Live Mealworms Care Sheet


Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) are the larvae of mealworm beetles. They have four stages of life: egg, larvae, pupa and adult beetle. Mealworms eat and grow until they have stored sufficient energy to transform into a pupa ….. and then into a beetle.

PetWave Premium Quality Mealworms can be added to the diet of many animals to help provide variety in a balanced and naturally nutritious diet. As active movers, live mealworms are also perfect for animals who are stimulated by the movement of live food in order to eat. They are a clean and easily handled food.

Mealworms are high in protein and fat so are good for treats and building up young, sick, injured or gravid animals. Like any treat, mealworms should not be regarded as a stable food and always offered as part of a varied and well-balanced diet.

Mealworms contain: 59% Moisture, 10% Protein, 13% Fat, 330mg/kg Calcium and 1650mg/kg Phosphorus. No feeders supplied by PetWave are fed hormones.

Mealworms are suitable for feeding to the following pets:

  • Lizards
  • Frogs & Turtles
  • Predatory Fish
  • Insect eating birds
  • Chickens
  • Rats & Mice
  • Spiders
  • Wildlife

Some delicate pet species can find mealworms hard to digest, due their hard exoskeleton.

Both the larva and the beetles are edible.

Feeding Mealworms to Your Pet: Feed the Mealworms at a rate that allows your pet to eat them immediately.

Type of Animal


Suggested No of Mealworms per Meal

Small birds, small lizards, fish, mice, small mammals & frogs

Blue Wrens, Gouldian Finches, Geckos, Green Tree Frog, Large Cichlid, Barramundi, Oscars, Sugar Gliders, etc.


Medium birds, medium lizards, large fish & rats

Butcherbirds, Bearded Dragons, Large Turtles, etc.


Large Birds

Chickens, Kookaburras, Magpies, etc.


Remove the desired number of mealworms from the fridge and store in a darkened position at room temperature for about a day before feeding so that the mealworms become active.

Gutloading is the simple process of feeding your Mealworms high quality nutritious foods containing healthy minerals and vitamins supplements, so that the nutrition is passed to your pet. Feed the Gutload to the Mealworms up to 24 hours before by putting them in a dedicated container with food covered with Gutload and calcium powder on your Mealworms immediately before you feed them to your pet. Organic Gutload and Calcium Powder can be purchased online from PetWave.

Feeding Your Mealworms: Mealworms are veracious feeders and will eat any fresh or rotting fruit, vegetables, grains or grain products. Thoroughly washed fresh fruit and vegetables such as carrot, potato, pumpkin, apple, etc are ideal to meet both their food and water requirements. When outside the refrigerator, always ensure that there is sufficient food for the Mealworms, otherwise they might resort to cannibalism.

Housing Your Mealworms: Live Mealworms can be stored in the refrigerator for months. Their storage container should have a bed of dry bran or oatmeal which serves as both a food and a substrate for the mealworms to burrow in. The cool temperatures slow the mealworm’s appetites which keeps them in the larva stage for longer. The warmer the temperatures, the more your mealworms will eat and the faster they will grow.

If you want to keep your mealworms for a longer period of time, remove them from the refrigerator every week or two for 24 hours & allow them to warm up and eat. Give them a small amount of food (such as carrot or apple) and top up their bran. Remove any uneaten food when you return them to the refrigerator.

Toxic fumes can be very dangerous to your Mealworms including insecticides, cleaning products, dog shampoos, flea products, car fumes, smoke, etc.

Mealworm Sizes:                     

  • Baby Mealworms
  • Extra Small Mealworms
  • Small Mealworms
  • Medium Mealworms
  • Large Mealworms


Handy tubs & bulk supplies available in most sizes.

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