How to Raise Mealworms
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How to Raise Mealworms

A quick, easy article on raising mealworms.

Mealworms are usually the primary food source for pet reptiles, caged birds, and fish. Raising mealworms is an easy process that can be done at home with a few items. Follow these easy steps to maintain a continuous flow of mealworm production.

1. First, you'll need two containers. Sizes may vary depending upon how many mealworms you plan to breed, but deep containers with smooth sides work best. The smooth walls will keep them from climbing out. A firm lid should be used to keep curious pets or small children from interrupting the process.

2. Be sure to puncture holes or leave small holes in the top of the containers, but also be wary that the holes shouldn't be too large. Smaller holes ensure that the humidity levels in the containers are high, which is a more suitable environment for the mealworms, and helps them grow faster.

3. Next you'll need to fill about 2 inches of the containers with grains. Finely chopped oatmeal, bran, cereal, or flour. Any combination of these would work as well.

4. Now add the mealworms to the first container. You may add up to 100 mealworms to the container. Add small amounts of fruit like apple slices or potato slices to keep the humidity levels high and to provide nutrients for the mealworms.

5. After a few weeks, the worms will grow and mature into black beetles and these beetles should be transferred to the second container of grains. These beetles will feed on the grains and breed with each other, and after a week or so they will leave behind lots of mealworm eggs. You could either feed these beetles to your pet lizard or they can be released outside.

6. Now you would need to clean out the first container and prepare it with new food for the new eggs. Be sure to clean the cereal/bran mixture before it gets moldy and/or smelly. The newly laid eggs will mature to the size of typical feeder mealworms and can be fed to pets after about 3 months.


-Mealworm larvae grow faster at higher temperatures, hence the high humidity levels recommended. Refrigerating larvae will hinder their growth, keeping them as larvae for longer periods.

-The vast amount of moisture will cause the fruit slices or leftover food to mold, so keep a close eye on it.

-The beetles can fly, so be sure to keep a lid on the containers when the beetles have grown.

-Mealworms are a great protein source for animals you may be raising. Pets such as birds, fish, reptiles or farm animals like chickens.

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