Live mealworms are worms that are still alive used to feed to various insectivorous pets, farm animals, and wild animals, including reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, small mammals, and some invertebrates.
You can buy them from your local pet stores, online stores, from nearby breeders, or farm them at home. Mealworms are easy to raise as they do not require a lot of resources to have them.
Advantages and benefits
- More appealing – Since they move, they are more attractive to most pets and animals. Furthermore, these pets will easily recognize them, making feeding much more manageable, especially to animals that eat live feeder insects.
- Can be gut-loaded – You can gut-load them so that they to pass most of their nutrients to your pets or farm animal, making them more nutritious.
- Have moisture – They are a source of moisture to your pets. On average, they have about 62% moisture, while freeze-dried or naturally dried mealworms do not have much.
- Affordable if bred – Raising them will cut down on the cost of having to buy them each time, or you can make a profit if you choose to sell them.
- They cost more – The cost of purchasing and shipping is higher. Furthermore, you will have to spend some money on keeping them alive. Also, refrigerating them will add up on the cost you will incur.
- Feeding hassle – If you are among the people who do not like live insects, maintaining and feeding them to your pets may be a daunting task.
How to feed mealworms
They can be hand-fed or with tongs (tweezers), feeding bowls or dishes, as well as using various mealworm feeders. The kind you choose will depend on the animal you are feeding.
You cannot use the same feeder for your bluebirds and reptiles. We will look more at feeders while looking at individual animals.
Best live mealworms to buy
The benefits of live mealworms outweigh their downside. They are the most natural kind to feed to your pets when compared to dead ones such as those that are dried.
As you buy them, essential factors to consider include:
- Their price – Compare prices and see who has the best value for your money. Be witting. For instance, instead of looking for cheap live mealworms, buying them in bulk will help cut down on the cost.
- Their size – Decided whether you want giant, large, medium, small, or mini mealworms. Remember, your pets will eat more of the small ones, but some cannot eat large ones.
- Shipping and packaging – Do they offer a live arrival guarantee or not? How well are they packaged? How are they handled during transportation may make some of them die.
- Their farming or raising – Go for certified and ethical insect breeders and those who raise them organically. Non-GMO will be ideal.
- Why you are buying them – If you intend to breed them, avoid the huge ones are they because they have sex hormones to slow down their molting to pupae.
If you want some of the best vendors, here is a review of some of the ones that will not disappoint you.
1. Predator Foods Bulk Live small, medium or large mealworms
In terms of their sizes, they come as small (0.25″), medium (0.5”) or large (1″) and they are available in either 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000 or 10,000 packs. They also sell live crickets and superworms.
Predator food offers guaranteed live delivery for people staying in temperatures ranging between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finally, most customers have rated them well and are happy about their great packaging, guaranteed live delivery as well as value for money. The 1000 counts are the best and most popular deal!
2. Fluker’s farm
The Fluker’s farm is one place where you can get quality medium-sized mealworms (1/2″ – 3/4″) at very affordable prices and flexible shipping options. They have a live guarantee delivery during fall, spring, or summer. However, in winter, you can choose to ship with a guarantee or without.
If you are looking to start raising your mealworms or use them to feed to your reptiles and other pets, you should consider buying these feeder insects from Fluker’s farm.
3. Josh’s Frogs (medium and giant mealworms)
Josh’s Frog has two sizes, the medium ones whose size ranges from ½” to ¾” or large ones. You can feed them to a crested gecko, uromastyx, leopard gecko, bearded dragon, geckos, lizards, fish, and wild birds as a treat or staple, depending on the specific animal you are targeting.
Secondly, they are very nutritious with a nutritional composition of protein 20%, fat 13%, fiber 2%, and water 62%.
Do not worry about arrival while they are dead as Josh’s Frogs offer a live arrival guarantee meaning that in case they die. You will get another package.
The medium Tenebrio molitor grubs come in counts of 100, 250, 500, 1000, 1100, 2000, 2200, and 1000, with the 500 being the most purchased count.
On the other hand, giant mealworms measure 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ in length, and they are available in counts of 50, 250, 500, and 1000. Besides feeding them to your animals, their large size makes them a great fishing bait.
