Mealworms are the first stages of developing of the larval stage of mealworm beetle. These voracious eaters feed on grain, leaves and decaying food. Mealworms are high in protein and fat which makes them especially useful as a food source for wild birds, feeding there youngsters. They are also used to feed spider, reptiles and birds and other captive pets.

mealworms and mealworm beetle or Tenebrio molitor.
The young mealworm beetle is orange or gold colored, the mature mealworm beetle is black. A pupae can also be seen.
From: "Mitteleuropaische Insekten" by Claus Caspari.

how to store and feed mealworms

Mealworms are easy to maintain. They can be kept in a refrigerator for more then three months. Feed them weekly with leaves or grains. Since they are hardy and nutritious they make an excellent food for pets. Mealworms don't smell, and are easy to raise.

how to raise mealworms

A female darkling beetle can lay five hundred of eggs. They will hatch between one and three weeks. The young mealworms feed on grains( bran, oatmeal, cornmeal), but also on dry dog food. Water can be given in the form of carrots and potatoes or fruits.

commercial mealworms

Commercial mealworms are given an growth-hormone inhibator, preventing the development of the larval stage.

mealworm as fish bait

Mealworms are also used as a live bait to catch fish. You can use mealworms as an alternaive for European nightcrawler or Eisenia hortensis and also for living crickets

mealworm as a food

Mealworms are a cheap protein-rich food. If they are dry roasted they can be stored for a year. .

mealworm as an alternative for flesh.

Meealworms are a cheap way to produce protein: It take about twice the amount of land to produce a kilogram of milk protein, three times of chicken protein and ten times for pork meat.

the mealworm beetle

This black beetle feeds on the decaying wood and plants. The female produces five hundred white eggs. These beetles belong to the large darkling beetle family. They only live for three months.