The Mealworm Diet – What Do Mealworms Eat?

Last Updated on April 27, 2022 by Jeffery Jago

There are several reasons someone might want to breed mealworms, But the most common one is for pet food. Lizards, Birds, Fish, chickens, etc love mealworms. They make a great protein-rich snack for your pets and are super easy to farm at home. But what do mealworms eat? Well if you’re looking to start farming them at home for your own use, You best find out below!

What do mealworms eat?

TL;DR for article skimmers:

The most common things mealworms eat are a mix of grains, cornmeal, and oatmeal. They are also able to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fungi. People have been known to also feed their mealworms cat and dog foods, and bird food. Their diet should be high in calcium and proteins.

Mealworms are simple creatures and are very easy to maintain and raise at home. They eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods. As a cheap food source, mealworms flourish on grains, cornmeal, oatmeal, and other such grains ground up into a powder.

It’s not uncommon to see breeders feeding old stale cat or dog food and even chicken and bird feed. They are also partial to fruits, vegetables, and flour.

Overall mealworms are considered vegetarians, but on occasion have been known to turn cannibalistic if their environment is not optimal.

So, to recap:

What other foods can mealworms eat?

  • Cat food
  • Dog food
  • Cornmeal
  • Oatmeal
  • Other various ground-up grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Chicken feed (Without diatomaceous earth)
  • Bird Food
  • Flour
  • Each other (on occasion in a bad environment)
  • Fungi

What are mealworms?

Mealworms are not actually worms, Even though that is what we call them. They are actually a form of larvae from the common mealworm beetle, Aka the flour beetle. A mealworm’s life cycle goes egg>Larvae>pupae>adult beetle.

Mealworms do not bite and are not even capable of biting a human. They prefer a temperature of 26-29f and a 70% humidity level.

What do mealworms eat in the wild?

Mealworms eat much the same in captivity as they do in the wild. Mealworms are not an invasive species and are found in every part of the globe. So their diet is as varied as they are. They will often be found eating decomposing plant matter and fungi.

How often should you feed mealworms?

You should feed mealworms as often as it takes for them to consume everything they’ve been given. Mealworms need a softer wetter food but if you leave it in there too long because you gave them too much, It will start to rot and create too many liquids for the mealworms to survive. It could also poison the soil depending on where and what you’ve been deeding them.

Feeding mealworms for human consumption

Mealworms bred for human consumption need a special diet so they remain safe for humans to eat. These include fresh fruits and vegetables, and oats. You must avoid meats, animal by-products, and any manure from carnivorous animals.

Why would someone want to eat a mealworm? Good question, here’s the average nutritional value of around 100g of dried mealworms:

500kcal37.2 grams9 grams17.3 grams10.9 grams5.5 grams6.5 grams45.1 grams45.2mg
Nutritional information per 100g