Breeding and raising mealworms at home is a relatively easy process. They make excellent food for many animals including both caged and wild birds, chickens, turkeys, frogs, toads, lizards, mice, rats, bats, turtles, geckos, salamanders, newts and more. They are one of the best live baits that you can use for fishing.
Although a mealworm’s life cycle is very simple, breeding them is quite fascinating. Tiny eggs hatch into very small larvae, and after approximately 3 months, molt for the final time and hatch as pupae. And after another week or so, the pupae become beetles. The life cycle then begins again. Some animals eat only the larvae, some only the pupae and some eat only the beetles. Children especially enjoy watching them as they change into seemingly very different creatures.
Breeding mealworms successfully requires time and patience. It may take several weeks for your colony to become established. Care must be taken to separate them as well because larvae will eat the pupae and the beetles will eat the eggs and the pupae. By following the separation instructions that are included in your breeding kit, you should always have a good supply in each stage of life.
Mealworm breeding kits may be purchased online through reputable insect breeders. They usually include a couple hundred live mealworms, 1 or two breeding containers with lids, bedding, water gel crystals, dishes and forceps. The mealworms that come with the kit can provide 500-1,000 mealworms per month. If you find that your pets can’t possibly eat them all, you may consider selling them to pet stores or bait shops. Zoos are often on the lookout for breeders who have healthy mealworms for sale.