Caring for your mealworms

Maintaining a mealworm colony is simple – try it as a pet, for a school project or just for fun!

Food & water

Mealworms have very simple tastes in food. The best part is, their food doubles as their bedding. Simply line the mealworms’ home with any dry grain or cereal, like rolled oats or bran. Make sure the surface of the bedding is at least 4 cm from the lip of the container. Like any living thing, mealworms need something to drink. A little dish of water won’t do it, though – mealworms need to get their water from something solid, like a vegetable. Put slices of carrot, celery, potato or green pepper (or any other fruit or vegetable) on top of their bedding. Choose a vegetable that won’t go mouldy too quickly, and exchange the old pieces for fresh slices every 5-7 days. Vegetable scraps work well – try using the ends of celery or carrots that would have been discarded.


House your mealworms in a container at least 8 cm deep and made of a smooth material; glass, plastic or metal work well. Mealworms can climb cardboard and fabric and so will escape from containers made from anything they can grip. The beetles can’t fly, so the containers don’t need lids. If you decide to use a lid to avoid spilling, be sure to provide air holes!

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