What Animals Eat Mealworms? (10 Examples With Pictures)

What Animals Eat Mealworms
Photo by Robert Gunnarsson

Mealworms are a great source of protein and fat and also contain high levels of iron, calcium, zinc, and other nutrients.

But most people believe that only birds eat mealworms; however, other animals love this sweet treat.

What animals eat mealworms? Read on.

What Are Mealworms?

Mealworms are the larvae of the mealworm beetle, a specie of the darkling beetle.

They are usually found in dark places such as compost piles, manure heaps, and rotting fruit. Also, they eat decaying organic matter and excrete nitrogenous waste.

Mealworms are an excellent source for pet owners who want to feed their dogs and cats nutritious foods.

In addition, they are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of animal feeds.

They are often sold live in pet stores and feed shops, although some companies sell them frozen.

In addition to being nutritious, they are cheap and easy to raise. They are also great for pest control and can be used to combat garden pests.

Mealworms are considered a delicacy in some countries. In China, they eat them during Chinese New Year celebrations. The larvae are boiled and served with rice. 

What Animals Eat Mealworms?

1. Birds

Photo by JillWellington on Pixabay

Mealworms are great for raising baby chicks, but they’re also a favorite food for different types of birds.

Birds love them because they have a high protein content, are full of vitamins and minerals, and are easy to find.

There are different types of birds that enjoy eating mealworms.

These birds include sparrows, bluejays, robins, finches, blackbirds, chickadees, cardinals, woodpeckers, thrushes, and even owls.

The number of mealworms you need to feed your bird will depend on its size. A good rule of thumb is to feed about 1/8th of their body weight daily.

So if your bird weighs 5 lbs., you would feed them about 2.5 oz. of mealworms daily.

2. Rats

Photo by sipa on Pixabay

Rats are rodents that eat insects and other small animals, or you can call them scavengers. They are not picky about what they eat and will consume just about any food.

However, rats love the occasional treats of mealworms; who doesn’t like a sweet delicacy? Mealworms are great for pest control and are often used as bait for rats.

You can always buy them at any pet store nearby. If you have a lot of rats in your area, you may want to consider getting some traps to catch them before they start eating your plants.

3. Frogs

Photo by NoName_13 on Pixabay

What animals eat mealworms? Frogs do! These cute little amphibians have become quite famous thanks to their ability to jump out of the water and back into it.

Frogs eat insects, but did you know they also eat other mealworms? It provides them with a good source of protein and nutrition.

However, if you have a frog, ensure not to make mealworms their main diet and always serve them in small quantities.

4. Squirrels

Photo by 12019 on Pixabay

Squirrels are cute little creatures that live in trees. They eat nuts, fruits, seeds, and berries, but do you know they feed on mealworms too?

Also, these animals are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat whatever food is available.

Mealworms are a great source of protein for squirrels, whether they’re fresh or dried.

It’s more nutritious for breeding squirrels, the ones about to give birth or the ones feeding babies.

Again, putting mealworms out to attract birds to your garden may be futile if you have these squirrels around because they will eat it all.

Squirrels are well known to chew through electrical wires, causing fires and even electrocution.

If you see squirrels chewing on a wire or tree branch, don’t try to scare them away. Instead, call a professional who can safely remove the animal from your property.

5. Cockroaches

Photo by Assekuranz24 on Pixabay

Cockroaches are one of the most annoying insects around. They are notable for their ability to survive in extreme conditions, such as heat or cold, and they are also very resilient.

Cockroaches are often considered pests because they tend to breed rapidly and spread disease.

However, they are also beneficial because they eat decaying organic matter, which helps decompose waste.

These insects can eat almost anything, from garbage to food scraps, but they also eat mealworms.

Mealworms are sweet treats for cockroaches, even though they can live up to a month without eating. Yes, that’s how resilient they are.

6. Raccoons

Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

Raccoons are nocturnal mammals native to North America. They live in wooded areas, forests, parks, and yards.

However, they prefer to live near bodies of water and in places where they can quickly get access to food. They also enjoy living close to human habitation.