4. The Bassett’s Cricket Ranch
If you are looking for organically grown, high-quality stock for your pet reptiles, fish, chicken, birds, and other exotic pets that eat insects, try the Bassett’s Cricket Ranch.
The Bassett’s Cricket Ranch has a large inventory of live mealworms whose sizes range from small live mealworms (1/4″ to 1/2″), medium 3/4″, large (1″) and giant or jumbo ( above an inch). Depending on the size, you will get them in counts of 250, 500, 1000, 1100, 2000, 2100, 5000, and 10000.
Besides being affordable, they have a live delivery guarantee where you only need to indicate HOLD if your location has temperatures below 40 or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finally, Bassett’s Cricket Ranch also live waxworms, crickets, kingworms, and superworms on varying counts and sizes.
5. 500g Live Meal Worm – Just Green in the UK
Just Green has a 500 sack of live mealworms that you can feed to your reptiles, pet sparrows, Robbins, and other insectivorous pets. However, they are not the best option if you intend to feed them any farm animals, including your poultry.
6. Livefoods4u Live Mealworms 500g, 1k, 1.5kg, etc. (UK)
The Livefoods4u is one-stop-shop for just not your gut loaded mealworms but also silent crickets, locusts, black crickets and superworms (Morio worms) direct from breeders.
Besides the live mealworms 1kg package, you can also get bags that are 200g, 250g, 500g, 1.5kg, 2kg, and 3kg farmed in ethical conditions. These worms are ideal for your water dragons, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and chameleons.
7. 1000ct Live Mealworms, Reptile, Birds, Chickens, Fish Food by Garden & Patio
These are large size (1 inch) mealworms from Garden & Patio. These darkling beetle larvae are ideal for reptiles, birds, chicken, fish, and other exotic pets that are given feeder insects either as a treat, occasional meal, or a staple depending on which animal is eating them.
A live shipping guarantee is available. However, if you live in areas whose temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to HOLD so that your shipping company takes them to the nearest postal office.
Most users are happy about their great packing and value for money. You can also order them to begin raising your own.
8. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm
If you live in Pennsylvania, you can get go to Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm or buy them online. At Amazon.com, you can order them packs of 1000, 2000, 3000, and 5000 counts, and they are ideal for fishing, food for your pet reptiles, birds, and other insectivorous pets.
Besides the live ones, Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm has dried mealworms too, especially if you need these worms when it is too cold or winter as shipping prices go high.
9. Mealworms 250 Gut Loaded
Gut loaded with multivitamins, high calcium veggies, and Rep-Cal Calcium 48 hours before shipping, these worms are a great choice and value for your money if you intend to feed them to your pets immediately. They have a live arrival guarantee.
10. 3000 – Rainbow Mealworms
Farmed by Rainbow, they come in counts of 3000. Depending on your needs, you can go medium size (3/4″ long ), mixed or large ones (0.78 to 1″ long). They are ideal for your reptiles, fish, wild birds, chicken, and other critters that feed on worms.
They also have giant red mealworms, which are typically thicker than those that are 1.25” that are ideal for larger pets.
Other places to buy live mealworms
Besides the above, other reputed live mealworm suppliers include at Buckeye Organics (US), DBD Live Insects (US), Super Crickets (CA), The Warm Lady (CA), Wiggly Wiggler in UK, Bird Food UK, Vine House Farm in UK, Bio Supplies (Australia), PetWave (Australia), Livefoods (Australia), among many other places.
Live mealworms for sale near you
If you are looking for live mealworm vendors near you, begin by looking for them at your local pet store or breeder. Also, use search engines, local classified ad sites, craigslist, Facebook pages, and so on to get vendors.
If you do not get any near you, order lives ones online from online shops such as Amazon.com, PetSmart, Walmart, Chewy, Petco, Tractor Supply, eBay, Space Coast Mealworms,
Keeping mealworms alive
Once you have purchased them, you need to know how to keep them alive, which includes refrigerating or storing them alive. Besides our guideline, we have on how to raise mealworms, which is one of the most comprehensive and in-depth you can get on the internet, follow any instructions from your vendor.