Common Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor)



“Common mealworms” (Tenebrio molitor) are probably the most widely raised feeder insect available. Mealworms are extremely easy to keep. Just store them in your refrigerator at 45-50 degrees F. and they go into a dormant state and will last for months.


Mealworms make an excellent live food source for small mammals, reptiles and birds as well as a live bait for panfish. More and more people who feed wild birds, especially Bluebirds, are feeding live mealworms.


Shown Larger Than Actual Size


Mealworms Come in Sizes!
Common mealworms can be ordered in small (approx. = inch), medium (approx. > inch) and large (approx. 1 inch) sizes. We also have giant mealworms if you are looking for something bigger than our large sized mealworms.


Giant mealworms are merely common mealworms that have been treated with an insect growth hormone to discourage them from morphing into beetles, thus they grow significantly larger.


We also offer mini mealworms in addition to our small, medium and large mealworms. Mini mealworms are smaller than < inch and about the size of a grain of rice. Mini mealworms are just young mealworms harvested at a smaller size than the large common mealworms. Mini mealworms are an excellent live food for birds, turtles, reptiles, toads, frogs, spiderlings and aquarium fish. In addition, mini mealworms are particularly suitable for feeding nestling birds and young birds just learning to feed themselves. Mini mealworms are a particularly popular live food source for Australian Grass Finches and other small finches. See Mini Mealworms.


Mealworms are easy to store and easy to feed. You can even raise your own mealworms by following our instructions near the bottom of this page.






*Mealworm prices include shipping!


Large Mealworms are back in stock!


Need Giant Mealworms? We Now Carry
Giant Mealworms.


How to Care for Your Mealworms


If you plan to use all of your mealworms within a couple of weeks, you can either store them in the refrigerator or in a cool part of your home. If you plan to refrigerate mealworms, we suggest that you do so in a container with no substrate for ease of collecting them for feeding. You should take them out of the refrigerator at least once a week and allow the mealworms to get warm and feed them as noted below.


If you plan to keep your mealworms unrefrigerated, they should be kept in a bedding material. We use wheat bran which is available in our Supplies Section. If you dont want to use it, you can use uncooked oatmeal (the “old fashioned” kind, not instant). For moisture, provide the mealworms with a small amount of apple, carrot, melon, etc. Remember, that with this, more definitely is not better! A quarter of an apple or an equivalent is sufficient for 1,000 mealworms. We never use lids on our mealworm bins as they can not climb the plastic and need the air circulation that an uncovered container allows.






Growing Your Own Mealworms




Want to try growing your own mealworms? It’s not difficult to do, just follow our simple instructions.


Mealworms are not really any type of worm at all but rather the larva form of the adult beetle. They are insects. The mealworms (actually larva) will grow, then turn into pupa and finially emerge as beetles.


Mealworm beetles start off a light ivory color but soon turn dark brown, almost black. They lay multiple clutches of eggs that are too small to really see. The beetles can fly but given food and moisture, very rarely do. We never use screens or lids on our growing bins.


A good number of mealworms to start your own project is 1,000. For that amount, use a Rubbermaid or Sterilite storage box approximately 10″ X 17″ X 6″. Put in about 1 =-2 inches of wheat bran or oatmeal substrate as mentioned above. We feel that the wheat bran is better, but the oatmeal will do. Remember, no lids!


Cut 2-3 sheets of newspaper to cover approximately 2/3 of the surface area of the container, leaving space between the edges of it and the container sides. Mealworms will often crawl between the sheets of paper. Spray the paper (only) once or twice a day using care not to soak the paper and/or moisten the bedding. Keep the container warm (the warmer, the faster you will produce beetles and then worms) and soon your mealworms will begin the morphosis process to pupae and then beetles. Replenish the substrate as it is eaten and add veggies as explained above for moisture. Soon you will be harvesting your own mealworms!



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Attract more birds to your backyard. Our meal worms make excellent Live Bird Food!


View Our Mini Mealworm Page.


View Our Alternate Mealworm Page.




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New York Worms, Long Island, New York