Dried Mealworms for Birds
Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle. They are a rich source of protein for variety of wildlife including birds. Whether live or freeze-dried they certainly make great bird food and as the dried worms float they are also perfect for feeding to fish. Mealworms are prolific throughout the world but are perhaps not a creature to which we devote much thought! Here are 10 interesting facts about this small but incredible creature, revealing why dried mealworms are the perfect bird food!
What Goes into our Dried Mealworms?
- Mealworms are not worms they are Larvae.
- Mealworms are crucial to the planet’s ecosystem. They are voracious eaters who aid the decomposition and clean-up of unwanted organic material. They are also an important source of food for birds, spiders, rodents, reptiles and other insects in the wild. They are preyed on by many creatures but have no form of defence other than to hide.
- Sadly the eating habits of mealworms also make them a human pest. They can get into stores of grains, flours, cereals and other dried food and then quickly ruin them. They have been noted as human pests since the Bronze Age but curiously there is no evidence of mealworms having been present in Ancient Egypt.
- You can store live mealworms in your refrigerator where they can survive for several months. They should be taken out of the fridge for a few hours and fed once per week.
- are edible for humans. Baked and fried mealworms are sold as healthy snacks.
- You may see mealworms in tequila flavoured novelty sweets. The worms in Tequila bottles are not mealworms but rather the larva of the Hypopta agavis moth.
- You can purchase live mealworms in bulk. They are generally supplied in containers of bran or oatmeal for them to feed on. Commercially reared mealworms are fed juvenile hormone so they remain larvae and do not develop into beetles. This practice also results in them attaining abnormally large sizes.
- Mealworms are essentially vegetarians but if insufficient food is available they have been known to eat each other.
- Mealworms are a popular choice for use in science classes in schools and for scientific research as they do not jump, fly or bite.
- Although generally considered to be a pest, in 2015 it was discovered that mealworms could be useful too. It turns out that they are capable of degrading polystyrene into usable organic matter. Most interestingly, consuming polystyrene does not appear to affect their health. As yet this discovery has not resulted in any commercial applications.
So these seemingly insignificant insects are actually quite interesting and useful creatures. Perhaps we should appreciate them a little more! Birds certainly love them and so mealworms are a great choice if you are looking to feed the wild birds in your garden.
Need some mealworms? At Little Peckers we offer dried mealworms in packs of various weights and also suet blocks featuring mealworms. The wild birds in your garden will always appreciate these protein filled treats.