Monday, March 14, 2011

Raising Mealworms

This is a very fun topic and I can tell you anyone can raise mealworms.  I can't even grow anything in a garden, but I can raise mealworms!

There are many great sites on the how and why of mealworm raising, but I wanted to let you know what we do at the Kingdom Arrow's house.  This is actually my second time of raising them, last year they were growing and multiplying like crazy, but my daughter became ill and I had to cut everything extra out, so I threw them out even after the mealworms had become beetles. 

The way this little project works is, you buy mealworms at a bird store, pet store or gardening shop, and put them in a large plastic box with holes drilled in the lid.  I usually fill it up halfway with uncooked oats.  You can add other goodies like chick feed or wheat germ or other things.  Then, once a week, I add a banana peel to give them some moisture.  Once the banana peel turns black and shrivels, I throw it out and get a new one.

Now, I like to store them under the bed.  They like dark and warm places.  This, however, seems to cause my husband great consternation.

Last year I forgot to tell him they were there and when he went to get out the wrapping paper, he had quite a shock.  He made me promise to always forewarn him in the future!

What the little guys do at this point is molt and grow and eat.  After a few months they will molt into little black beetles, which is when they lay their little eggs.  After a few weeks, the beetles will die, and you just fish them out.  Be sure NOT TO THROW OUT your oats, since the eggs are in there. 

Don't start feeding the birds from your stock for at least 3 months, otherwise you will be using up your main reproducing army.  After about 4-6 months, you will need to throw out your oat mixture and wash out your box.  They do produce a stinking ammonia waste, but just transfer the guys to a clean home and keep going.

Now, I am sure you are asking, Why do I want to grow mealworms (at least my husband always does)?  For the BLUEBIRDS.  They love meal worms.  Soon, (meaning I am waiting on my husband to build), I plan to do a post on my new ground feeders in which I can lay the yummy worms on for the bluebirds.  Speaking of bluebirds, ours have not nested yet.  What are the bluebirds doing where you live?



  1. Thank you for the laugh for this morning. Tension was building in my neck as I looked at the day's schedule. Laughter is such good medicine, and Dan is such a trooper!
    Bluebirds are here year-round. We must be far enough south for their winter preference. One of the neighborhoods where I tutor is just full of them. We don't get them near our house, though. I think it's bc there aren't any nesting boxes in our area. Maybe that's our next project.

  2. The bluebird is our state bird, and yet I've only seen one in our yard. I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle mealworms though. : )


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