Mealworms are not worms; instead, they are the “toddler” versions of the elder black beetle and are attracted to the materials that are muggy, demolished, and fust. They are found in a cylindrical shape with dark yellow and brown lines all around their body. These insects are packed with six tiny legs and two tiny antennae. There is an enormous range of these pests up to 350,000 all over the world. They also have a blessing of “exoskeleton,” which means their body is hard enough to assist them in burrowing. These special insects are found in oatmeal, flour, pet food, mill food, cereals, and other dry goods stored in the Spence.
Mealworms are considered as a core part of the ecosystem. Their prodigious eating habits lead to the end of unwanted organic matter. These pests are also a valuable food source for various animals like lizards, birds, reptiles, rodents, spiders, and many others. These insects love to live in warm, damp, and dark places and are found worldwide. They vary in size such as mini mealworms are ¼”, small mealworms are ¼”-½,” medium mealworms are ½”-¾,” and large mealworms are ¾” -1″ in size.
We’ve compiled all the relevant details regarding the food, habitat, facts, and life cycle of mealworms during this article. Therefore, proceed reading further for the clarity of the objective.
What do mealworms eat?
Mealworms love to eat rotten matter and remain in search of deceased animals or plants. These pests also eat fruits and vegetables that contain water, which keeps them hydrated. Sadly, these pests are considered a yummy source for various animals, including some humans. Reptiles, lizards, birds, spiders, rodents, and other beetles are its major prey. In some cultures, mealworms are a snack meal too. These pests are filled with proteins and nutrients, so many people love to eat them.
Where do mealworms live?
Mealworms are the special insects immersed in muggy stuff and find pleasure in warm places where plenty of stored grains can be found. The actual habitat for mealworms is cabinet, pantry, barns, cellars, basement, and garden.
5 Mealworms Facts:
- Mealworms are not Worms:
The first thing you should be aware of is that mealworms are not worms. They resemble worms, but they’re the crawling beetles also considered the larvae of “Darkling Beetles.” They’re well known from their name of “Darkling Beetles” because their color varies from white to brown and black as they grow up. These cute little bugs crawl here and there in search of muggy stuff. Once they find their desired place, they remain there for a long time.
- Mealworms have legs and Exoskeleton:
Mealworms are tiny creatures that have legs and are packed with “Exoskeleton.” It means they’ve got a hard body that assists them in burrowing. The term “exoskeleton” refers to the skeleton wrapped around the body, not inside the body, which worms do not have. These pests have six short legs that are not so visible, whereas worms have no legs!!. When a mealworm turns to an adult stage, their legs assist them in fast running. Therefore, we can say that darkling beetles are fast runners too.
- Mealworms love darkness:
Mealworms are scientifically known as “Tenebrio Molitor’s” who love to live in darkness. Here the wordTenebrio refers to the darkness. These insects start their life from a tiny whitish egg similar to the grain of rice. Adult mealworms keep an eye on the preferable place so that she can lay eggs. Once the eggs are laid, mini mealworms hatch from it and are immersed in their meal.
- Mealworms eggs hatch rapidly in damper environment:
According to the research, it is seen that mealworms eggs hatch rapidly in a damper environment than in a normal environment. These pests are very sensitive to humidity and temperature. The optimum conditions for temperature and humidity for these pests are 25C and 50-60%, respectively.
- A mealworm pupa has no mouth:
Another fact about these creatures is that their pupa is without a mouth. It means the eating period for these insects is only until the larval phase. After the larva stage, the pupa keeps on working hard with its transformation. It remains busy in creating the weaker body parts to stronger body parts.
Mealworms life cycle:
A Mealworm’s life cycle is a bunch of four stages. First comes the egg stage, where adult mealworms lay hundreds of tiny white eggs similar to the rice grains. Second is the larva stage that lasts for 8 to 10 weeks, where mealworms stuck to their food just after hatching. The third is the Pupa stage, where mealworms do not eat; rather, they remain busy with their transformation. Last comes the adult stage where little mealworm finally turns to a darkling beetle.