Mealworms for Mealworms Food Preference Investigation
What to expect
Mealworms are a perishable product and they are sensitive to high and low temperatures. For the best chance of receiving your mealworms in good condition, read through this information page to be fully informed.
Mealworms are not individually counted for each order, packs are based on weight. Each package contains approximately 100 mealworms. When it is time to ship, they are packaged in a breathable mesh cloth bag along with some newspaper that will keep them separated in transit. The mesh cloth bag is tied closed and then put inside a regular shipping box.
Prepare for Delivery of Live Mealworms:
Mealworms must ship to a location where they can be received upon delivery. It is highly likely that mealworms will perish due to harsh temperatures if they are left outside or delivered to a street mailbox. These are live animals that have to be cared for properly. It is your responsibility to make arrangements for the prompt receipt of the package.
Have a storage container prepared for the mealworms before delivery, where they will live for the next 6-10 weeks. Their storage container should be a large, shallow, smooth-sided container that is about the size of a shoe box or larger. Mealworms thrive in a large container because providing more space will help dissipate heat and prevent overheating, which improves the survival rate. Too many mealworms, stored in too small of a container, will cause the worms to suffocate, get crushed, or simply overheat and die. It is recommended to use a plastic or glass container, rather than wood or cardboard because mealworms can climb up or chew through wood. A clear container is best because it will let you see how much frass (waste) has accumulated.
It is recommended to keep a tight-fitting, removable lid on the container to prevent infestation of mice, rats, cockroaches, spiders, or moths. The lid must be ventilated to prevent mold growth. If condensation forms on the inside of the lid, you need more holes.
Next, add bedding to the container. Add about 2 - 3" inches of a substrate with the word "meal" in it (cornmeal, oatmeal, bran meal). The substrate should be ground to a fine powder to make it easier to pick out the mealworms when you need to move them. The meal is bedding that separates the mealworms but also acts as food. Therefore, you will need to replace it every once in a while after it gets eaten.
Delivery of Live Mealworms:
Upon delivery, remove mealworms from the cloth bag and transfer to a storage container. Shake off the mealworms from the newspapers, into the storage container, then discard the newspapers. As long as the mealworms are >1" below the top of the container, they can't get out.
If the mealworms don’t have enough to eat or drink, then they can easily die in their container. Before putting the container in the refrigerator (explained below), add about ½ cup of fresh vegetables to the container. Cut raw potatoes and raw carrots into 1" x 3” pieces and spread them throughout the container for the mealworms. The mealworms may pull the food under the bedding to eat it, which is completely normal. Some moisture is necessary for the mealworms to drink. Do not add a dish of regular water, the mealworms can drown. Let the mealworms sit in their container with their food and water, at room temperature for 24 hours. This will give them adequate nutrition and hydration to stay healthy while dormant.
After 24 hours, remove any leftover vegetables to prevent mold growth. Then, place the container in the refrigerator for long-term storage.