Raccoons are omnivorous animals that feed on fruits, vegetables, insects, eggs, fish, meat, and even garbage.

They also eat bird seed, nuts, and berries and enjoy mealworms. These animals are intelligent and adaptable creatures.

Raccoon attacks are rare, but they can cause serious injuries. Call animal control immediately if you spot a raccoon in your home or yard.

The best way to prevent a raccoon attack is to remove trash around your home and secure your pets inside.

7. Fish

Different Types of Tuna Fish
Photo by 27707

Fish are cold-blooded vertebrates that live in water. They breathe air and use gills to extract oxygen from the surrounding water.

Water is necessary for fish to survive. Your fish won’t survive if you don’t have adequate water.

However, you’re missing out if you rear fish and still wonder what animals eat mealworms. Most fish prefer larger-sized worms, but they also eat smaller ones.

Mealworms are good for increasing the growth rate of fish and improving their immune system.

There are different species of mealworms, but they are all about the same size.

If you want to use mealworms for feeding fish, make sure you get the fish raised on a diet of insects, not just vegetables.

8. Lizards

There are different types of lizards, including geckos, skinks, and iguanas. These reptiles have been around since prehistoric times.

There are over 7,000 species of lizard worldwide. These creatures are found in tropical areas, and some even live in deserts.

Most people don’t know much about them, but they play a role in our ecosystem.

Many lizards eat insects, spiders, and mealworms. A mealworm diet is high in protein and fat, making it nutritious for them.

The lizard eats the mealworm whole and digests it without having to chew it.

They can digest these insects because they produce enzymes that break down their food into smaller pieces.

Lizards help control pest populations and keep the balance of nature. They are often seen basking in the sun, eating bugs, and waiting for prey.

9. Chickens

Photo by Danganhfoto on Pixabay

Chickens are domesticated fowls. They are good at helping us get rid of unwanted pests in our garden.

In addition, you can find them roaming around farms; some households even keep them as pets.

They are raised commercially for meat or eggs. There are several types of chickens, such as broilers, layers, and bantams. The average chicken produces 250 eggs annually.

If you have chickens, you might want to know what animals eat mealworms in case you can feed your pets.

Of course, chickens can eat mealworms; in fact, it improves their health and increases egg production.

Chickens are social creatures and enjoy being in the company of other chickens. However, raising them requires a lot of time and effort.

This means you should plan ahead to ensure you don’t run out of space or food.

10. Cats

Photo by Daria Shatova on Unsplash

Cats are some of the most beloved pets around the globe. They are famous for their playful nature, purring sounds, and sweet personalities.

Cats are carnivores, meaning they eat meat. They usually prefer lean meats such as chicken, fish, beef, pork, lamb, and turkey. Some cats also enjoy rabbits, ducks, and other poultry.

But can cats eat mealworms? Absolutely, yes! As long as they’re farm-grown mealworms, which means they’re parasite free.

Besides, mealworms contain nutritional values, which is beneficial for cats.

However, you should consider feeding your cats dried mealworms as they’re healthier than live ones.

Interesting Facts About Mealworms

Mealworms are not worms – Mealworms are beetles and not worms. They belong to the order Coleoptera (beetles).

Beetles have six legs and two antennae, and their bodies are covered in hard chitin exoskeletons.

  • Mealworms are omnivores – Mealworms eat both plant material and animal products.
  • Mealworms are not parasites – Parasites are organisms that live inside or on their hosts. 
  • Mealworms are not dangerous to humans – Although they may look scary to some people, they are not harmful to humans.
  • Mealworms are inexpensive – You can buy them at pet stores for around $10 per pound.
  • There are three different species of mealworms – The yellow mealworm, the dark mealworm, and the giant mealworm. Most of them are native to South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
  • Mealworms are great pets – You can keep them in a box and let them run around. They are pretty cute.


You now know what animals eat mealworms but ensure to contact your vet before feeding your pets.

And if you’re interested in raising mealworms, do not store them in the freezer, as this can kill them. Thanks for reading!

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Pudin' Tain
Pudin' Tain
9 months ago

Spiders and Tarantulas can eat live mealworms, also.

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