskeleton can also be harder for some animals (especially younger animals) to digest. Mealworms have also proven to be ‘addictive’, and feeding them to younger reptiles can turn them into very picky eaters.
All these factors above are important to consider when thinking of feeding Mealworms to your pet. Certain poultry such as Chickens, Quails, and other birds, can often benefit from the extra fat and fibre provided by Mealworms. Whereas if you’re wanting to feed them to a reptile, there are many better, healthier options to feed (Crickets, Woodies, Superworms etc…), which make them almost not worth feeding.
It’s important to do your own research to discover whether Mealworms are okay to feed your pet. But in all circumstances, they should only be fed as an occasional treat, not a staple.


Unlike Superworms, Mealworms can last in a refrigerated environment. Because of this, you have the ability to store them inside the fridge to slow their growth and development (prolong their shelf life). Although this can often make them harder to gut load so sometimes isn’t the best option.
Mealworms have been known to eat through almost anything, so they are best kept in a sturdy plastic container. Drill holes in the lid, or cut out large sections and replace with fine mesh, to allow for adequate airflow and to avoid too much humidity. Wheat Bran, Oat Bran and plain oats are all great substrates to keep Mealworms in. It’s best to give them a substrate layer which is a few cm deep so they have plenty of food and room to burrow.


Food wise, carrot and potato are great options because they don’t tend to attract ants or fruit flies, although Mealworms will eat almost any vegetable scrap. Once the food source dries out, replace it with a fresh one to ensure your feeders are getting plenty of moisture from their food. Remember, if you keep your feeders well fed, the animal you’re feeding them to will get the most out of its meal.


Method 1

Breeding Mealworms can be done very similarly to Superworms.
Draws are perfect containers because they’re easy to pull out and access, rather than having to mess around with tubs. You can buy a set of 4 plastic draws from office works for approximately $24. I prefer to use Bran as a substrate because it’s easier to sift the worms out of. If you have them on hand, place two or more clean egg cartons in the Mealworm and beetle draws to provide them with more surface area. You’ll want your chosen substrate to be a good few cm deep so the worms can feel safe.
Unlike Superworms, it’s not necessary to separate and isolate your Mealworms in order for them to pupate. Instead, they will naturally pupate once they are ready within the tub. It’s vital to keep your worms well fed and collect the pupae each day to avoid any cannibalism.
Once the beetles hatch, place them in a fresh draw with a substrate layer 1- 2cm thick. Ideally feed them carrots and/or potatoes (although find what food source best suits you). After 2 weeks, move the beetles to a new draw and leave the old one. Within a month or so you should see your baby Mealworms, care for them the same as the adults. I generally combine two egg trays to increase the substrate depth in the worm draws and save space. Just repeat this process every 2 weeks.

Method 2

Because Mealworms can pupate without the need for isolation, it is possible to colony breed them. This can often suit people who don’t have much space or would like a more ‘low maintenance’ setup.
The tub setup is identical to the previous draw method. However, instead of removing the pupae, you simply leave them in the tub. You will occasionally loose some pupae to cannibalism doing this, but if you keep your worms well fed it won’t be too much of an issue.
When the beetles hatch, just leave them in with your worms and make sure they have some structure (egg cartons) to climb on. The cycle will continue and you will eventually have beetles, pupae, and worms of all sizes in the same tub. Although, because of this a larger tub may be needed then the previous method.

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